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E00931: Greek inscription commemorating the burial of *Paulos (martyr of Derbe in Asia Minor, S00613). Found near Derbe (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor). Probably 3rd or very early 4th c.

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posted on 2015-12-04, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
καὶ Οὐαλέ-
ριος ἐκόσ-
μησαν Παῦ-
λον τὸν μάρ-
μ(νήμης) χ(άριν)

'Nounnos and Valerios gave due honours to Paulos the martyr. In memory.'

Text: Laminger-Pascher 1992, no. 10.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paulos, martyr in Derbe (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor), ob. 3rd or 4th c.? : S00613

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions


  • 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)

Derbe Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Ceremonies at burial of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


A limestone plaque found on a small hill at Emir Han, to the south-west of Güdelisin (area of Derbe, Lycaonia, central Asia Minor), near the road to Laranda, close to the ruins of probably a church. H. 0.9 m; W. 0.96 m; Th. 0.31 m. letter height 0.03-0.04 m. Said to have been brought from Çürük Ümü Ören. The front face is decorated with carvings of three aediculae. They were partially erased in order to engrave the inscription. It seems that the plaque is a reused pre-fabricated grave-stone, that was at some point inserted in a wall of a building.


The inscription refers to 'Paulos the martyr', an otherwise unattested figure. It records literally the embellishment of Paulos. The formula 'embellished' (ekosmesan) is popular in 3rd c. Lycaonian epitaphs and the word is used there in the meaning 'give due honours (to the deceased)'. Therefore, the inscription is considered as an original, certainly pre-Constantinian, epitaph of a martyr by the editors of Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum and by Denis Feissel. Also Margaret Ramsay commented: “the formula with the verb ἐκόσμησαν is common in the epitaphs of Lycaonia about the third and fourth centuries; and it is natural to infer that this stone was, like the rest of the Dorla monuments, a grave stone, and not a mere honorary inscription in a building erected at a later date to a martyr of former times”. But she also considered the possibility that the plaque had been mounted on a wall of a supposed martyr shrine of Paulos later in the 4th c., as the inscription differs palaeographically from local 3rd c. inscriptions (see: Ramsay A.M. 1906, p. 62). Margaret Ramsay suggested that the stone is of Dorla (Isaura Nova, c. 10 miles to the west of Derbe) and not of Derbe type, which means that it was perhaps brought from a workshop at Dorla. If the inscription was intended to foster the cult of Paulos, here is no evidence that this occurred. Dating: 3rd-4th c. (based on the supposition that the inscription commemorated the embellishment of the tomb of a local martyr).


Edition: Laminger-Pascher, G. (ed.), Die kaiserzeitlichen Inschriften Lykaoniens, vol. 1: der Süden (Denkschriften, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse. Ergänzungsbände zu den tituli Asiae Minoris 15; Denkschriften, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse 232, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1992), no. 10. Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua VIII, no. 200. Ramsay, A.M., "Isaurian and East-Phrygian art in the third and fourth centuries after Christ", in: W.M. Ramsay, Studies in the History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman Empire (Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1906), 60-62. Paris, P., Radet, G.A., "Inscriptions de Pisidie, de Lycaonie et d'Isaurie", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 10 (1886), no. 18. Inscriptionae Christianae Graecae database, no. 644: Further reading: Delehaye, H., Les origines du culte des martyrs (Bruxelles : Société des Bollandistes, 1912), 191. 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), 65, note 14; 89. Mendel, G., "Catalogue des monuments grecs, romains et byzantins du Musée Impérial Ottoman de Brousse", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 33 (1909), 348. Mitchell, St., Anatolia. Land, Men and Gods in Asia Minor, vol. 2: The Rise of the Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), 65. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 388. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 42, 1247.

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