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E00710: Greek building inscription of a martyrion of *Kyrikos (probably the child martyr of Tarsus, S00007), found to the north of Perta (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor). Includes vows for salvation of several deceased persons. Almost certainly later than 537.

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posted on 2015-09-12, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[+ ὑ]πὲρ εὐ̣χ̣ῆ[ς κὲ] σεμ̣ν[οτάτ-]
[η]ς μνήμης Ἀ̣ρμένις πρε(σβύτερος) ̣Μεν-
[ε]ας πρε(σβύτερος) Σουλος κὲ Ἀ̣ρμένις π-
ρε(σβύτερος) κὲ Ἰοῦστος κὲ Μόμις κὲ τῆ-
ς μητρὸς αὐτῶν Ἀννας. Μεν-
νεας κὲ Ἀ̣ρμένις κὲ Ἀλέξαν-
δρος κὲ Ἀ̣ρμένις ὁ κτίσας τὸ
μαρτύριν κὲ τῆ<ς> συνβίω αὐτ-
ῆς Πρόκλης κὲ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτ-
[ῶ]̣ν ̣Ὠαλεντήλλης τοῦ ἁγίου Κυρ(ίκου)

[…. ὠκ-]
η μηνὶ
ου, πρώτῃ
ἐν(δικτιῶνι?), βασιλί-
αS ̣ΜΦS (ΜΡ)

Α 8-9. συνβίω αὐτ|ῆς = συνβίου αὐτ|οῦ? || Β 5-7. πρώτῃ | ἐν βασιλί|ας ν̣φ΄ (ἔτει) (μάρτυς Χριστοῦ?) Calder – this reading makes no sense; perhaps one should read: πρώτῃ | ἐν(δικτιῶνι?), βασιλί|ας Μ̣(αυρικίου τοῦ) φ(ιλοχρίστου ἔτους) vacat , μηνὶ Δεκενβρίου πρώτη ἐν βασιλίας η΄ Φλ(αβίου) Ἡρ(ακλείου) Grégoire || Β 7. (ΜΡ) = μάρτυς Χριστοῦ (?) Calder, perhaps μήτηρ Χριστοῦ

A: "[+ A]s a vo[w and] for the pi[ou]s memory. Armenis the old(er) (or: pre(sbyter)), Men[e]as the old(er) (or: pre(sbyter)), Soulos, and Armenis the old(er) (or: pre(sbyter)), and Ioustos, and Momis (made a vow for the memory?) of their mother Anna. Menneas, and Armenis, and Alexandros, and Armenis, who had built the martyrion, and his wife Prokle (?) (made a vow for the memory?) of th[e]ir mother Valentilla. Of Saint Quir(icus) (?)."
B: "[. . . . was bu]ilt in the month of December, in the first in(diction), in (the -- year) of the reign of... (?); (the martyr of Christ?)."

Text: MAMA I, no. 323. Trans. P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kyrikos, 3rd c. child martyr in Tarsus, son of *Julitta : S00007

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Goslu Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Other lay individuals/ people Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


On a greyish limestone block reused in the steps of a mosque: H. 0.39 m; W. 0.63 m; Th. 0.39 m. Inscription A is written on the front side, while inscription B was carved on the left-hand side. Inscription A is in a frame, ornamented with a cross and a depiction of a bird, probably a peacock. Inscription B is written on lined surface (for a similar form, see: $E01300) and ends with a monogram of uncertain meaning. Here we assume that both inscriptions are contemporary and give a consecutive text.


Poor syntax and abbreviations make the translation and interpretation of the inscription conjectural. The text begins with vows for the salvation of the deceased. It seems that these vows are made by two groups of siblings, their mothers are also mentioned. It is possible that they shared the same father though this is not explicitly stated. A certain Armenis is introduced as the founder of an unnamed martyr shrine. Then we find a puzzling reference to a saint *Kyrikos, probably the child martyr of Tarsus. The funerary context of the inscription and the reference to a martyr shrine suggest a family tomb closely associated with relics of martyrs. There is evidence for such graves in Anatolia in Gregory of Nazianzus' Epigram 118 (dating to c.370, see E00339 and Leemans 2013, 199; Kalinowski 2011, 47-63), where he says that his uncle Amphilochos, his wife Livia and their son Euphemios were buried in a mausoleum whose upper floor housed a chamber where relics of some martyrs were deposited, and whose lower floor was used for burial. Another explanation is that Armenis had founded the martyrion in former times and was later recognised in his community as the founder. For a similar expression see: E00902 (+ ὑπερὶ εὐχῆς κὲ σωτηρίας Κάστωρος πρε(σβυτέρου) ὁ κτήσας τὸν ἅγιον Κύρικον), E01026 (Λονγῖνος Βαλιβαρδᾶς ὁ κὲ περιπυσάμενος τὸ ὐκτήριον τοῦ ἁγίου Μαμᾶ) and E01239 (Ἀνατολίῳ τῷ κτίσαντι τὸν ἅγιον Ἰωάννην). The foundation inscription can be dated to the period after 537 when dating by regnal year became compulsory in official documents and widespread elsewhere, see: Feissel 1993; Meimaris, Kritikakou, Bougia 1992, 357-380.


Edition: Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua I 323. Grégoire, H., "Inscriptions historiques byzantines", Byzantion 4 (1927-1928), 460-462. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 145: Further Reading: Destephen, S., "Martyrs locaux et cultes civiques en Asie Mineure", in: J.C. Caillet, S. Destephen, B. Dumézil, H. Inglebert, Des dieux civiques aux saints patrons (IVe-VIIe siècle) (Paris: éditions A. & J. Picard, 2015), 93. Feissel, D., "La réforme chronologique de 537 et son application dans l'épigraphie grecque: années de règne et dates consulaires de Justinien à Heraclius", Ktema 18 (1993), 171-188; reprint: Feissel, D., Documents, droit, diplomatique de l'Empire romain tardif (Bilans de recherche 7, Paris, 2010), 503-524. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 332 Kalinowski, A., Frühchristliche Reliquiare im Kontext von Kultstrategien, Heilserwartung und sozialer Selbstdarstellu (Spätantike – Frühes Christentum Byzanz 32, Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2011), 47-63. Leemans, J., "Individualisation and the Cult of Martyrs. Examples from Asia Minor in the Fourth Century", in: Rüpke, J. (ed.), The Individual in the Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 199. Meimaris, Y.E., Kritikakou, K., Bougia, P. (eds.), Chronological Systems in Roman-Byzantine Palestine and Arabia. The Evidence of the Dated Greek Inscriptions (Meletemata 17, Athens: Diffusion de Boccard (Paris), 1992). Trombley, F.R., Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529, vol. 2, (Leiden - New York - Cologne: Brill, 1994), 103. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 6, 292; 46, 1653.

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