File(s) not publicly available

E01068: Labels of tombs at Korykos/Corycus (Cilicia, south-east Asia Minor), owned by a church dedicated to *Zechariah (probably the father of John the Baptist, S00597). Probably late 5th or 6th c.

online resource
posted on 08.01.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Inscription 1:

On the lid of a sarcophagus. Letter height 0.07 m. Recorded in 1925.

ἁγίου
Ζαχαρία
Κ̣ωρύ̣κ[ο]̣υ

'(Sarcophagus of the church) of Saint Zechariah of Korykos'

Text: MAMA III, no. 782.

Inscription 2:

On the lid of a sarcophagus. Letter height 0.08 m. Recorded in 1914 by Adolf Wilhelm.

σωμ̣ατο̣θήκ̣η Ἰωάννου
συμβολαιογρ(άφου) + πό(λεως) Κωρύκου
τοῦ ̣ἁ̣γ(ίου) Ζαχαρία +

'The sarcophagus of Ioannes, notary. + Of the city of Korykos. Of Saint Zechariah. +'

Text: MAMA III, no. 460.

Inscription 3:

Engraved next to the entrance to a rock-cut tomb. Letter height 0.06 m. Recorded in 1925 by Adolf Wilhelm.

+ ὠνφαλὸς διαφέρον
Σιλουανοῦ μυρεψᾶ +
τοῦ ἁγ(ίου) Ζ̣αχαρ(ία)

'+ The tomb belonging to Silvanos, perfume seller. + Of Saint Zechariah.'

Text: MAMA III, no. 712.

History

Evidence ID

E01068

Saint Name

Zechariah, father of John the Baptist : S00597 Zechariah, Old Testament Prophet : S00283

Saint Name in Source

Ζαχαρίας Ζαχαρίας

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Korykos

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Korykos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials Merchants and artisans

Discussion

The inscriptions label three tombs at Korykos as the property Saint Zechariah (presumably of his church); this is probably the father of John the Baptist, identified by an early Christian tradition with an innocent priest murdered at the Temple in Jerusalem (see Matthew 23:35), or, possibly, the Old Testament prophet. For a reliquary with relics of Zechariah, found at Seleucia ad Calycadnum, not far from Korykos, see E01036. All three inscriptions describe the tombs as 'of saint Zechariah', presumably of a church of the saint. Inscription 1 simply labels a sarcophagus as the property of the saint. Inscription 2 announces that a notary of the city of Korykos was buried in the sarcophagus, bearing it. This label is followed by the expression τοῦ ̣ἁ̣γ(ίου) Ζαχαρία / 'of Saint Zechariah', which probably refers to the tomb, but may refer to the deceased, implying that he had offered his services to this church. Inscription 3 labels a rock-cut tomb as an omphalos (ὠνφαλός = ὀμφαλός). The term occurs again in the label of an adjacent rock-cut tomb (ὠφαλός, see: MAMA III, no. 402). It seems that this expression was coined to name rounded tombs (e.g. tumuli), which resembled the original omphalos, a rounded holy stone, kept at Delphi. The inscription says that a perfumer was buried in the grave. His name is followed by the expression τοῦ ἁγ(ίου) Ζα)χαρ(ία) / 'of Saint Zechariah', as in the case of Inscription 2. If this referred to the deceased, and not the tomb, he may have offered his services to this church by providing incense or oil. Dating: probably late 5th or 6th c. (based on the style of the lettering and tombs).

Bibliography

Edition: Inscription 1: Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. Kry 513. Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua III 782. Inscription 2: Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. Kry 576. Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua III 460. Inscription 3: Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. Kry 618. Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua III, no. 712. Further reading: Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 90. Mietke, G., "Monumentalisierung christilcher Heiliger in Kilikien in frühbyzantinischer Zeit", Olba 17 (2009), 121. Samellas, A., Death in the Eastern Mediterranean (50-600 A.D.). The Christianization of the East: An Interpretation (Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum 12, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 257, note 2.

Usage metrics

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Keywords

Licence

Exports