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E01174: Fragmentary Greek inscription labelling a church dedicated to the 'great martyr' *Theodore (presumably the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480). Found near Arabissos (Roman province of Armenia Secunda). Probably late antique.

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posted on 04.03.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
οἶκος τοῦ μ[εγαλομάρτυρος (?)]
Θεοδόρου· φύ̣λ[αξον τὴν]
ἴσοδόν <σ>ου <κὲ> [τὴν ἔξο]-
δόν σου ΚΥΚΙΘΕ[- - -]
μετὰ παντὸς το[ῦ οἴκου]

3. ΕΟΥΤC Jerphanion's copy

'The house (i.e. church) of the [great martyr (?)] Theodore. Kee] thy going in and thy [going] out [- - -] with all the [household].'

Text: Jerphanion & Jalabert 1908, no. 25.

History

Evidence ID

E01174

Saint Name

Theodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480

Saint Name in Source

Θεοδόρος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

800

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Arabissos

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

Arabissos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

Fragment of a stone. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.5 m; W. 0.7 m. Seen and copied by Guillaume de Jerphanion in the summer of 1907, in a field to the east of the village Yarpouz near ancient Arabissos, among large broken stone blocks.

Discussion

The inscription labels an οἶκος (literally: a house) of a certain Theodore. As the term is usually used to denote churches, we can suppose that a church dedicated St. Theodore is mentioned here. On this basis Jerphanion and Jalabert reconstructed the epithet μεγαλομάρτυς/the great martyr in line one, but the simpler version, μάρτυς/martyr, may be a better completion, as it better fits the length of the lacuna. Lines 2-4 contain a quotation of the eighth verse of Psalm 120: κύριος φυλάξει τὴν εἴσοδόν σου καὶ τὴν ἔξοδόν σου ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν καὶ ἕως τοῦ αἰῶνος / 'May the Lord keep thy going in and thy going out; from henceforth now and for ever', which was frequently used in Greek Christian inscription as a charm for the protection of buildings.

Bibliography

Edition: de Jerphanion, G., Jalabert, L., "Inscriptions d' Asie Mineure (Pont, Cappadoce, Cilicie)", Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph 3 (1908), no. 25. Further reading: 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), 94.

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