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E05037: Greek inscription invoking the Archangel *Michael (S00181) to protect a city. Found at Afyonkarahisar near ancient Akroinos and Prymnessos (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). No certain dating: possibly late antique or middle Byzantine.

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posted on 09.02.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
ἅγιος ὦ θεός, ἅγιος [ὦ θεός, ἅγιος ὦ θεός]

+ ἀρχάνγελε Μιχαήλ, ἐλέησον τὴν πόλι<ν> σου κ[α]ὶ ῥύση αὐτὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηρ(οῦ) +

1. ἅγιος ὦ θεός, ἅγιος [ὦ θεός, ἅγιος ὦ θεός] Ramsay, but possibly ἅγιος ὡ θεός, ἅγιος [ἰσχυρός, ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς]

'Holy God, Holy [God, Holy God!] + O Archangel Michael, have mercy upon your city, and deliver her from evil!'

Text: Felle 2006, no. 495.

History

Evidence ID

E05037

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

1300

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

1300

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Akroinos Prymnessos

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

Akroinos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Prymnessos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies

Source

The inscription is on a small marble pillar. There is no published description. Line 2 runs around the pillar. Found at Afyonkarahisar near ancient Akroinos and Prymnessos by William Ramsay. When recorded, the pillar was in an Armenian church, said to have been 'an old building,' constructed by the Greeks. First published by Ramsay with a majuscule copy in 1882. Republished by Ramsay in 1897. In 2006 the inscription was included by Antonio Felle in his collection of epigraphs containing biblical quotations.

Discussion

The inscription records a very interesting invocation of the Archangel Michael. He is asked to protect an unnamed city (polis) with the words borrowed from the Lord's prayer ('and deliver us from evil!'). Ramsay suggested that the city was nearby Akroinos. For a similar invocation based on the Lord's prayer, see E00743. Line 1 may contain a triple invocation of God, as suggested by Ramsay, or the Trisagion prayer. Dating: Sadly, there is no reliable way to date the inscription. We cannot say if it comes from the late antique or middle Byzantine period.

Bibliography

Edition: Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1552, see http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1552 Felle, A.E., Biblia epigraphica. La sacra scrittura nella documentazione epigrafica dell'«Orbis christianus antiquus» (III-VIII secolo) (Bari: Edipuglia, 2006), no. 495. Ramsay, W.M., Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. 1, part 2: West and West-Central Phrygia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), 741-742, no. 678. Ramsay, W.M., "Prymnessos and Metropolis", Mittheilungen des Deutschen archaeologischen Institutes in Athen 7 (1882), 144. Further reading: Cumont, F., "Les inscriptions chrétiennes de l'Asie Mineure", Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire 15 (1895), no. 189.

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