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E01029: Floor-mosaic with a Greek inscription commemorating the restoration of the mosaic floor of the narthex of the seaside basilica at Anemourion (Isauria, southern Asia Minor) by a (probably burial) brotherhood, 'strengthened by the *Apostles'. Found at Anemourion. Probably 5th-6th c.

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posted on 28.12.2015, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
πρεσβίαις τῶν ἁγ(ίων) ἀποστόλων
ἐνεδυναμόθη τὸ αὐτὸ φιλιακὸ<ν> τõν
ἐνταῦθα, ἀνενέωσαν τὸ ἔργον τῆς ψη-
[φ]ώσεως τοῦ νάρθικος, εὐχ[ῇ] αὐτ<ῶ>ν ἐλε-
ηθῶμεν πάντες, μη(νὸς) Σεπτεμ[β](ρίου) ̣ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ε΄

'Through the intercession of the holy Apostles the same fellowship of the locals was strengthened; they renewed the work of the mosaic of the narthex; through their (the Apostles') prayer may we all be granted mercy; in the month of September, in the 5th indiction.'

Text and translation: Russell 1987, no. 11, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01029

Saint Name

Apostles (unspecified) : S00084

Saint Name in Source

Ἀπόστολοι

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Anemourion

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

Anemourion Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Hospital and other charitable institutions

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Miracles

Material support (supply of food, water, drink, money) Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Source

A mosaic framed by a tabula ansata, in the floor of the narthex of the seaside basilica at Anemourion (Isauria, south-eastern Asia Minor). H. 0.545 m; W. 1.51 m. We are grateful to Philipp Pilhofer for sharing with us his comments on this inscription.

Discussion

The inscription announces that a certain pious fellowship was strengthened through the intercession of the Apostles, and restored the floor-mosaics of the narthex of our church, probably as an ex-voto offering for help received. Unfortunately, we learn nothing about the reasons which made the organisation seek for the Saints' protection. James Russell stresses that φιλιακόν is actually a very rare word for a pious brotherhood, documented by just a few inscriptions and literary sources, among them: labels of collective tombs from Korykos in Cilicia (see E01062, E01063) and a passage from the Miracles of Saint Artemios (ed. Papadopoulos-Kerameus 1909, 21). In addition, a fragmentary inscription from Apollonia in Epirus (now in Albania near Pojani/Polina) probably uses an adjective derived from the term φιλιακόν to describe a 'shared grave guild' (συνταφικὸς θίασος, see I. Bouthrotos, no. 404). The text reads τὸ κοι[νὸ]ν τῶν | Μονοφιλια[κῶν] συν|ταφικοῦ θιά[σου], and, although Angelos Chaniotis argued for a different reading (Μηνοφιλια[κῶν], or 'founded by Menophilos', see SEG 57 557), it seems that the word is indeed used to name a religious association (thiasos) raising funds for the burial of its members. Russell notes that in our inscription the fellowship is designated as the same (τὸ αὐτό), which implies that there could have been similar bodies in the city. Furthermore, Russell believed that the epithet τõν ἐνταῦθα (those here or the local ones) referred to the Apostles and that the fellowship was named after them. Therefore, he translated the first two lines as: 'Through the intercession of the holy Apostles the same fellowship of the Apostles here was strengthened'. However, Hans Taeuber, in his review of Russell's work, reasonably points out that τõν ἐνταῦθα refers only to the fellowship and we should translate the passage as: 'Through the intercession of the holy Apostles the same fellowship of the locals was strengthened'. Lines 4-5 contain an interesting quotation of a liturgical text, parallel to a passage from the Liturgy of St. James: 'that we may all be granted mercy at their prayers and intercessions' / ὅπως εὐχαῖς καὶ πρεσβείαις αὐτῶν οἱ πάντες ἐλεηθῶμεν (see Brightman 1896, p. 35, lines 9-15; for a very similar formula, see E03129). For an inscription from Thessalonike (northern Greece) with a request for blessing of a guild, see: E01256.

Bibliography

Edition: Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. Anm 28. Russell, J. (ed.), The Mosaic Inscriptions of Anemurium (Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 13, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1987), no. 11. Further reading: Pilhofer, Ph., Das frühe Christentum im kilikisch-isaurischen Bergland (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 184, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 143-144. Taeuber, H., "[Review:] J. Russel, The Mosaic Inscriptions of Anemurium, Vienna 1987", Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik 39 (1989), 369-370. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 492. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 37, 1275; 39, 1420. For parallel phrasing, see: Brightman, F.E. (ed.), Liturgies Eastern and Western (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896) 35, lines 9-15. I. Bouthrotos, no. 404 = Cabanes, P., Faïk D (eds.), Corpus des inscriptions grecques d'Illyrie méridionale et d'Épire 2.2: Inscriptions de Bouthrôtos (Études épigraphiques 2, Athens: Fondation D. et E. Botsaris, Ecole francaise d'Athènes, 2007), no. 404. Cf. SEG 57 557. the Miracles of Saint Artemius - Διήγησις τῶν θαυμάτων τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ μεγαλομάρτυρος καὶ θαυματοργοῦ Ἀρτεμίου, in: A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus (ed.). Varia Graeca Sacra (Saint Petersburg, 1909), 21.

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