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E00812: Fragmentary Greek inscription with three partially preserved three legal decisions (an imperial letter probably of the emperor Justinian; a letter from a high-ranking Eastern official; and a letter probably from a governor of the province of Caria) concerning the ecclesiastical asylum at a sanctuary of *Gabriel the Archangel (S00192) in Miletos (Caria, western Asia Minor). Found in Miletos, probably 539-542.

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posted on 27.10.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Some names and formulae are in Latin:

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - τ]ῆς οἰκοδομῆς
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - τ]̣οῦ προσκυνητ̣ο̣ῦ
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - πρ]̣οσήκοντι εἰς σεβά-
[σμιον οἶκον - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - οὕτως] ̣τοίνυν ὅρων δικ-
[αι - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -καὶ οὐδ]εὶς ἐξελκύσι τοῦ
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - προει]ρ̣ημένων εἰσὶν
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]̣η. τὰ τοίνυν παρασ-
[τάντα ἡμῖν κ(αὶ) διὰ τοῦδε τοῦ θείου δηλούμενα τύπου ἥ] ̣τε σὴ μεγαλοπ̣ρ[έ-]
[πεια καὶ ἡ πειθομένη σοι τάξις παραφυλάττειν] εἰς τὸ διηνεκ̣ὲ[ς]
[σπευσάτωσαν, ποινῆς ἐπικειμένης quinque librarum au]ri {ΑΥΤΗ} κατὰ τ̣ῶ[ν]
[ταῦτα παραβαινόντων ἢ παραβαίνεσθαι συγχωρο]ύντων. Legi

[Fl(avius) - - - c. 35 letters - - - Pe]trus Paul(us) Iohann(es)
[- - - - - - - - - - Bonus (?). τὰ παρὰ τοῦ εὐσεβεστάτου ἡμ]̣ῶν βασιλέως
[θειωδῶς θεσπισθέντα κ(αὶ) ἐκ τῶν παρ' ἡμῶν μεγαλο]φυῶς ἐψηφισμέ(νων)
[βεβαιωθήσεται (?) - - - - - - - - - -. οὕτως τοίνυν ὁ σεβ]άσμιος οἶκος τοῦ
[ἐνδόξου ἀρχαγγέλου Γαβριὴλ ὁ] ̣δ̣ι̣α̣κ̣ί[μενος κατὰ ταύ]την τὴν λαμ̣π̣ρ̣ὰ̣ν
[Μιλησίων πό(λιν) μετὰ τῶν - - - - -]̣ντων εὐαγῶν ο[ἴκων περι]̣τιχισθήσετε κ̣α[τὰ]
[τὴν δύναμιν - - - - - τῶν προ]κείμενων θεί[ων συλλαβ]ῶν, οὐδενὸς ἀφ[αι-]
ροῦντος τοὺς ἐκεῖσε κατ]αφεύγοντας εἰ μ̣ὴ [- - - - - - - - - - -]ύοιντο κατα̣τ . .
[- - - - - - - - - - - - -]̣αν θείαν νομοθεσία̣ν [τῶν αὐτ]ῶν σκίπτρων·
[ταύτην δὲ τὴν ἀσφά]λιαν ἕξι κατὰ τὸν τρ̣ό[πον τῶν] ἀσύλων ὅρων
[οὐ μόνον οὗτος ὁ σεβ]άσμιος οἶκος τοῦ ἐνδ[όξ(ου) ἀρχα]γγέλου Γαβριὴλ
[ἀλλὰ κ(αὶ) ἕξι τὴν αὐτὴν χ]άριν τὸ χω(ρίον), τούτων πα̣ρ[αφυλατ]̣τομένων παρὰ ̣τ[οῦ]
[ἄρχοντος κ(αὶ) τῆς πε]ιθομένης αὐτῷ τ̣άξ[εως κ(αὶ) π]άσης κατὰ τόπο̣ν
[πολιτικῆς κ(αὶ) δημοσί]̣ας βοηθίας, οὐ μὴν ̣ἀ[λλὰ κ(αὶ) Ὑ]̣ακίνθου τοῦ ὁσιωτ(άτου)
[ἐπισκό(που) κ(αὶ) τοῦ ὑπ' αὐτὸ]̣ν εὐαγοῦς κλήρου, ΕΥΑ. . . .ης <ἠ>πιλημένης ἐν ̣τ[ῇ]
[αὐτῇ θείᾳ νομοθεσίᾳ πέ]̣ν̣τε τοῦ χρυσίου λιτ[ρῶν π]̣οινῆς vacat Fl(avius) Marian(us)
[Michaelius Gabrielius (?) - - - ]ẠỊI( ) CO[- - - I]ohann(es) Patricius
[v(ir) sp(ectabilis) com(es) et cons(ularis) - - - παντα]χόθεν ἀντιστῆ(ναι) (?)
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ]̣τίαν ἐνκομιάσιε(ν)
[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - π]̣α̣νταχοῦ

3. σὺν τῷ πρ]οσήκοντι Grégoire || 4-5. δικ[αίως Grégoire || 5. τοὺς Grégoire || ἐξελκύσι = ἐξελκύσει || 6. εἴπερ τῶν προει]ρημένων Grégoire || 7-8. ταῦτα πά]ντα τοίνυν παρα[φυλάσσειν (?) Grégoire || 10. καὶ οἱ ὑ]π' αὐτῇ κατὰ τό[πον Grégoire || 11. ἄρχοντες (?) κατὰ τῶν ἀδικο]ύντων Et [Fl(avius) Grégoire || 13-14. κατὰ τὰ τοῦ εὐσεβ. ἡμῶ]ν βασιλέως [προσ]φυῶς ἐψηφισμέ[να Grégoire || 16. τιακα Grégoire || λαμπ[ροτάτην πόλιν Grégoire || διακίμενος = διακείμενος || 17. περιτιχισθήσετε = περιτειχισθήσεται || 18. θεί[ων ὅρων or χαρακτήρων Wenger || ἀσ[ Grégoire || 19. δ]υοῖν (?) τὸ κατὰ Grégoire || 20. νέ]αν θείαν Grégoire || σκίπτρων = σκήπτρων || ἄ]διαν or ἀσυ]λιαν ἔξι Grégoire || 22. τοῦ ἐνδ[οξ(οτάτου) ἀρχαγγέλου Γαβριήλ (?)] Grégoire || 23. χάριν ΤΟΧΤ\Ω/ΟΥ τῶν Grégoire || γομένων παρα Grégoire || 26. κλήρου εὐλ Grégoire || ἐπιλημένης lapis || ἐν[τεῦθεν Grégoire || 28. pat[r]icius Grégoire || 29. παντ]αχόθεν Grégoire || 30. ̣ΙΑΝ γκομιάσιε Grégoire, ἐνκομιάσιεν = ἐγκωμιασείεν

'I: [- - - ] of the edifice [- - -] of the worshipper [- - -] for that which befits the rever[end house of - - -]. Now, the boundaries [- - -] and nobody shall drag out [- - - - - - - -] the aforementioned [- - - - - - - -]. May your magnanimity [and the officials subordinate to you hasten to] continuously [guard] our de[cisions which are being proclaimed by this divine sanction and the fine of 5 librae of go]ld [shall threaten] anyone who [would break this law or would tolerate it being broken] – I read it.

II: [Flavius - - - Pe]trus Paulus Ioannes [Bonus: The things divinely decreed by o]ur [most pious] emperor [are confirmed by our magnanimo]usly declared [decisions. The rev]erend house of [the glorious archangel Gabriel, which] lies [at] the glorious [city of the Milesians, together with its] charitable [houses,] shall be surrounded by walls ac[cording to the power of] the mentioned [order]. No one [shall drag away those who would] seek refuge [there and if - - - according to] the divine orders of their sceptres. [Not only the re]verend house of Gabriel the glor[ious archangel] shall be [sec]ured according to the cus[tom] of inviolable boundaries, [but also] the village [shall share this grace]. This law shall be maintained by [the governor] and by his officials and by all the local [municipal and st]ate services, but also by the most pious [bishop] Hyakinthos [and all his] charitable clergy [- - -] the fine of 5 librae of gold prescribed [by this divine law].

III: Flavius Marianus [Michaelius Gabrielius - - -] Iohannes Patricius [vir spectabilis, count and consular - - -] would resist anywhere [- - -] (?).'

Text: Milet VI/3, no. 1576. Translation: P. Nowakowski.

History

Evidence ID

E00812

Saint Name

Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192

Saint Name in Source

Γαβριήλ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Canonical and legal texts

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

539

Evidence not after

542

Activity not before

539

Activity not after

542

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Miletus

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

Miletus Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Awarding privileges to cult centres

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Officials Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Source

Grey marble stele broken into three parts (A-C). A+B: H. 0.7 m; W. 0.28 m; Th. 0.075-0.08 m. C: H. 0.29 m; W. 0.28 m; Th. 0.075-0.08 m. Fragments A and B were found in 1906 by Albert Rehm in the proximity of the Bay of Lions near Miletos (Caria, western Asia Minor); fragment C was found in obscure circumstances in Miletos itself. Currently kept in the Izmir Archaeology Museum.

Discussion

The inscription is very badly preserved, which is why its contents were misinterpreted by the first editor, Henri Grégoire (see IGC, no. 220bis) and then by Leopold Wenger, a renowned scholar of Roman law (see Wenger 1931, 448-450). Both of them supposed that the document rendered by the inscription was a written record (a minute) of a lawsuit before the court of a governor of Caria. The plaintiff (or his advocate) allegedly complained that the privilege of ecclesiastical asylum awarded to an oratory of *Gabriel the Archangel in Miletos had been violated by certain authorities or individuals. However, Denis Feissel (see comments in Milet VI/3, no. 1576 and Feissel 2010, 329-338) argues that the inscription offers us three documents, issued by different authorities and inscribed one under another. All of them concern the same subject, i.e reaffirming the privilege of asylum due to an oratory of Gabriel. This is explicit and clear from Text I, line 5, referring to 'dragging one out of the safe zone' (οὐδ]εὶς ἐξελκύσι), and Text II, lines 21-22, referring to a reverend house of Gabriel the archangel and boundary stones delimiting the zone protected by the privilege of asylum (ὁ σεβ]άσμιος οἶκος τοῦ ἐνδ[όξ(ου) ἀρχα]γγέλου Γαβριὴλ). The first document is apparently an excerpt from an imperial constitution. The wording in ll. 7-11 closely resembles that of Justinianic Novels issued between 535 and 541. Moreover, the first paragraph ends with the Latin word 'Legi' ('I read it', i.e.: 'I acknowledge it') which was a typical ending of imperial decisions, very popular in the 6th c. Only the emperor himself and the quaestor sacri palatii had the right to use it (as a kind of a countersign). It seems that the document (a pragmatic sanction?) takes the form of a letter addressed to a high-ranking official and not directly to a provincial governor or bishop. The second document begins in l. 12. It was issued by an official of high rank, probably a praetorian prefect of the East or an equally important dignitary (see PLRE 3, Iohannes 21). Given the timeframe established by the first document (535-541), one could consider the prefect of the East John of Cappadocia (532-541), but his full name, Flavius Marianus Michaelius Gabrielius Archangelius Iohannes, does not fit the remnants of the name of the official, preserved in l. 12: 'Pe]trus Paul(us) Iohann(es)'. For this reason Denis Feissel proposes that the person in question may be Flavius Bonus (see PLRE 3, Bonus 1), whose full name is unknown. He was the prefect of Illyricum in 533 and then supervisor of a peculiar grouping of Eastern provinces, detached from the prefecture of the East in 536 and called quaestura exercitus. As Caria was one of the provinces placed under his command in the discussed period, the supposition is very convincing. The first part of the document gives an account of the emperor's resolutions. Then the authorities responsible for securing that imperial orders would be obeyed are enumerated: the governor, his officials, as well as municipal auxiliary staff. Interestingly the bishop of Miletus, Hyakinthos (see PCBE 3, Hyakinthos), is also mentioned and he is the only person whose name is given, which may mean that he was the one who had made an appeal to the emperor to protect the sanctuary. The third document is almost completely lost. Feissel supposes that it was issued by a governor of Caria, and that some of his names are extant in lines 27-28: 'Fl(avius) Marian(us) | [Michaelius Gabrielius (?) - - - ]ẠỊI( ) CO[- - - I]ohann(es) Patricius'. Grégoire and Martindale (see PLRE 3, Iohannes 22) claimed that he was of the patrician rank, but Feissel argues that the word 'patricius' is rather the main personal name of the governor as a patricius would be very unlikely to hold the post a consularis of Caria. Dating: 539-542. The terminus ante quem is established based on the fact that after 542 the wording of Justinian's novels changes and becomes very different from that used in our inscription. The terminus post quem may be established based on the list of governors of Caria. The governor mentioned in lines 27-28 of our inscription could be in office only after the governorship of a certain Nonnos which ended in 538.

Bibliography

Edition: Feissel, D., Documents, droit, diplomatique de l'Empire romain tardif (Bilans de recherche 7, Paris, 2010), 329-338. Milet VI/3, no. 1576. Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 220bis. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1785: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1785 Further Reading: Amelotti, M., Luzzatto, G.I., (eds.), Le costitutioni giustinianee nei papiri e nelle epigrafi (Milan: Giuffrè, 1972), 93, no. 15. Amelotti, M., Migliardi Zingale, L., (eds.), Le costitutioni giustinianee nei papiri e nelle epigrafi (Milan: Giuffrè, 1985), 105-107, no. 17. Destephen, S., Prosopographie du Diocese d'Asie (325-641) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 3, Paris: Association des amis du centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2008), Hyakinthos. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 340. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 3, Bonus 1; Fl. Ioannes 21; Fl. Ioannes 22. Wenger, L., "Ὅροι ἀσυλίας", Philologus 86 (1931), 448-450. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2006), 549. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 58, 1342.

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