Saint NameMichael, the Archangel : S00181
Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192
Raphaēl, the Archangel : S00481
Istrael : S00690
Saint Name in SourceΜιχαήλ
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after650
Activity not before400
Activity not after650
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcHierapolis
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Hierapolis
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceA slab found by William Mitchell Ramsay in 1888 at Thiounta, near Hierapolis (Phrygia, central Asia Minor). Ramsay gives no description of the object.
DiscussionThe inscription begins with an invocation of God, followed by five letters alpha and the names of four archangels. Ramsay supposed that the alphas stood for five abbreviated words ἅγιος and that each of them should have corresponded to an archangel, so one of the figures was missing. One can, however, interpret them as quasi-magical invocations or erroneously enumerated vowels corresponding to heavenly spheres that were often associated with archangels. For a similar case, see E00810 (Miletos, Caria / Karia, western Asia Minor).
Ramsay, W.M., Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. 1, part 2: West and West-Central Phrygia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), 541, no. 404.
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1117: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1117
Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 330-331.