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E01153: An ostracon with a fragmentary Greek inscription mentioning unnamed *Apostles, and possibly *Philip the Deacon and Evangelist (S00604). Found at Hierapolis (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-02-26, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
An ostracon, found near the Byzantine church, to the east of the agora.


[- - -] ἅγυ ἀπόστολυ τοῦ Χ[ριστοῦ - - -]
[- - -] ΜΗΥΟΡΓΟΥ ἡ καλο[υμένη - - -]

1. ἅγυ (= ἅγ<ι>οι) ἀποστόλυ τοῦ Χ[ριστοῦ Ritti, ἁγυ ἀπόστολυ τ(οῦ) Huttner || ἅγι ὑ ἀπόστολυ τοῦ Arthur || 2. ΜΗΥΟΡΓΟΥ ἡ καλο[υμένη Huttner, μη υοριου (?) ἡ χαλου[μένη Arthur

'[- - -] the holy Apostles of Christ [- - -] also called [- - -]'

Text: Arthur 2006, 121, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apostles (unspecified) : S00084 Philip the Deacon and Evangelist : S00604 Philip the Apostle, ob. 1st c. : S00109

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, 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)

Hierapolis Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



Paul Arthur, the first editor of the inscription, supposed that it mentioned a single, unnamed Apostle, whom he identified as Philip, since Hierapolis was a major place of his cult. However, Ulrich Huttner rightly points out that the word 'Apostle' in line 1 is in the plural form. Therefore, the inscription refers to a group of unspecified Apostles. The purpose of this fragmentary text is unclear. We hypothetically suggest that, providing that Huttner's reading is correct, line 2 may contain a quotation of Acts 8:10: οὗτός ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ καλουμένη Μεγάλη/'This man is the power of God called Great', here modified as οὗτός ἐστιν ἡ δύναμις τοῦ δη]μ<ιου>ργοῦ ἡ καλο[υμένη Μεγάλη/'This man is the power of the Creator called Great', instead of the regular form. A possible connection between our ostracon and the passage from Acts 8 is probable, as this chapter describes the encounter of Philip (probably the Deacon and Evangelist) with Simon the Magician. Another possibility, kindly suggested to us by Francesco Guizzi in a letter, is that line 2 contains a personal name.


Edition: Ritti, T., Storia e istituzioni di Hierapolis. Hierapolis di Frigia IX (Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2017), 228 (line 1). Arthur, P., Byzantine and Turkish Hierapolis (Pamukkale): an archaeological guide (Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2006), 121. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 934:

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity