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E01082: Greek inscription recording the fulfilment of a vow made to *Konon (one of the several homonymous martyrs of Anatolia). Found near Lamos (Cilicia, south-east Asia Minor). Probably 5th-6th c.

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posted on 2016-01-16, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
εὐξάμενοι οἱ τέσσα-
ρες ἀδελφοὶ υἱοὶ Ἀ-
ρουαρα τὴν εὐχὴν
ἀπέδωκεν τῷ ἁ<γί>ῳ
+ Κόνωνει +

'Four brothers, sons of Arvaras (?), having made a vow to Saint Konon, fulfilled it.'

Text: Hicks 1891, no. 38.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Konōn, gardener martyr in Magydos of Pamphylia : S00177 Konōn, martyr in Iconium of Lycaonia (central Asia Minor) : S00429 Konōn, martyr in Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) : S00430

Saint Name in Source

Κόνων Κόνων Κόνων

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


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

Lamos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Children Other lay individuals/ people


Probably a slab. There is no published description of the object. Copied by James Bent in 1890 at a village with a fortress, near Tapourelü (area of ancient Lamos), and published by Edward Hicks in 1891.


The inscription commemorates the fulfillment of a vow made to Saint Konon by four brothers. There are three Anatolian saints, who bore the name Konon, and we don't know which one is referred to. *Konon, martyr of Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) was said to have lived in the times of the Apostles (1st/2nd c.). He enjoyed the special protection of *Michael the Archangel and led a life of holiness. He was credited with working many miracles. *Konon of Magydos (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor) was a gardener and martyr under the emperor Decius. It is claimed that he came from Nazareth and was a relative of Christ (if this declaration is to be taken literally, and not as a metaphor for the Christian religion, creating a bond between the followers and the Saviour). *Konon, martyr of Iconium (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor) died under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The object of the vow is not mentioned. Interestingly, the brothers do not specify their names, they only identify themselves by the name of their father, Arvaras/Arouaras. This is probably a Semitic name, although Wuthnow's dictionary Die semitischen Menschennamen, pp. 26 and 167 does not mention this transcription, cf. ibidem, p. 167 for comments on: Arwad Αρουαδος, Αρουαδη: רוד. For that name, see also IGLS 15/2, no. 316: Αρου<α>δος (south Syria). On p. 167 Wuthnow mentions also the name Arwaḥ = Αρουαος, e.g. IGLS 13/2, no. 9871 (territory of Bostra). The formula εὐξάμενος τὴν εὐχὴν ἀπέδωκε (having made a vow, he fulfilled it) is frequent in Christian inscriptions from Anatolia (especially in Cilicia and Isauria), the Aegean Islands, and Syria. The closest parallel to our text is the inscription on a silver lamp-holder from the 'Kaper Koraon/Ḥamāh Treasure' published in IGLS V, no. 2034 (EXXXXX), which is a vow made to *Sergios by four brothers: Sergios, Symeon, Daniel, and Thomas, sons of Maximinos (εὐξάμενοι τὴν εὐχὴν ἀπέδωκαν τῶ | ἁγίου Σεργίου καὶ Βάχχου· | + Σέργις (καὶ) Συμεὼν (καὶ) Δανιὴλ (καὶ) Θωμᾶς | υἱοὶ Μαξιμίν(ου) κώμης Καπροκοράων). For other examples, see: Hicks 1891, no. 8 (near the so-called Olbian cave; the foundation of a church as a vow, probably made to God by a layman for the repose of himself and his children); Hicks 1891, no. 37 (over a window of a Byzantine church at Tapourelü; a vow made probably to God by a deacon); I. Cilicia, no. 19 (Korykos; a vow made probably to God by two laymen for the salvation of themselves and their households), dedication on a reliquary cross from Seleucia (either Seleucia ad Calycadnum in Isauria or Seleucia Pieria near Antioch-on-the-Orontes = IGLS 3/2, no. 1211), and on a lamp-holder of unknown provenance, dedicated to a saint John (E03504), housed in the Archaeological Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum (SBF) in Jerusalem (see Bianchi 2014 and BE (2016), 531). We do find this formula also in 2nd c. pagan dedications in Lydia, in west Asia Minor: on a marble stele dedicated to the river-god Hermos at Kalınharman near Thermai Theseos (SEG 57, 1229: Ἕρμῳ ἐπηκόῳ [Ἀλέ]|ξανδρος εὐ[χὴν ἀ]|πέδωκεν), and in pagan confession inscriptions from Ayazviran (Iaza) in (SEG 57, 1172-1174). For comments on similar joint dedications in pagan Aramaic inscriptions in north Syria and modern Iraq, see T. Kaizer, T. "Familiar strangers: gods and worshippers away from home in the Roman Near East", in: M. Blömer, A. Lichtenberger & Rubina Raja (eds.), Religious Identities in the Levant from Alexander to Muhammed, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015), pp. 21-22 (e.g. a dedication by five brothers, 'Palmyrenes who live in Nazala', to the 'great god of Nazala', etc.). Dating: probably 5th or 6th c. (based on the contents).


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. Lam 14. Hicks, E.L., "Inscriptions from western Cilicia", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 12 (1891), no. 38 (after Bent's copy). 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), 108. Mietke, G., "Monumentalisierung christilcher Heiliger in Kilikien in frühbyzantinischer Zeit", Olba 17 (2009), 123. For parallel formulas, see: Hicks, E.L., "Inscriptions from western Cilicia", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 12 (1891), nos. 8, 37. I. Cilicia - Dagron, G., Feissel, D. (eds.), Inscriptions de Cilicie (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), no. 19. Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (IGLS) V, no. 2034 (EXXXX).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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