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E01026: Greek epitaph for a person who had built an oratory of *Mamas (probably the martyr of Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia, S00436). Found at Limnai near Sasima and Nazianzus, to the south-west of Kaisareia/Caesarea (Cappadocia, central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2015-12-27, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ ἐνθάδε κατάκιτε Λονγῖνος Βα-
λιβαρδᾶς ὁ κὲ περιπυσάμενος
τὸ ὐκτήριον τοῦ ἁγίου Μαμᾶ·
τὸν θεὸν ἡμῖν· ὁ ἀναγινώσ-
κων, εὔξαστε ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ

3. ὐκτήριον = εὐκτήριον, του κτηριον Levides || 4. τὸν θεὸν ἡμῖν or more probably = τὸν θεὸν ὑμῖν, a form of adjuration (Feissel, in a letter dated 17.09.2016) || 5. εὔξαστε = εὔξαι or εὐξάσθω

'+ Here lies Longinos Balibardas, who built the oratory of Saint Mamas. May God be with us! You who are reading it, pray for me!'

Text: Robert 1946, 156.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mamas, martyr in Kaisareia/Caesarea of Cappadocia : S00436

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 Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Limnai

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Kaisareia/Caesarea in Cappadocia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Limnai Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


A slab found in the ruins of a Christian building at Gülcük (ancient Limnai near Sasima and Nazianzus, to the south-west of Kaisareia). There is no published description.


The inscription is the epitaph of a certain Longinos Balibardas. The fact that Longinos built an oratory dedicated to a saint serves here as his primary identifying characteristic – beside this, we learn nothing about his social status or wealth. For other inscriptions, where people are identified in the same way, see E00902 (Kastor who built a sanctuary of the martyr *Kyrikos), E00710 (Armenis who built an unspecified martyr shrine, probably also of the martyr Kyrikos), and E01239 (Anatolios, who built a church dedicated to *John, unspecified). Interestingly, the shrine built by Longinos, is not called a martyrion but an oratory (εὐκτήριον). Perhaps it was just a chapel and not an independent building. The shrine was dedicated to Mamas, most probably the martyr of Kaisareia in Cappadocia, praised in sermons by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus (see E00719 and E00912). The phrase τὸν θεὸν ἡμῖν, which we find in line 4, can be understood either as ὁ θεὸς ἡμῖν / 'may God be with us' or τῷ θεῷ ἡμῶν / 'for our God' (as the functions of the dative case were being gradually taken over by the accusative case in Late Antiquity). Louis Robert and François Halkin preferred the former option, as they compared the phrase with the formula τὸν θεόν σοι· μὴ ἀδικήσεις / 'may God be with you, so that you may not sin', quite frequent in Phrygian epitaphs. It is also possible that the pronoun ὑμῖν was here swapped for ἡμῶν, which is frequent in late antique inscriptions.


Edition: Robert, L., Hellenica, Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 2 (Paris: La librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient Adrien Maisonneuve, 1946), 156. Levides, Α.Μ., Αἱ ἐν μονολίθοις μοναὶ τῆς Καππαδοκίας καὶ Λυκαονίας / Hai en Monolithois monai tēs Kappadokias kai Lykaonias (Kōnstantinoupolei: Typois Alexandrou Nomismatidou, 1899), 173. Further reading: 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.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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