Saint NameDīos, presbyter and martyr in Kaisareia of Cappadocia : S01043
Saint Name in SourceΔῖος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before527
Evidence not after565
Activity not before527
Activity not after565
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcBasilica Therma
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Basilica Therma
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 stone block resembling a column base, used as a boundary stone. It was found by a peasant at Sarikaya/Terzili Hamam (area of ancient Basilica Therma, Cappadocia, eastern Asia Minor) and communicated to Father Girard, a French missionary in Tokat. First edited by Franz Cumont in 1902, from Girard's notes. There is no published detailed description of the object.
DiscussionThe inscription is from a boundary stone of a church, or an estate belonging to a church, dedicated to a martyr Dios. Franz Cumont rejected the possibility that our Dios could be the homonymous priest from Alexandria (Egypt), who died together with Peter, bishop of Alexandria, under Maximinus Daia (see Eus. HE VIII 13,7 and E00318). On the other hand, Cumont was ready to consider Dios as a martyr of Kaisereia/Caesarea in Cappadocia, whose feast was celebrated on 12 July together with Cornius/Cornisius and Laventius (see AASS, 12 VII and E04879). Martyrologies spell his name as Divus or Dius, our inscription may indicate that the latter form is correct. The Syriac Martyrology of 411 names him a presbyter (see: E01514; 12 June). For a similar case, where an obscure martyr of Kaisareia is attested by both the Martyrologium and a local inscription, see E02766.
The wording of the inscription poses several problems and, unfortunately, we have no photograph to verify the credibility of Girard's copy. The first two lines of the copy read +ΟΤΟΠΟCΑΓΙΟΥΚΕ|ΕΝΔΟCΟΥΜΑΡΤΥΡΟC. This can be of course understood as ὁ τόπος <τοῦ> ἁγίου κὲ ἐνδό<ξ>ου μάρτυρος / 'The place (i.e. church) of the holy and glorious martyr'. However, Girard and subsequent editors preferred to correct the phrase to ὅ<ρ>ο<ι τοῦ> ἁγίου κὲ ἐνδό<ξ>ου μάρτυρος / 'Boundaries (of the church) of the holy and and glorious martyr', given that the singular form of the noun τόπος was not in concord with the plural form of the participle παρασχεθέντες/'granted', that occurs in line 3, and normally refers to boundary stones.
It seems that lines 5 and 6 also need corrections. Girard's copy says that the name of the emperor Justinian, contained in this section of the text, was preceded by the title ΒΑCΙΛΕΩΝ ΒΑC. Again Cumont rejects the possibility that we are dealing with the Persian royal title βασιλέων βασ(ιλέως)/'of the King of Kings' and supposes that the copy erroneously renders Justinian's nomen gentile Flavius, abbreviated as ΦΛS.
Dating: 527–565, based on a reference to the emperor Justinian.
Amelotti, M., Migliardi Zingale, L., (eds.), Le costitutioni giustinianee nei papiri e nelle epigrafi (Milan: Giuffrè, 1985), 133.
Leclercq, H., "Sinope", in: Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 15 (Paris: Librarie Letouzey et Ané, 1913), col. 1493.
Cumont, F., "Nouvelles inscriptions du Pont", Revue des Études Grecques 15 (1902), no. 23.
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), 100.
Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 91.