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E01404: Greek dedicatory inscription, commemorating the offering of columns to a church of an unnamed *Archangel. Found at the monastic church tou Kokkimidi (island of Syme/Simi; Aegean Islands). Probably late antique.

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posted on 28.05.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Κ ΓΑΙC
CCΟCΕΛΛ/ Ι Ν
ΧΟΥC καρποφο-
ρῆσαι > τῷ ἀρχα-
γέλῳ κίονια

1. K[(ύρι)ε] (?) || ταῖς (?) || 1-3. [- - -]ραι | ἔσ<ω>σε <δᾳδού|χ>ους Chaviaras, μον[α]|χούς (?) || 5. ριονίᾳ Chaviaras, κιόνια Kiourtzian drawing

'[- - -] offered columns to the Archangel.

Text: Chaviaras 1912, 152-153.

History

Evidence ID

E01404

Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191

Saint Name in Source

ἀρχάγελος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements 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

Aegean islands and Cyprus Aegean islands and Cyprus

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Syme Kokkimidi

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

Syme Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia Kokkimidi Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Source

The inscription is on a cylindrical white marble column, supporting the altar in the monastic church of Michael the Archangel also named τοῦ Κοκκιμήδη. The text is carved within a rectangular frame, below a carving of a Latin cross. Circumference of the column: 1.167 m at the bottom; H. of the column: 0.64 m. Dimensions of the text field: H. 0,125 m; W. 0.215 m. Letter height 0.01-0.021 m. The original siting and size of the column is unknown. Seen and copied by Demosthenes Chaviaras before 1912. The inscription was very poorly preserved and Chaviaras admitted that the letters were hardly recognisable. He offered two drawings with different readings and a transcription.

Discussion

Though the reading of the initial lines of the inscription is problematic, there is no doubt that it commemorated the offering of columns (the one, on which it is inscribed, and probably others) to the church of Michael the Archangel, certainly the predecessor of the monastic sanctuary in which it was found. As we have access only to Chaviaras' drawings, we cannot offer a reliable new transcription. Some conjectural completions can, however, be suggested. Chaviaras interpreted the text in lines 2-3 as ἔσ<ω>σε <δᾳδού|χ>ους / 'he saved the torch-bearers', whom he interpreted as monks. This is implausible; perhaps one should read here simply the word μον[α]|χούς/'monks', preceded by the verb ἔσ<ω>σε/'saved' or μνήσθητι/'remember'. It is probable that the dedication began with the invocation of God as the Lord: Κύριε. Though the last word of the inscription is clearly rendered on the drawing as κιόνια/'columns', Chaviaras corrected it to ριονίᾳ a form of ῥίον/'peak', which, he said, referred to the hill on which the church was sited. This, however, makes little sense, and Georges Kiourtzian rightly points out the word denotes the object of the offering, i.e. the aforementioned columns.

Bibliography

Edition: Chaviaras, D., Συλλογὴ χριστιανικῶν ἐπιγραφῶν καὶ περιγραφὴ χριστιανικῶν ἀρχαιοτήτων, part 2: Νήσου Σύμης, Византийский Временник Российской Академии Наук 19 (1912), 152-153. Further reading: Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 378.

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