An ostracon, found near the Byzantine church, to the east of the agora.
[- - -] ἅγυ ἀπόστολυ τοῦ Χ[ριστοῦ - - -]
[- - -] ΜΗΥΟΡΓΟΥ ἡ καλο[υμένη - - -]
1. ἅγυ (= ἅγ<ι>οι) ἀποστόλυ τοῦ Χ[ριστοῦ Ritti, ἁγυ ἀπόστολυ τ(οῦ) Huttner || ἅγι ὑ ἀπόστολυ τοῦ Arthur || 2. ΜΗΥΟΡΓΟΥ ἡ καλο[υμένη Huttner, μη υοριου (?) ἡ χαλου[μένη Arthur
'[- - -] the holy Apostles of Christ [- - -] also called [- - -]'
Text: Arthur 2006, 121, modified.
Saint NameApostles (unspecified) : S00084
Philip the Deacon and Evangelist : S00604
Philip the Apostle, ob. 1st c. : S00109
Saint Name in Sourceἀπόστολυ
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed objects
Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after1300
Activity not before400
Activity not after1300
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcHierapolis
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Hierapolis
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
DiscussionPaul Arthur, the first editor of the inscription, supposed that it mentioned a single, unnamed Apostle, whom he identified as Philip, since Hierapolis was a major place of his cult. However, Ulrich Huttner rightly points out that the word 'Apostle' in line 1 is in the plural form. Therefore, the inscription refers to a group of unspecified Apostles. The purpose of this fragmentary text is unclear.
We hypothetically suggest that, providing that Huttner's reading is correct, line 2 may contain a quotation of Acts 8:10: οὗτός ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ καλουμένη Μεγάλη/'This man is the power of God called Great', here modified as οὗτός ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις τοῦ δη]μ<ιου>ργοῦ ἡ καλο[υμένη Μεγάλη/'This man is the power of the Creator called Great', instead of the regular form. A possible connection between our ostracon and the passage from Acts 8 is probable, as this chapter describes the encounter of Philip (probably the Deacon and Evangelist) with Simon the Magician. Another possibility, kindly suggested to us by Francesco Guizzi in a letter, is that line 2 contains a personal name.
Ritti, T., Storia e istituzioni di Hierapolis. Hierapolis di Frigia IX (Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2017), 228 (line 1).
Arthur, P., Byzantine and Turkish Hierapolis (Pamukkale): an archaeological guide (Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2006), 121.
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 934: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/934