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E00695: Lamp from Egypt with a Greek inscription (6th–7th c.) mentioning a saint Ioulitta, probably *Ioulitta/Julitta (martyr of Tarsus, mother of Kyrikos/Cyricus, S00007); exact Egyptian provenance unknown.

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posted on 2015-09-06, 00:00 authored by dlambert
ἡ ἁγία αμ(α) Ἰουλίττα

'Saint Ama Ioulitta'


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kyrikos/Cyricus, child martyr of Tarsus, with his mother Ioulitta/Julitta : S00007

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica

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

Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles


Lampes MB 12022 located at the Benaki Museum in Athens.


Although the inscription does not mention Kyrikos, with whom the Ioulitta of Tarsos is almost invariably linked, this lamp probably refers to her cult, which had much the widest diffusion of the cults of saints of the same name. It is however just possible that the inscription refers to *Ioulitta of Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia, a martyr known through a homily by Basil of Caesarea given in the 360s or 370s on her feast day (E00670). Many lamps with inscriptions to saints were produced in Elephantine; see, for instance, the moulds for such lamps with an inscription to Onnophrios (E00112).


E. M. Husselman, "The Martyrdom of Cyriacus and Julitta in Coptic," Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 4 (1965), 79–86. K. Loverdou-Tsigarida, “Ἐνεπίγραφοι κοπτικοὶ λύχνοι τοῦ Μουσείου Μπενάκη”, Δελτίον τῆς χριστιανικῆς ἀρχαιολογικῆς ἑταιρείας (1970–1972), 130–145. De L. O’Leary, The Saints of Egypt (London, 1937), 174. T. Orlandi, "Cyriacus and Julitta, saints," in: A. S. Atiya (eds.), The Coptic Encyclopedia, vol. 3 (New York and Toronto, 1991), 671. A. Papaconstantinou, Le culte des saints en Égypte des Byzantins aux Abbassides (Paris, 2001), 107. H.-M. Schenke, "Mittelägyptische "Nachlese" III. Neue Fragmente zum Martyrium des Cyri(a)cus und seiner Mutter Julitta im mittelägyptischen Dialekt des Koptischen,"Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde (ZÄS) 126 (1999), 149–172, pl. 14–22.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity