University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E00811: Greek inscription commemorating embellishment of an oratory of *Michael (the Archangel, S00181) at Miletos, by the care of Kyriakos, patriarch of Constantinople (595-606), Romanos, presbyter, procurator and defensor of the Great Church of Constantinople, and Georgios, man of illustris rank and member of the scrinium. Found in Miletos (Caria, western Asia Minor), 595-606.

online resource
posted on 2015-10-26, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
A: + ἐγένετο πᾶσα ἡ φυλοκαλία τοῦ εὐκτηρίου [το]ῦ
ἀρχαγγέλου Μιχαὴλ προνουοῦντος δὲ Κυριακοῦ
τοῦ ἁγιοτάτου καὶ τρὶς μακαριοτάτου ἰοκουμεν-
ηκοῦ πατριάρχου καὶ Ῥομ vacat ανοῦ τοῦ θεοφη-
λεστάτου πρεσβ(υτέρου), προκουράτορος καὶ ἐκλησιεκδίκου τῆς
μεγάλης ἐκ̣λ̣η[σί]ας Κουσταντηνουπό(λεως) κ(αὶ) Γεοργίου τοῦ λα(μπροτάτου)
B: καὶ σκρινιαρίου + Κ(ύρι)ε βοήθη πᾶσι{ι}ν τῦς
καλιεργῆτες + + καὶ Σωτηρίχ(ῳ) τõͅ {τοῦ} τα-
πινõͅ μοναχῷ, ἀμὴν γένυτο +

1. φυλοκαλία = φιλοκαλία || 2. πρωνουοῦντος Grégoire, προνουοῦντος = προνοοῦντος Herrmann || 3-4. οἰκουμεν|ηκοῦ Grégoire, ἰοκουμεν|ηκοῦ = οἰκουμεν|ικοῦ Herrmann || 4. Ῥομανοῦ Grégoire || 4-6. the text from τοῦ to the end of l. 6 is written on rasura || 6. ἐ[κλησί]ας Grégoire, ἐκ̣λ̣η[σί]ας Herrmann || λα(μπαδαρίου) Herrmann Grégoire || 7-8. τῦς καλιεργῆτες = τοῖς καλ(λ)ιεργέταις Herrmann || 9. μοναχõͅ Grégoire, μοναχῷ Herrmann || γένυτο = γένοιτο Herrmann

'+ All the decoration of the oratory of Michael the Archangel was done by the care of Kyriakos, the most holy and thrice blessed ecumenical patriarch and Romanos, the most loved-by-God presbyter, procurator and defensor of the Great Church of Constantinople, and Georgios, man of clarissimus rank and member of the scrinium. + O Lord, help all the donors + + and Soterichos, the humble monk! Amen, let it be so.'

Text: Milet VI/2, no. 1007. Translation: P. Nowakowski, E. Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

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)

Miletus Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Officials


Two white marble blocks, originally set one above the other, found in Miletos (Caria, western Asia Minor) but erroneously ascribed to Didyma by Grégoire. For the correct identification of the find-spot, see Robert 1960, 493-494. Block A: H. 0.227 m; W. 2.15 m; Th. 0.375 m. Block B: H. 0.255 m; W. 15 m; Th. 0.185 m. There are traces of red paint in the letter grooves.


The inscription commemorates an embellishment of an oratory of *Michael the Archangel, though it is not specified whether the oratory is a chapel or an independent sanctuary. As it was found in Miletos, we can suppose that we are dealing with a shrine located in the city. For a possible identification of the church, see Scheibelreiter-Gail 2011, 313-314. Several prominent figures are mentioned as benefactors: Lines 2-4 include a reference to a patriarch Kyriakos, almost certainly the patriach of Constantinople, Kyriakos II (595-606). His name is placed in a sentence with the particle δέ (προνουοῦντος δὲ Κυριακοῦ) which is normally very unlikely to occur in the first sentence of a text. In addition, examination of the surface of the stone shows that some letters could have been erased at the beginning of the inscription. For these reason Henri Grégoire and Peter Herrmann supposed that yet another founder, of even higher status than Kyriakos, had been originally mentioned at the very beginning of the inscription. This could be the emperor Maurice, whose memory was erased by Phocas after 602. In lines 4-6 we find a reference to Romanos, presbyter, procurator and defensor of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. The last benefactor, mentioned in lines 6-7, is Georgios. His actual function is a matter of dispute, because his first title is abbreviated and line 6 is the last line of Fragment A. Henri Grégoire hypothesised, that there could be one missing line between the fragments. Based on this hypothesis, he tried to identify Georgios as the pretorian prefect mentioned by Theophylact in c. 599 (see PLRE 3, Georgius 46) and reconstructed a missing line with his titles as: λα|[μπροτάτου ἐπάρχου τῶν ἱερῶν πραιτωρίων]. However, close examination of the edges of the fragments shows that they perfectly match each other which makes the hypothesis, that one line is missing, hardly acceptable. Lines 8-9: After the list of benefactors, a monk (Soterichos) is mentioned. His actual role is uncertain. Perhaps he was commissioned with embellishing the shrine or he cut the inscription onto the stone. Status of the oratory: Grégoire stresses that the inscription does not mention any bishop of Miletos, which could mean that the sanctuary was of the stauropegion type, i.e. it was exempted from the regular hierarchy and depended directly from the patriarch of Constantinople. Dating: Much the best dating evidence for this inscription is the name of the patriarch of Constantinople, Kyriakos, mentioned as one of the supervisors of the building in lines 2-4. As Peter Herrmann suggests, this must be Kyriakos II (patriarch 595-606); the only late antique bishop of Constantinople bearing this name.


Edition: Herrmann, P. (ed.), Milet. Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899, vol. 6: Die Inschriften von Milet, part 2 (Berlin – New York 1998), no. 1007. Grégoire, H., Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 225. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1767: Further Reading: Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 83. Robert, L., Hellenica. Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 11-12 (Paris: La librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient Adrien Maisonneuve, 1960), 493-494. V. Scheibelreiter-Gail, Die Mosaiken Westkleinasiens. Tessellate des 2. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. bis Anfang des 7. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. (Vienna: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2011), 313-314. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1961), 652.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager