Saint NameSergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023
Bakchos, martyr in Barbalissos (Syria), ob. c. 303-311 : S00079
Saint Name in SourceΣέργιος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before450
Evidence not after1300
Activity not before450
Activity not after1300
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 CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceA fragmentary marble slab. First recorded by Stephanos Xanthoudides in Katevati/Istron, and published by him in 1903.
DiscussionThis fragmentary inscription offers us just the names of two martyrs, Sergios and Bakchos, in the genitive case. It is disputable, if the names were preceded by the title τῶν ἁγίων/'of saints' (argued by the editors of the Packard Humanities Institute database) or μαρτύρων/'of martyrs' (argued by former editors). We can add that another fixed set of epithets could be used here: [- - - τῶν ἁγίων καὶ ἐνδόξων μαρτύρ]ων Σεργίου καὶ Βάχχου/'[- - - of the holy and glorious martyrs] Sergios and Bakchos', as it is very frequent in late antique inscriptions. The fact that both saints occur together is significant, as in inscriptions Sergios was usually venerated alone and Bakchos was hardly ever mentioned.
Xanthoudides and Gerola dated the inscription to the mid-6th c. and believed that it was made after the construction of the church dedicated to these saints in Constantinople, in the palace of Hormisdas, by Justinian in c. 527-533 (see: EXXXXX), an event, they say, which gave a boost to the cult of these two figures. However, François Halkin reasonably notes that the cult of at least Sergios alone was very popular in the Near East even before Justinian's foundation.
The Packard Humanties Institute database: PH201463.
Gerola, G., Monumenti veneti nell'isola di Creta, vol. 4 (Venice 1932), 580.
Xanthoudides, S., “Χριστιανικαί επιγραφαί Κρήτης”, Ἀθηνᾶ 15 (1903), 76-77.
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), 119-120.