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E01152: Greek epitaph, mentioning a saint, probably *Konon (one of the several homonymous martyrs of Anatolia), perhaps invoked as a guardian of a tomb. Found near Tavium (Galatia, central Asia Minor). Probably 5th/6th c.

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posted on 2016-02-25, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[- - -]
ΚΙC Παύλου θυ-
γάτηρ· ἅγιος Κό-
[νων ὧδ' ἐστιν (?)]

2-3. ἅγιος Κό|[νων ὧδ' ἐστιν (?)] Mitchell

'[- - -] daughter of Paulos. Saint Konon (?) [is here (?)]'

Text: I. North Galatia, no. 486.


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 - 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


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

Tavium Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Other lay individuals/ people


A pale limestone slab. H. 0.62; W. 0.38 m. Seen in July of 1977 by David French at the village of Gündoğdu near Tavium, at House 43.


The fragment comes almost certainly from an epitaph, composed for a woman. Line 2 contains the word holy (ἅγιος), followed by the letters ΚΟ, which allows for the reconstruction of the name Konon. 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). Stephen Mitchell suggests that the saint was probably invoked here to protect the grave from desecration, and hypothetically completes the lost line, based on other Christian imprecations, as ἅγιος Κό|[νων ὧδ' ἐστιν (?)] / 'Saint Ko[non is here]' (as a guardian of this place). Of course this is not the only possibility. Ulrich Huttner supposes that the lost line could contain an invocation with the formula: βοήθει / help! Dating: probably 5th-6th c. (based on the lettering and contents).


Edition: I. North Galatia, no. 486. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 2496: 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), 102.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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