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E07065: Clay stamp bearing an image and Greek inscription, in mirror writing, of *Longinos (centurion of the Crucifixion, S00926) identified by the epithet Kreneus (‘of the fountain?’). Found during archaeological excavations at Chersonesus/Cherson (north Black Sea); 6th century.

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posted on 06.11.2018, 00:00 by erizos
The stamp depicts the saint as a bearded man with halo, wearing a short tunic and chlamys, and holding a staff surmounted with a cross, and a shield. He is flanked by two cypress trees. The scene is surrounded by the following inscription, written in mirror-writing:

+ Εὐλογία τ[οῦ] ἁγίου Λογγίν[ο]υ Κρηνέω[ς

'Blessing of Saint Longinos Kreneus ['of the fountain?']'

Diameter: 9.8 cm

The piece was found in 1989, in block 3 of the port area of ancient Cherson. It was probably used for stamping bread.

History

Evidence ID

E07065

Saint Name

Longinos, centurion at the Crucifixion : S00926

Saint Name in Source

Λογγῖνος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Northern Black Sea

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Chersonesos in Tauris

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

Chersonesos in Tauris Chersonesos in Tauris Chersonesos Chersonesus Taurica Χερσόνησος Χερσών Chersonesos Cherson

Cult activities - Places

Holy spring/well/river

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Production and selling of eulogiai, tokens

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Commissioning/producing an image

Discussion

Like the other stamps with images of saints found at Cherson (E07064, E07066), this may belong to a local shrine at Cherson dedicated to the Cappadocian martyr Longinos, the centurion at the Crucifixion. The meaning of the epithet kreneus is obscure, but may denote an association with a fountain (κρήνη) or a locality named after one. This image of Longinos, depicting him in military attire, is strikingly similar to a relief depiction of the saint on a 6th century column capital from Jordan (E02617).

Bibliography

Yashaeva, T., The Legacy of Byzantine Cherson (Sevastopol-Austin, 2011), Cat. Nr. 373.

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