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E01035: Greek inscription labelling a rock-cut chamber tomb belonging to a monastery dedicated probably to *Thekla (follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092). Found at Seleukeia/Seleucia ad Calycadnum (Isauria, southern Asia Minor). Probably late 5th-6th c.

online resource
posted on 2015-12-30, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Label of a rock-cut chamber tomb:

+ παραστατικὸν
τῆς μονῆς τῆς ἁγίας [Θέκλας (?) - - -]

'+ Tomb of the monastery of Saint [Thekla (?) - - -].'

Text: Åström 1990, no. 2.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Thekla, follower of Apostle Paul : S00092

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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Seleucia ad Calycadnum

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

Seleucia ad Calycadnum Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Inscription engraved on the rock face, above the entrance to a rock-cut chamber tomb in a cemetery to the south of Silifke (ancient Seleucia ad Calycadnum, Isauria, south-eastern Asia Minor). Letter height: 0.033 m. The tomb was explored by Paul Åström in the 1950s.


The inscription labels a rock-cut chamber tomb. Paul Åström read in line 1 only one word, παραστατικόν, and was unable to say, whether it was followed by the name or names of the deceased, buried there. The inscription is, however, understandable even without these names, as the label of a collective tomb belonging to a monastery. Moreover, we have several similar labels of collective graves from Isauria and Cilicia, which specify only the institutional owner and say nothing about the buried people (see E01045, E01061, E01063, E01064, E01065, E01068, E01070). Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that line 1 is complete. Åström guessed that the female patron saint of the monastery, was Thekla, follower of the Apostle Paul, as Seleukeia/Seleucia was her primary cult centre. For an epitaph of nuns from a local monastery of *Thekla, see E01037. The tomb is called παραστατικόν, which can be literally translated as 'fit for standing by'. This (as well as θήκη παραστατική) was a term used to designate tombs that is peculiar to Seleukeia. Dating: If the monastery, mentioned in the inscription, was connected to the sanctuary of Thekla at Seleukeia, re-founded by the emperor Zeno, the inscription must postdate the 460s/470s. But cf. Pilhofer 2018, 169, note 351 where the author is skeptical about the restoration of the name of this saint.


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. Sel 154. Åström, P., "Greek inscriptions from Seleukia in Cilicia", in: Teodorsson, S.-T., (ed.), Greek and Latin Studies in memory of Cajus Fabricius (Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1990), no. 2. 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), 169, note 351. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 501. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 40, 1311.

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