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E01825: Greek graffiti with probable invocations of God as the Lord, and of unnamed martyrs. Found in a burial grotto at Seleukeia Pieria near Antioch-on-the-Orontes (north Syria). Probably late antique.

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posted on 30.08.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Κύρ(ιος) or Κύρ(ιε)

'O Lord!'

μάρτυρε[ς (?) - - -]

'O martyrs (?) [- - -]!'

Text: IGLS 3/2, no. 1242/10 = Downey 1941, 97, no. 176.

History

Evidence ID

E01825

Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

Saint Name in Source

μάρτυρες

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

1300

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

1300

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Seleukeia Pieria

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Seleukeia Pieria Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

Graffiti scratched on the wall of a burial grotto, at Seleukeia/Seleucia Pieria, on a layer of red, yellow, and white stucco. Found during surveys of the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity in 1938 and 1939. First published by Glanville Downey in 1941. Republished by René Mouterde in 1953.

Discussion

The inscription is probably an invocation of martyrs on behalf of people buried in the grotto. Perhaps the lost part of the inscription should be completed with the popular formula βοηθεῖτε or βοηθήσατε/'help!'. It is possible that the names of the martyrs were mentioned in the lacuna, but the saints could be invoked also anonymously. For a similar text, see: E00735.

Bibliography

Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R. (eds.), Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 3/2: Antioche (suite). Antiochène: nos. 989-1242 (BAH 51, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1953), no. 1242/10. Downey, G., “Greek and Latin inscriptions”, in: R. Stillwell and others (eds.), Antioch-on-the-Orontes, vol. 3: The excavations 1937-1939 (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, 1941), 97, no. 176.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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