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E06299: Fragmentary Greek graffito with an invocation of a saint whose name is lost, followed by a request to save two men. Executed on a white limestone floor slab, very probably by a Christian prisoner. Found at Corinth (northeastern Peloponnese). Probably 5th-6th c.

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posted on 06.09.2018, 00:00 by Malgorzata
+ ἅγιε - - - - - - - - - - - - -]
ζωμεν - - - - - - - - - - - - -]
ἀπὸ τοῦ τόπ̣[ου τούτου]
Ἀνδρέαν, Γεώρ̣[γιον, - -]-
5 + τ̣ο̣ν, κ̣(αὶ) ἀπόλεσο[ν - -]
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

l. 1.-2. possibly σῳ]|ζωμέν[ους ποίησον] Sironen || l. 3. restored by Meritt || l. 4. restored by Sironen || l. 5. π̣άνυ Meritt.

'+ O Saint [- - -] [save?] [- - -] from this place Andreas, Georgios, [- - -] and destroy [- - -].'

Text: IG IV2 3, no. 1280.

History

Evidence ID

E06299

Saint Name

Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744

Image Caption 1

Photograph. From: IG IV2 3, Tabula VII, no. 1280.

Image Caption 2

General plan of Ancient Corinth, showing the area of 'Boudroumi' shops. From: IG IV2 3, 199.

Image Caption 3

Drawing. From: Meritt 1931, 123, no. 206.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Inscriptions - Graffiti

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Balkans including Greece

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Corinth

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

Corinth Drizypera Δριζύπερα Drizypera Büyük Karıştıran

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Punishing miracle

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Prisoners

Source

Fragment of a white limestone floor slab, left margin preserved. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.34 m; W. 0.46 m; Th. 0.055-0.06 m. Letter height 0.027-0.065 m. Found in 1901 at the back of the 'Boudroumi' vaults among the shops north-west of the agora of ancient Corinth. Now in the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth (inv. no. 136).

Discussion

The inscription is one of several graffiti carved into the floor of a prison in Corinth. This fragment of a limestone floor slab preserves the prayer of two men, Andreas and Georgios. They are probably prisoners who seek help from a saint whose name is lost. The saint is invoked to enable their release from prison and to punish probably those who accused them (ἀπόλεσον). We can only guess the reason of their imprisonment. The 'Boudroumi' arches were vaults among the shops north-west of the agora of ancient Corinth. It is therefore likely that Andreas and Georgios were addicti, debtors confined by their creditors (probably merchants) in order to enforce payment (see Breytenbach 2016, 305). For a similar graffito, see E06300. Dating: The editors of the Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database date the inscription to the 5th-6th c., which is plausible on the basis of its Christian content and archaeological context.

Bibliography

Edition: Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 2814: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/2814 Inscriptiones Graecae IV (2nd ed.) 3, no. 1280 and Tab. VII. Meritt, B. D., Corinth, vol. 8, part 1: Greek Inscriptions 1896–1927 (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1931), 123, no. 206 with drawing. Further Reading: Breytenbach, C., “Christian prisoners: fifth and sixth century inscriptions from Corinth,” Acta Theologica, Supplementum 23 (2016), 302-309. Feissel, D., “Inventaires en vue d’un recueil des inscriptions historiques de Byzance. III. Inscriptions du Péloponnèse (à l’exception de Mistra),” Travaux et Mémoires 9 (1985), 361, no. 21*. Wallbank, M.B., “Where have all the names gone? The Christian community in Corinth in the Late Roman and Early Byzantine eras,” in S. Friesen, D.N. Schowalter, and J. Walters (eds.), Corinth in Context: Comparative Studies on Religion and Society (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 134, Leiden: Brill, 2010), 300 n. 36, 302 n. 70.

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