Saint NameKonōn, gardener martyr in Magydos of Pamphylia : S00177
Konōn, martyr in Iconium of Lycaonia (central Asia Minor) : S00429
Konōn, martyr in Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) : S00430
Saint Name in SourceΚόνων
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcLamos
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Lamos
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsVow
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesChildren
Other lay individuals/ people
SourceProbably a slab. There is no published description of the object. Copied by James Bent in 1890 at a village with a fortress, near Tapourelü (area of ancient Lamos), and published by Edward Hicks in 1891.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the fulfillment of a vow made to Saint Konon by four brothers. There are three Anatolian saints, who bore the name Konon, and we don't know which one is referred to. *Konon, martyr of Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) was said to have lived in the times of the Apostles (1st/2nd c.). He enjoyed the special protection of *Michael the Archangel and led a life of holiness. He was credited with working many miracles. *Konon of Magydos (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor) was a gardener and martyr under the emperor Decius. It is claimed that he came from Nazareth and was a relative of Christ (if this declaration is to be taken literally, and not as a metaphor for the Christian religion, creating a bond between the followers and the Saviour). *Konon, martyr of Iconium (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor) died under the emperor Aurelian (270-275).
The object of the vow is not mentioned. Interestingly, the brothers do not specify their names, they only identify themselves by the name of their father, Arvaras/Arouaras. This is probably a Semitic name, although Wuthnow's dictionary Die semitischen Menschennamen, pp. 26 and 167 does not mention this transcription, cf. ibidem, p. 167 for comments on: Arwad Αρουαδος, Αρουαδη: רוד. For that name, see also IGLS 15/2, no. 316: Αρου<α>δος (south Syria). On p. 167 Wuthnow mentions also the name Arwaḥ = Αρουαος, e.g. IGLS 13/2, no. 9871 (territory of Bostra).
The formula εὐξάμενος τὴν εὐχὴν ἀπέδωκε (having made a vow, he fulfilled it) is frequent in Christian inscriptions from Anatolia (especially in Cilicia and Isauria), the Aegean Islands, and Syria. The closest parallel to our text is the inscription on a silver lamp-holder from the 'Kaper Koraon/Ḥamāh Treasure' published in IGLS V, no. 2034 (EXXXXX), which is a vow made to *Sergios by four brothers: Sergios, Symeon, Daniel, and Thomas, sons of Maximinos (εὐξάμενοι τὴν εὐχὴν ἀπέδωκαν τῶ | ἁγίου Σεργίου καὶ Βάχχου· | + Σέργις (καὶ) Συμεὼν (καὶ) Δανιὴλ (καὶ) Θωμᾶς | υἱοὶ Μαξιμίν(ου) κώμης Καπροκοράων). For other examples, see: Hicks 1891, no. 8 (near the so-called Olbian cave; the foundation of a church as a vow, probably made to God by a layman for the repose of himself and his children); Hicks 1891, no. 37 (over a window of a Byzantine church at Tapourelü; a vow made probably to God by a deacon); I. Cilicia, no. 19 (Korykos; a vow made probably to God by two laymen for the salvation of themselves and their households), dedication on a reliquary cross from Seleucia (either Seleucia ad Calycadnum in Isauria or Seleucia Pieria near Antioch-on-the-Orontes = IGLS 3/2, no. 1211), and on a lamp-holder of unknown provenance, dedicated to a saint John (E03504), housed in the Archaeological Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (SBF) in Jerusalem (see Bianchi 2014 and BE (2016), 531). We do find this formula also in 2nd c. pagan dedications in Lydia, in west Asia Minor: on a marble stele dedicated to the river-god Hermos at Kalınharman near Thermai Theseos (SEG 57, 1229: Ἕρμῳ ἐπηκόῳ [Ἀλέ]|ξανδρος εὐ[χὴν ἀ]|πέδωκεν), and in pagan confession inscriptions from Ayazviran (Iaza) in (SEG 57, 1172-1174).
For comments on similar joint dedications in pagan Aramaic inscriptions in north Syria and modern Iraq, see T. Kaizer, T. "Familiar strangers: gods and worshippers away from home in the Roman Near East", in: M. Blömer, A. Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja (eds.), Religious Identities in the Levant from Alexander to Muhammed, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), pp. 21-22 (e.g. a dedication by five brothers, 'Palmyrenes who live in Nazala', to the 'great god of Nazala', etc.).
Dating: probably 5th or 6th c. (based on the contents).
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. Lam 14.
Hicks, E.L., "Inscriptions from western Cilicia", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 12 (1891), no. 38 (after Bent's copy).
Destephen, S., "Martyrs locaux et cultes civiques en Asie Mineure", in: J.C. Caillet, S. Destephen, B. Dumézil, H. Inglebert, Des dieux civiques aux saints patrons (IVe-VIIe siècle) (Paris: éditions A. & J. Picard, 2015), 108.
Mietke, G., "Monumentalisierung christilcher Heiliger in Kilikien in frühbyzantinischer Zeit", Olba 17 (2009), 123.
For parallel formulas, see:
Hicks, E.L., "Inscriptions from western Cilicia", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 12 (1891), nos. 8, 37.
I. Cilicia - Dagron, G., Feissel, D. (eds.), Inscriptions de Cilicie (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), no. 19.
Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (IGLS) V, no. 2034 (EXXXX).