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E01011: Greek inscription on a boundary stone granted probably by the emperor Justinian to a sanctuary of unidentified martyrs *Prokopios and *Ioannes/John. Found near Verinopolis (Galatia, central Asia Minor). 527-565.

online resource
posted on 2015-12-21, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
κατὰ θεῖ-
ο̣ν θέσ-
τοῖς ἁγί-
οις μάρ-
κ(αὶ) Ἰωάννι

'Boundaries granted to (the church of) the holy martyrs Prokopios and John, according to the divine constitution.'

Text: Studia Pontica III/1, no. 254.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Prokopios from Scythopolis, martyr in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00118 John, a blind Egyptian martyred in Palestine, ob. 309 : S00647 John (unspecified) : S00043

Saint Name in Source

Προκόπιος Ἰωάννης Ἰωάννης

Type of Evidence

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


  • 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)

Verinopolis Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Seeking asylum at church/shrine

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family


Stone block, seen and copied by J.G.C. Anderson in 1899 at Babali, to the north of Kerkennis Kale (area of ancient Verinopolis, Galatia, central Asia Minor). When recorded, it was kept in the yard of a house. There is no published detailed description of the monument.


The inscription marked the boundaries of a church or an estate belonging to a church dedicated to martyrs Prokopios and John. Franz Cumont, the first editor, suggested that Prokopios was to be identified with the homonymous martyr of Kaisareia/Caesarea Maritima (Palestine), killed under Diocletian and mentioned by Eusebius (E00296). He was famous for being the first Diocletianic martyr in that region. As for John, Cumont identified him with a blind Egyptian, likewise martyred in Palestine and known to Eusebius (E00388), or with the person who tore the copy of the edict initiating the Great Persecutions, publicly displayed in Nikomedia (Eus. HE VIII 5). However, these suppositions lack any justified basis, and François Halkin rightly avoids any attempt to identify the martyrs. Given the location of the inscription, it is possible that Prokopios was the martyr of Kaisareia in Cappadocia, a companion of Quartus, recorded in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (see: E02766). But a pair of local martyrs is also possible. Dating: 527-565, as the phrasing of the inscription resembles that of boundary stone inscriptions granted by the emperor Justinian (e.g. E00976; E00996).


Edition: Anderson, J.G.C., Cumont, F., Grégoire, H., Studia Pontica, vol. 3, part 1: Recueil des inscriptions grecques et latines du Ponte et de l'Arménie (Brussels: Lamertin, 1910), no. 254. Further reading: Amelotti, M., Migliardi Zingale, L., (eds.), Le costitutioni giustinianee nei papiri e nelle epigrafi (Milan: Giuffrè, 1985), 132, 135. 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), 104. Feissel, D., Documents, droit, diplomatique de l'Empire romain tardif (Bilans de recherche 7, Paris, 2010), 48. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 95-96. Reference works: Delehaye, H., "Bulletin des publications hagiographiques", Analecta Bollandiana 30 (1911), 336.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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