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E00826: Greek building inscription for a church founded to the glory of God, Jesus Christ and *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030), by Basilios, a bishop presumably of Mylasa (Caria, western Asia Minor). Found in a ruined church near Mylasa. Probably 5th or 6th c.

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posted on 31.10.2015, 00:00 by erizos
+ εἰς δόξαν (καὶ) τιμὴν τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ (καὶ)
σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰ(ησο)ῦ Χ(ριστο)ῦ (καὶ) τοῦ
ἁγίου πρωτομάρτυρος Στε-
φάνου Βασίλιος ὁ ὁσιώτ(ατος) ἡμῶν
ἐπίσκο(πος) ἐκ θεμελίων ἔκτισε
(καὶ) διεκόσμησεν·(καὶ) ἐπληρώ-
θη τὸ ἔργον μην(ὸς) θ΄ (ἰ)νδ(ικτιῶνος)
δ΄ εὐτυχεστ(άτης) +

7. (ἰ)νδ(ικτιόνος) Grégoire || 8. εὐτυχεστ(άτης) Grégoire, εὐτυχέστ(ατα) Blümel, Doublet & Deschamps

'+ Basilios our most holy bishop built it from the foundations and embellished it for the glory and splendour of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and saint Stephen the First Martyr. And the building was completed on the 9th month (of the calendar of the province of Asia, i.e. Panemos), in the 4th indiction, the most lucky one +.'

Text: I. Mylasa, no. 621. Translation: P. Nowakowski.

History

Evidence ID

E00826

Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

Στέφανος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

650

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

650

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Mylasa

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

Mylasa Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Source

Marble slab found in Şeyhköy near ancient Mylasa (Caria, west Asia Minor), in the ruins of a small church. This church, which was certainly associated with Stephen (as our inscription proves), has been linked with a story in the Life of *Eusebia (also known as Xene), set in the 5th century. In the Life, near Mylasa 'Xene founds an oratory for Stephen the First Martyr. And soon she establishes there a monastery of virgins, and she entrusts the care of it to Paul (a local presbyter)' (ἔνθα καὶ οἶκον εὐκτήριον Ξένη Στεφάνῳ τῷ Πρωτομάρτυρι ἀνιστᾷ. ἐντὸς δὲ ὀλίγου χρόνου καὶ παρθένων συνίστησι μοναστήριον, τῶν ἱερῶν τοῦ Παύλου φροντίδων καὶ αὐτὸ ἀναρτήσασα) (Vita sanctae Eusebiae (BHG 634), PG 114, col. 990; Nissen 1938), see $E07857.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the building of an unnamed structure (presumably the church in which it was found) to the glory of God, Jesus Christ and the First Martyr Stephen, by Basilios, a bishop, presumably of Mylasa (see PCBE 3, Basilios 7). Basilios is most probably the founder of yet another sanctuary dedicated to saints near Mylasa (an oratory of *Sergios and Bakchos in Hammam Mahallesi, see E00827), which is a very rare case, as provincial founders are rarely documented as involved in multiple undertakings. Dating: the inscription was tentatively dated to the 6th c. by Henri Grégoire, the editor of IGC and then Wolfgang Blümel, the editor of Die Inschriften von Mylasa. A 5th or 6th c. date is probable.

Bibliography

Edition: Die Inschriften von Mylasa, no. 621. Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 239. Doublet, G., Deschamps, G., "Inscriptions de Carie", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 14 (1890), no. 16. Kontoleon, A.E., "Ἐπιγραφαὶ τῆς Ἐλασσονος Ἀσίας", Athenische Mitteilungen 14 (1889), no. 71. Further reading: 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), Basilios 7. 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), 88. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 84. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 317. For the Life of St. Eusebia vel Xene, see: BHG 633-4. Nissen, Th., (ed.), "Sanctae Eusebiae seu Xenae vita", Analecta Bollandiana 56 (1938), 106-117.

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