Saint NameJohn the Baptist : S00020
Saint Name in SourceἸωάννης ὁ Βαπτιστῆς
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Literary - Poems
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after600
Activity not before500
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcKana
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Kana
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsSeeking asylum at church/shrine
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesMonarchs and their family
SourceA boundary stone of a church of St. John the Baptist, found by William Ramsay 'on the Lycaono-Cappadocian border'. First published by William Calder.
DiscussionThe inscription marked the boundaries of an estate belonging to a church John the Baptist. The editors of the eleventh volume of Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua argue that the same church was mentioned in a boundary stone inscription found in Κana itself, which was first published by Thomas Callander and which they republished themselves (see $Ε00928).
Interestingly, our inscription begins with a unique introductory formula, referring to an unnamed emperor: 'The power of God and the hand of the emperor' / δύναμις θ(εο)ῦ καὶ χὶρ βασιλέως. It resembles two verses from a poem by Gregory of Nazianzus, praising the grace of God and emperors' hands that authorise pious privileges: εἰ μὴ μόνῳ σοι τοῦτο ἐκ θεοῦ γέρας / ὡς ἃ γράφει χεὶρ βασιλέως πρὸς χάριν (Carmen de se ipso 12, v. 479-480; PG 37, col. 1201). Given the Anatolian background of both the poem and our boundary stone, we may conclude that its author was inspired by Gregory's poetry. Other boundary stone inscriptions usually begin simply with the phrase: 'Boundaries (of the church) of Saint etc.' / ὅροι τοῦ ἁγίου κ.τ.λ.
Dating: probably 6th c. as other boundary stones of saints' shrines are usually authorised by 6th c. emperors.
Calder, W.M., "Julia-Ipsus and Augustopolis", The Journal of Roman Studies 2 (1912), 264.
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1499: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1499