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E01167: Greek inscription with an invocation of an unnamed *Archangel, found at Sakaeli Köyü (Paphlagonia, northern Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-03-02, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ ἀρχάγ[γελε c. 4-6 letters]
φύλατε τὸ̣ν ̣δοῦλ[ον - - -]
ΘΙΝ [ c. 2-3 letters]

1. + ἀρχάγ[γελε Μιχαηλ (?)] Metcalfe || 2-3. Ἀ]θιν[ίον (?) Metcalfe

'+ O, Archan[gel - - -], guard [your (?)] servant [- - -]!'

Text and translation (lightly modified): M. Metcalfe in: Matthews, Metcalfe & Cottica 2009, 202, no. PPI3.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements


  • 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

Sakaeli Köyü

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

Sakaeli Köyü Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


A capital with carved crosses pattée in circles and scroll-work. Broken on top. H. 0.485 m; W. 0.505 m; Th. 0.475 m; diameter 0.3 m. The inscription is written on one face. Letter height 0.045-0.05 m. Found in the front yard of a house, during a survey conducted by members of the Project Paphlagonia: archaeological and historical survey in north-central Turkey (University College London) in the modern provinces of Çankırı and (partially) Karabük, between 1997 and 2001, directed by Roger Matthews. A squeeze is kept in the British Institute at Ankara. A photograph is published in the edition of the text.


The inscription is an invocation of an archangel. Michael Metcalfe supposes that the lacuna in line 1 is long enough to accommodate the name of the archangel, most probably Michael. The lacuna at the end of line 2 is very short. Metcalfe supposes that the beginning of the name of the dedicant was present there, but if so, there is no room for the pronoun σου/'your', referring to the noun 'servant', which is common in this kind of invocation. Metcalfe argues that the pronoun could be understood in this case or the noun 'servant' was abbreviated. Line 3 contains remnants of the name of the dedicant. The sequence of letters ΘΙΝ was not frequent in Greek names, and, therefore, the completion Ἀθινίος is plausible. Dating: 'Byzantine', claimed by the surveyors; the term may refer to both the late antique and middle Byzantine periods.


Edition: Matthews, R., Metcalfe, M., Cottica, D., "Landscapes with Figures: Paphlagonia through the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods, 330BC - AD 1453", in: Glatz, C., Matthews, R., At empire's edge: Project Paphlagonia: regional survey in North-Central Turkey (London: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 2009), 202, no. PPI3. Further reading: Izdebski, A., Rural Economy in Transition: Asia Minor from Late Antiquity into the Early Middle Ages (Journal of Juristic Papyrology. Supplement 18, Warsaw: University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Admistration, Chair of Roman Law and the Law of Antiquity; University of Warsaw, Institute of Archaeology, Department of Papyrology; The Raphael Taubenschlag Foundation: 2011), 90-91. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 59, 1461.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity