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E01046: Greek inscription describing a city, presumably Diokaisareia, as the 'city of Saint *Loukios' (probably a local martyr, S00657). Found at Diokaisareia/Diocaesarea (Isauria, southern Asia Minor). Probably late 5th or 6th c.

online resource
posted on 2016-01-02, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
The first word is written as a cross-shaped monogram:

(πόλις) τοῦ ἁγίου Λουκίου +

'The city of Saint Loukios +'

Text: MAMA III, no. 75.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Luke, the Apostle : S00442 Loukianos, Antiochene priest martyred in Nicomedia, ob. 310/312 : S00151 Loukios, martyr of Diokaisareia in Isauria, ob. 3rd c.? : S00657

Saint Name in Source

Λουκίος Λουκίος Λουκίος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • 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

Diokaisareia in Isauria

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

Diokaisareia in Isauria Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Towns, villages, districts and fortresses

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos


A large block which is smoothly worked on its upper face, suggesting that it comes from the top of a structure. H. 0.52 m; W. 1.74 m; Th. c. 0.54 m; letter height 0.055-0.065 m. The first word is written as a cross-shaped monogram. Recorded in 1914, to the south-west of the Peribolos, on the site of ancient Diokaisareia.


This laconic inscription tells us that a certain city, presumably Diokaisareia where the inscription was found, was the 'city of Saint Loukios'. Josef Keil and Adolf Wilhelm, the first editors of the inscription, sought Hippolyte Delehaye's advice on how to interpret the monument, but the renowned hagiographist was unable to identify the saint. He speculated only that Loukios could be a local, previously unknown, martyr. On the basis of this, Keil and Wilhelm suggested that a large cemetery church, located in the middle of the so-called Tomb Valley at Diokaisareia (see MAMA III, 60) could have been the martyr shrine of this Loukios. The western wall of the church was merged with the rock face and equipped with a squarish, c. 3 m deep, niche, located opposite the apse, and was identified by Keil and Wilhem as a martyr's grave, probably dating to the 3rd c. At least one arcosolium grave was also found in the western wall of the northern nave, perhaps a burial ad sanctos. All of this is possible, but, of course, highly speculative. In 1933 Henri Grégoire briefly commented on the inscription. He noted that, though the name Loukios/Lucius occurs several times in martyrologies and synaxaries, it is impossible securely to identify our Loukios with one of these figures. He also noted that the name 'Diokaisareia', deriving from the genitive of the name of Zeus, could have been unacceptable to Christians, and could have prompted a full name-change for the city, for instance to 'Loukiopolis' (the city of Saint Loukios). Such a change occurred in several cities, such as Aphrodisas in Caria, originally named after the goddess Aphrodite, but renamed 'Stauropolis' (the city of the Cross) in the Byzantine period. It is just possible that the inscription refers to well-known saints, whose names are normally spelled slightly differently: *Luke the Evangelist (Λουκᾶς), or to *Loukianos/Lucian of Antioch (Λουκιανός, see E01020). Dating: Based on the lettering the inscription was dated to the late 5th or 6th c. The earliest cross-shaped monograms appear under the emperor Justin I (518-527).


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. OlD 97. Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua III, no. 75. 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), 81, 108. Grégoire, H., "Comptes rendus: Monumenta Asiae Minoris, tomes III et IV", Byzantion 8 (1933), 755. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 88. Mietke, G., "Monumentalisierung christilcher Heiliger in Kilikien in frühbyzantinischer Zeit", Olba 17 (2009), 121.

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