Saint NamePantaleōn / Panteleēmōn, martyr of Nicomedia, during the Diocletian persecution of 305 : S00596
Saint Name in SourceΠαντελεήμων
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcAphrodisias in Isauria
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Aphrodisias in Isauria
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - MiraclesHealing diseases and disabilities
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - lesser clergy
Other lay individuals/ people
Merchants and artisans
Cult Activities - Cult Related ObjectsEx-votos
SourceA mosaic inscription set in the pavement at the east end of the south aisle of the 5th c. basilica sited near the harbour. H. 0.8 m; W. 1.6 m. It is at the top of a much larger mosaic, running along the aisle, which is decorated with depictions of birds, chalices, and baskets with fruits. The mosaics in the southern aisle were probably made by a different artisan than those in the nave.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates an offering, probably to the God of Saint Panteleemon, as a vow for the healing of the benefactor, a certain Sergios, son of Paulos and grandson of Olympios. The object of the offering was apparently the construction or restoration of a part of a church dedicated to the saint (for example a chapel and/or an aisle/stoa).
The inscription renders the name of the saint as Panteleemon (Παντελεήμων, literally the all-merciful), which is the name adopted by Pantaleon (Πανταλέων), future martyr of Nikomedia (Bithynia), after his conversion to Christianity. According to hagiographical accounts, Panteleemon was a renowned physician, highly regarded at the court of the Tetrarchs. He was convinced of the priority of miraculous healing over traditional, Hippocratic, medicine and was himself credited with miraculous cures. He was martyred in 305 and was venerated, both in the West and in the East, as one of the 'Holy Unmercenaries' (Hagioi Anargyroi). Therefore, he was quite reasonably asked by Sergios for healing.
Paulos, father of Sergios, is probably the person mentioned as a benefactor in two other mosaics from the church: of a mosaic at the altar (ψήφωσις τοῦ βήματος) and of an unspecified gift. The former offering was made for the salvation (σωτηρία) of Paulos and his household and the latter for healing. But even more important is the fact that Paulos is also called a ship-owner and merchant (ναύκληρος), which implies that we are dealing with a rich family of merchants, devoted to the cult of a specific saint and ready to support his healing sanctuary (for the mosaics of Paulos, see: 1) Budde 1987, 30; SEG 37, 1291; 2) Budde 1987, 28-29; SEG 37, 1290).
Lines 1-3 of the mosaic of Sergios contain the dedicatory formula. Ludwig Budde reconstructed the passage as εὐχαριστῶν τού[του καὶ] τοῦ ἁγίου Παντελεήμο[νος / 'giving thanks to hi[m and] to Saint Panteleemo[n', but Denis Feissel rejected this completion as making no sense. There are, however, other, more reasonable possibilities, for example following Feissel's suggestion: εὐχα|ριστῶν τῷ [θεῷ] τοῦ ἁγίου Παντελε|ήμο[νος/'giving thanks to the [God] of Saint Panteleemo[n' (or possibly with the genitive case incorrectly swapped for the dative: εὐχα|ριστῶν τοῦ [θεοῦ] τοῦ ἁγίου Παντελε|ήμο[νος, which is closer to the original reading; for formulas invoking the God of a saint; for formulas invoking the God of a saint, see E00790; E00841; E00844); or, less probably: εὐχαριστῶν τοῦ [οἴκου or εὐκτηρίου] τοῦ ἁγίου Παντελεήμο[νος / 'Giving thanks to the [church or oratory] of Saint Panteleemo[n' (for a similar expression, see E00792).
Lines 3-4 specify the object of the vow. Again, Budde proposed a rather unlikely reconstruction: ὑπὲρ τῆς] ̣εἰάσεος καὶ τῆς οἱγήάσε[ως τοῦ οἴκου] / 'For the] healing and the restoration of heal[th of the household', reasonably rejected by Feissel. Nonetheless, Feissel's proposition: ὑπὲρ τῆς] ̣εἰάσεος καὶ τῆς οἱγήάσε[ως ἐαυτοῦ] / 'For the] healing and the restoration of [his] heal[th', still contains an unnecessary repetition of two identical actions: healing and restoration of health. A better option is ὑπὲρ τῆς] ̣εἰάσεος καὶ τῆς οἱγήας (= ὑγίας) ἑ[αυτοῦ / 'For the] healing and [his] (long-lasting) health'.
The poorly preserved lines 5-6 apparently mention one more person, a lector. Therefore, line 6 was completed by Budde as παρὰ [τοῦ Ἰωάννου] τοῦ εὐλαβεστάτου ἀναγνώστου / 'by [Ioannes], the most pious lector', as a certain lector Ioannes is mentioned in another mosaic from the church (see: Budde 1987, 31; SEG 37, 1292). Feissel rightly opted for a different interpretation of these lines: ὄντος παρα[μοναρίου] τοῦ εὐλαβεστάτου ἀναγνώστου Κα[- - -]ς εἰ[ς] ̣τὸ ἔργον τοῦτο / 'When Ka[- - -]s, the most pious lector, was the guardian (paramonarios) of this building'.
For a 6th c. church probably dedicated to the saint in ancient Syia (Crete, close to south Anatolia), see: E01384.
Dating: 5th-6th c. (based on the contents).
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. Aph 9.
Budde, L. (ed.), St. Pantaleon von Aphrodisias in Kilikien (Recklinghausen: Bongers, 1987), 32.
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), 109.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 498 (improved reconstruction).
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 37, 1293.