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E00792: Greek dedicatory inscription for a mosaic or a building offered in gratitude by a scholastikos Martyrios to an oratory of *Theodore (presumably the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480). Found at Ödemiş but probably from the area of ancient Hypaipa (western Asia Minor). Possibly the late 4th / 5th c.

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posted on 2015-10-17, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ Μαρτύριος ὁ ἐλλογι-
μώτατος σχολασ-
τικὸς καὶ λαμπρ(ότατος) ἀπὸ λη-
γάτον εὐχαριστῶν
τῷ εὐκτηρίῳ τοῦ
ἁγίου Θεοδώρου ἐκα-
λιέργησεν τὸ ἔργον
τοῦτο + (ivy leaf)

'+ Martyrios, the most eloquent scholasticus and the clarissimus former legatus offered this work (a mosaic or a building) to the oratory of Saint Theodore, giving thanks +.'

Text: I. Ephesos, no. 3823.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Theodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480

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)

Hypaipa Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives



Plaque found in modern Ödemiş, reused in the floor of a school kitchen. Most probably brought there from the area of ancient Hypaipa (western Asia Minor).


This is the dedicatory inscription for a mosaic or an unnamed structure, offered by a certain Martyrios (scholastikos and former legatos) in gratitude to a sanctuary of Theodore, almost certainly the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita in Pontus, who had widespread cult in this period. The title σχολαστικός was bestowed upon people who completed studies in law. The other title of Martyrios: 'the former envoy' (ὁ ἀπὸ ληγάτων) is puzzling. Henri Grégoire (see: IGC, no. 1244) points out that officially there was no such honorific title during the Later Roman Empire. One can only guess that Martyrios was an envoy of his city, possibly sent to an emperor as two other municipal inscriptions mention similar posts (see: IGR III, no. 828, where a ληγᾶτος τῆς πόλεως is mentioned and CIL V, no. 5894 with a reference to a causidicus chosen as a legatus), but Bengt Malcus points out that a man of λαμπρότατος / clarissimus rank was a too important person to act as a common municipal envoy. He plausibly suggests that our Martyrios was probably an envoy (legatus) of a governor of the province of Asia, acting on his behalf regarding less important issues (see: Malcus 1967, 112, n. 6). The inscription was apparently carved sometime after he had resigned from this position, but still styled himself as a former envoy of the proconsul (usually governors designated more than one envoy, hence ὁ ἀπὸ ληγάτων). Furthermore, Malcus noted that a certain Martyrios, a man of Pisidian origin and reportedly 'a harmless and peaceful person', was known to Libanius (Oratio I 159) who said that he was accused of abusive management by Festos, consularis Syriae under the emperor Valens. The point is that the accusation itself was meant to indirectly discredit Eutropios, governor of the province of Asia. Malcus considers this link as a plausible argument for the identification of our Martyrios with that of Libanius. This would imply that our Martyrios served under the proconsul Eutropios (369 – spring 372) and erected our inscription thereafter.


Edition: Die Inschriften von Ephesos, no. 3823. Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 124(4). Schultze, V., Altchristliche Städte und Landschaften, vol. 2, part 2 (Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1926), 84, n. 4. Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, no. 8872. 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), 87. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 80. Malcus, B., "Die Prokonsuln von Asien von Diokletian bis Theodosius II", Opuscula Atheniensia 7 (1967), 112, 140. Die Prosopographie der mittelbyzantinischen Zeit, no. 4863 (\b).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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