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E01181: Fragmentary Greek inscription, arguably referring to the 'magnanimity' of the Archangels *Michael (S00181) and *Gabriel (S00192); or, more probably, marking the boundaries of a property owned by a church of the Archangels. Found at Thermi (Lesbos). Probably late antique.

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posted on 10.03.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
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ὅροι τῶν (?)
[ἐ]νδώξων
ἀρχανγέλων
Μιχαὴλ καὶ Γ[α]-
βριήλ

2. ὅροι τῶν | ἐνδώξων Orlandos Dimitrokallis || [(?) τὴν φιλαν]θροπίαν | [τῶν ἐ]νδώξων Papageorgiu Grégoire Charitonidis

'Boundaries (?) of the glorious Archangels Michael and Gabriel.'

Text: Papageorgiu 1900, no. 41, modified with an altered reading of line 1 by Orlandos and Dimitrokallis.

History

Evidence ID

E01181

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181 Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ Γ[α]βριήλ

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

1300

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

1300

Place of Evidence - Region

Aegean islands and Cyprus Aegean islands and Cyprus

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Lesbos Thermi

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

Lesbos Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia Thermi Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Source

Fragment of a white marble plaque, found and copied (with a squeeze) at Mitylene (Lesbos) in October 1899, by Petros Papageorgiu, director of the Gymnasium of Mitilini. H. c. 0.3 m; W. c. 0.3 m. It was said to have been brought there from the nearby town of Thermi.

Discussion

The purpose of this inscription is not obvious and its phrasing is unusual. It begins with a noun in the accusative form, which was completed by Papageorgiu as φιλανθροπία / 'philanthropy' or 'magnanimity'. If so, we can suppose that we are dealing with an acclamation of the magnanimity of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, or a dedication to their magnanimity (as in late antique Greek the dative case was being gradually superseded by the accusative). However, Anastasios Orlandos (1948) preferred to read the first word simply as ὅροι/'boundaries' and identified the text as a regular boundary stone inscription. This reading was accepted by Georgios Dimitrokallis (1972). Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors. The inscription is not precisely datable, but invocations of Archangels are characteristic of the late 5th and later centuries.

Bibliography

Edition: Grégoire, H (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 154. Papageorgiou, P., Unedierte Inschriften von Mytilene (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1900), no. 41. Further reading: Charitonidis, S., Παλαιοχριστιανικὴ τοπογραφία τῆς Λέσβου, Archaiologikon Deltion 23 (1968), 12, note 9. Dimitrokallis, G., Συμβολαὶ εἰς τὴν μελέτην τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων Νάξου, vol. 1 (Athens: 1972), 75, note 85 (mentioned). Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie. Supplément", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 340. Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 376. Orlandos, A.K., "Παλαιοχριστιανικὰ λείψανα τῆς Ῥόδου", Ἀρχεῖον τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος 6 (1948), 12, note 3.

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