Saint NameTen Martyrs of Crete, ob. c. 249-251 : S00823
Saint Name in SourceΕὐαρέστ[ος]
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAegean islands and Cyprus
Aegean islands and Cyprus
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcCrete
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Crete
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsBequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy
Other lay individuals/ people
SourceThree fragments of marble blocks, almost certainly from a cymatium molding. Two of them conjoin.
Fragment A: L. 0.36 m.
Fragments B + C: L. 0.47 m.
Letter height 0.025 m.
Found in 1901 buried near the church of Saint Titus in the village of Agioi Deka, during the excavations supervised by Stephanos Xanthoudides. First published by him in 1903.
Xanthoudies implausibly joined Fragment A with Fragment C, and therefore his reading differs from that of later editors. Interestingly, though Margheritta Guarducci correctly arranged the fragments on the drawing, she retained the implausible reading by Xanthoudides for Fragment A. For the correct reading and arrangement of fragments, see: Bandy 1971, no. 29.
DiscussionThe inscription is very fragmentarily preserved, so all conclusions drawn from its contents are highly hypothetical. Anastasios Bandy identified it as either a sepulchral or a dedicatory text.
Fragment A bears only one understandable word, which is the name 'Euaristos'. The name was borne by one of the Ten Martyrs of Crete, put to death under the emperor Decius (249-251), and venerated on the island. Given the fact that the inscription was found at the village of Agioi Deka, named after these Ten Martyrs, we can suppose that the martyr Euaristos might be mentioned here (as argued by Xanthoudides), or that a bishop (of Gortyna, as suggested by Guarducci and Bandy) or a lesser ecclesiastic, called after that saint, is referred to. Another possibility is that the inscription refers to a church dedicated to the saint.
Fragments B and C offer us just the word 'bishop' in the genitive case, proving, however, that the inscription dealt with ecclesiastical issues.
Dating: Bandy dates the inscription to the 5th/6th c., based on the form of letters and contents.
Bandy, A.C., (ed.), The Greek Christian Inscriptions of Crete (Athens: Christian Archaeological Society, 1971), no. 29.
Guarducci, M., Inscriptiones Creticae, vol. 4: Tituli Gortynii (Rome: Libreria dello Stato, 1950), no. 464.
Gerola, G., Monumenti veneti nell'isola di Creta, vol. 4 (Venice 1932), 549, no. 24.
Xanthoudides, S., “Χριστιανικαί επιγραφαί Κρήτης”, Ἀθηνᾶ 15 (1903), 127.
Halkin, F., "L'Egypte, Chypre, la Crète et les autres îles grecques. La Grèce continentale et les pays balkaniques. L'Italie et la Sycylie", Analecta Bollandiana 70 (1952), 120.