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E00744: Greek inscription on a marble slab, apparently a gaming table, with a request for help for an association (συνοδία) and for a prison guard, addressed to *Michael (the Archangel, S00181). Found in Ephesos (western Asia Minor). Probably late antique (5th-8th c.).

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posted on 2015-09-28, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[+ ἀρχάγγελε] Μιχαὴλ Δορυλοσκωμῆτα, βοή-
[θησον τῆς συν]οδίας ταύτης κ(αὶ) τοῦ καβικλαρίου Θι-
[- - - - - ἀρχάγγ]ελε (?) Παυκωμῆτα, βοήθησον τῆς ΥΤΑ-
[- - - - - - - - ] ταύτης vacat

1. possibly [+ ἅγιε (?) ἀρχάγγελε] Feissel || 2. possibly βοή|[θησον πάσης (?) τῆς συν]οδίας Feissel || 3. possibly ἀρχάγγελε Μιχα]ὲλ Ἐπαυκωμῆτα Feissel, possibly ἀρχάγγ]ελε (?) Παυκωμῆτα || 3-4. possibly τῆς <σ>υ<ν>τά|[εως] Feissel || 1-4. ]Μιχαηλ δορυλοσκῳ, μεταβοή|[θησον συν]οδίας ταύτης κ(αὶ) τοῦ καβικλαρίου Θ.[- - -|- - -]ελεπαυκῳ μεταβοήθησον τῆς υτα[- - -|- - -] ταύτης I. Ephesos

'[+ O Archangel] Michael of Doryloskome, help this synodia and the prison guard Thi[- - - O Archangel (?)] of Paukome, help [- - -] this [- - -]!'

Text: I. Ephesos, no. 1347; here we present a new transcription kindly shared by Denis Feissel in a letter dated 17.09.2016, and revised in a letter dated 17.05.2018.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements 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)

Ephesus Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials Other lay individuals/ people


Part of a blue marble plaque assembled from five fragments. Broken and lost at the top and on the left-hand side. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.63 m; W. 0.80 m; Th. 0.09 m; letter height 0.026 m. The text is accompanied by two rows of rectangles which make the plaque look like a board for the ludus latrunculorum game. There is no published image. Recorded by Joseph Keil in 1907, and published in the fourth volume of Die Inschriften von Ephesos after Keil's transcription. In 1991 two of the inscribed fragments were still identifiable in the epigraphic store. The text presented here is a new transcription kindly shared by Denis Feissel. This will be included in a collection of Christian inscriptions from Ephesos, to be published by Feissel in Tyche in 2020.


The inscription is an invocation of Michael the Archangel. The saint is invoked on behalf of a synodia (an association, or the entire community of citizens) by a person pursuing the profession of καβικλάριος. The editors of Die Inschriften von Ephesos believed that he held the post of a cubicularius and the word was misspelt, but Denis Feissel points out that καβικλάριος (or καπικλάριος = Latin clavicularius) in fact means a prison guard (see I. Cilicia, p. 224 and SEG 37, 915). The second word in line 1, apparently an epithet of Michael, was printed by the editors of Die Inschriften von Ephesos as ΔΟΡΥΛΟCΚΩ and left without interpretation. Denis Feissel suggests that Michael was named here Δορυλοσκωμήτης, an epithet coined after the name of a village, the site of a church dedicated to the Archangel. Feissel originally pointed out that Michael was possibly invoked again in line 3, this time as Ἐπαυκωμήτης, but this restoration of line 3 presupposes that the name of the Archangel would be spelt with ε instead of η which is a very uncommon spelling error. Perhaps one should complete the line: ἀρχάγγ]ελε (?) Παυκωμῆτα/'O Archangel of Paukome!' (accepted by Feissel in a letter dated 17.05.2018). Whether these villages were situated in the territory of Ephesos or the province of Asia is not clear.


Edition: Feissel, D., "Invocations à saint Michel sur une tabula lusoria" (forthcoming). Die Inschriften von Ephesos, no. 1347. Further Reading: Dagron, G., Feissel, D. (eds.), Inscriptions de Cilicie, (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), 224. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 37, 915.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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