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E00793: Fragmentary Greek inscription on a lintel, with an invocation of *John the Apostle and Evangelist (S00042) asked to help a steward/oikonomos Isidoros. In the Museum of Izmir; said to be from Ephesos (western Asia Minor). Possibly 5th/7th c. according to the first edition, but most likely dating from the 10th or 11th c.

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posted on 2015-10-17, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ Θεολόγε βοήθει Ἰσηδώρῳ οἰκονόμῳ Ι[- - -]

1. οἰκονόμῳ [- - -] Orlandos, οἰκονόμῳ Ἰ[ωάννου] Grégoire

'+ O Theologian, help Isidoros, the steward/oikonomos (of a sanctuary?) of J[- - -].'

Text: IGC, no. 85.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Evangelist : S00042 John the Baptist : S00020

Saint Name in Source

Θεολόγος Ἰωάννης

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 Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Smyrna Ephesus

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

Smyrna Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Ephesus 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

Ecclesiastics – unspecified Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Inscription on a lintel, seen in the Museum of Izmir by Anastasios Orlandos before 1937 and said to have been brought there from Ephesos.


The inscription is an invocation of *John the Evangelist by an otherwise unattested ecclesiastical steward, Isidoros. Henri Grégoire hypothesises that he served in a monastery of *John the Baptist but this supposition is based only on the occurrence of an iota after the word oikonomos (which was not noted by Orlandos, the first editor of the inscription). In fact, there is no way to identify Isidoros' sanctuary. Dating: This kind of invocation is usually dated to the 5th or later centuries. Another terminus post quem may be the council of Chalcedon (451) as one of its canons states that a steward (oikonomos) must be appointed in every church. Orlandos ascribed it to the 6th c. The stone was recently revisited and re-examined by Georgios Pallis (2016, 391 note 11) who dates it to the 10th or 11th c., based on the style of the decorations.


Edition: Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 85. Orlandos, A.K., "Χριστιανικὰ γλυπτὰ τοῦ Μουσείου Σμύρνης’, Ἀρχεῖον τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος", 3 (1937), 133-134. Further Reading: Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 78. Pallis, G., "Τhe “speaking” decoration: Inscriptions on architectural sculptures of the middle Byznatine church", in: Stavrakos, Ch. (ed.), Inscriptions in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art. Proceedings of the International Symposium "Inscriptions: Their Contribution to the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art" (Ioannina, June 26-27, 2015) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag in Kommission, 2016), 391 note 11.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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