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E00800: Greek epitaph for Makedonios, the Nicene bishop of Magnesia ad Sipylum, persecuted by the Arians, who is said 'to have followed in the footsteps of the *Apostles'. Found near Apollonis (Lydia, western Asia Minor), 378.

online resource
posted on 2015-10-19, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
(christogram) ἴχνεσιν ἀποστόλων ἐπιβὰς ἀνὴρ ὧδε ἐν σαρκεί τε μὴ κατὰ σάρκα ἱερατευ-
σάμενος καὶ ταύτῃ μακάρων ἀτραποὺς ἐλθὼν ἐνθάδε σκῆνος ἐνθέου ψυχῆς ἀπολέλυπεν,
πολὺς μὲν λάμψας ἀσκήσει, πολὺς δὲ ἀγάπῃ γενάμενος ἐπίσκοπος θεῖος· ὃς δὴ καὶ κατὰ πά-
σης αἱρέσεως ὁπλισάμενος τὴν ἀληθῆ τῶν πατέρων τῆς καθολικῆς ἐκλησίας διεσώσατο <πίστιν>,
Μακεδόνιος οὗτος, λαμπρὸν ἐντάφιον ἐπὶ τέλει καὶ τὸ κατὰ τοῦ ἀνομοίου δαί[μονος]
ἐν πολλοῖς τοῖς ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ διωγμοῖς ἀπενενκάμενος κλέος

1. + Fontrier, (χρ) Duchesne Guarducci || 4. <πίστιν> Duchesne, [πίστιν] Guarducci || 5. ἐπιτελεῖ Fontrier Duchesne, Foucart, ἐπὶ τέλει Grégoire

'The man lying here followed in the footsteps of the Apostles and, though in the flesh, he conducted his priestly life not according to the flesh. He thus took the paths of the blessed and left here the vessel of his God-inspired soul. He shone greatly in asceticism, and was a bishop of God greatly distinguished for his love. Armed against every heresy, he rescued the true (faith) of the fathers of the Catholic Church. This is Makedonios who ultimately earned as a splendid epitaph also the triumph over the Anomoean demon, through the numerous persecutions (which he suffered) for Christ.'

(ed. TAM V/2 1406, trans. E. Rizos, P. Nowakowski)


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apostles (unspecified) : S00084

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)

Apollōnis Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Heretics


Red marble sarcophagus found in Paşaköy (near Apollonis in Lydia, western Asia Minor). L. 1.76 m; W. 1.08 m.


The epitaph praises the bishop Makedonios. For his career see PCBE 3, Makédonios 1. He was once thought to have been the bishop of Apollonis in Lydia, western Asia Minor (see Guarducci 1967, 399) as it was one of the closest episcopal sees to the find-spot, but Sylvain Destephen argues that Makedonios' see was rather Magnesia ad Sipylum. He concluded so based on the road network of the Lydian countryside. Makedonios is shown as a person who fiercely fought for the Nicene creed. He was many times harassed by the Arians (ἐν πολλοῖς τοῖς ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ διωγμοῖς) but he did not buckle. One can guess that the author of the epitaph meant the persecution of Nicene bishops under the emperor Valens or a campaign against Lydian Arians in early 360s. Besides, Makedonios excelled in faith and in priestly duties, and so he was justly called the man who 'followed in the footsteps of the *Apostles' (ἴχνεσιν ἀποστόλων ἐπιβὰς). Though he was certainly a very pious, religious, and moreover persecuted man, Makedonios is not called a saint or martyr by the author of the epitaph. ll. 1-2: the expression ἐν σαρκεί τε μὴ κατὰ σάρκα ἱερατευ|σάμενος refers to the writings of *Paul the Apostle: Rom 8,12: ὀφειλέται ἐσμὲν οὐ τῇ σαρκὶ τοῦ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆν, εἰ γὰρ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆτε, μέλλετε ἀποθνῄσκειν and 2 Cor 5,16: ὥστε ἡμεῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν κατὰ σάρκα κ.τ.λ. Dating: If Makedonios is the identical with the homonymous bishop known to the pope Liberius, his death must postdate 366. Destephen adds that the author of the epitaph claims that the Arian heresy has already vanished which may indicate that Makedonios died after the council of Constantinople (381).


Edition: Felle, A.E., Biblia epigraphica. La sacra scrittura nella documentazione epigrafica dell'«Orbis christianus antiquus» (III-VIII secolo) (Bari: Edipuglia, 2006), no. 487. TAM V/2 1406 Guarducci, M. (ed.), Epigrafia greca, vol. 4: Epigrafi sacre pagane e cristiane (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato - Libreria dello Stato, 1978), 398-400. IGC 333(bis). Foucart, P.-F., "Exploration de la plaine de l'Hermus par M. Aristote Fontrier", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 11 (1887), no. 7. Duchesne, L., "Macédonius, évêque d'Apollonias en Lydie", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 11 (1887), 311-317. Fontrier, A., "The Hyrcanian Plain" [in Greek], Μουσεῖον καὶ Βιβλιοθήκη τῆς ἐν Σμύρνῃ Εὐαγγελικῆς Σχολῆς 5 (1885-1886), no. 559. Further Reading: PCBE 3, Makédonios 1. Rapp, C., Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity. The Nature of Christian Leadership in an Age of Transition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 291. Robert, J., Robert, L., Hellenica. Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 6: Inscriptions grecques de Lydie (Paris: La librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient Adrien Maisonneuve, 1948), 63-64. Robert, L., Hellenica. Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 10: Dédicaces et reliefs votifs, villes, cultes, monnaies et inscriptions de Lycie et de Carie. Inscriptions et topographie. Inscriptions de Phocée et des Dardanelles, Péripolarques, monnaie de Thibron (Paris: La librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient Adrien Maisonneuve, 1955), 232 n. 1. Duchesne, L., "Macédonius, évêque d'Apollonias en Lydie", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 11 (1887), 311-317. BE (1991), 727; (1949), 159.

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