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E00733: Greek inscription recording a vow made by 'the villages and people' of *Tryphon (martyr of Nikaia/Nicaea, S00439). Found near Alexandreia Troas (Hellespontus, north-west Asia Minor). Probably late antique (5th-8th c.).

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posted on 2015-09-23, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ὑπερὶ εὐχῆς τῶν
χωρίων καὶ τοῦ
λαοῦ τοῦ ἁγίου Τρύ-
φωνος καὶ τῶν
καρποφορούντων ἐν
αὐτῷ καὶ πάντων
τῶν ὔκων αὐτῶν
ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα ὁ θεὸς
ἐπίστατε. ἅγιος,
ἅγιος, ἅγ<ι>ος ὁ θεός.
βοήθησον ἱμῖν, ἀμήν

'On behalf of the vow of the villages and people of Saint Tryphon, and of those who made offerings in it (?), and of all their households whose names God [alone] knows. Holy, holy, holy. God help us! Amen.'

Text: I. Alexandreia Troas, no. 187. Translation: F.R. Trombley, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Tryphōn, martyr of Phrygia (ob. c. 250) : S00439

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

Eski Stambul

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

Eski Stambul Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



The inscription was found in Ezine, next to the site of the ancient Alexandreia Troas. It was reused in the enclosure-wall of the Sefer-Şah-mosque. Then it was moved to a builder's yard. Currently it is lost. Its form and dimensions are unknown.


The inscription records a vow made by a group called 'the villages and the people of St. Tryphon', presumably people living on an estate belonging to a church or monastery dedicated to the saint, and refers to offerings - presumably these villagers have vowed an offering (perhaps to St. Tryphon himself) in return for supernatural aid. Alexandreia Troas is close to the coast in northwestern Asia Minor. The cult of Tryphon perhaps reached this area only after his relics were transferred to nearby Constantinople from his native Phrygia, thereby suggesting a terminus post quem for our inscription. The first sanctuary dedicated to this saint in the capital is attested under the emperor Justinian (E04420; see: Janin 1969, pp. 488-490, nos. 1; 2; 6). A monastery of Tryphon (μονὴ τῶν Τρύφωνος / μονὴ τοῦ ἐν ὁσίοις Τρύφωνος), which existed there already in 488, is unlikely to be named after the martyr, but rather after its founder (see: Janin 1969, 490). There are no other dating criteria for our inscription.


Editions: Felle, A.E., Biblia epigraphica. La sacra scrittura nella documentazione epigrafica dell'«Orbis christianus antiquus» (III-VIII secolo) (Bari: Edipuglia, 2006), no. 468. Die Inschriften von Alexandreia Troas, no. 187 Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 2. LBW 1740D 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), 88. Janin R., La géographie ecclésiastique de l’Empire byzantin, vol. 1: Le siège de Constantinople et le patriarcat oecuménique, part 3: Les églises et les monastères (Paris: Institut français d'études byzantines, 1969, 2nd ed.), 488-490. Trombley, F.R., Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529, vol. 2, (Leiden - New York - Cologne: Brill, 1994), 112-113 Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 75. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 250.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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