Saint NameGeorge, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259
Saint Name in Source[Γ]ε[ώ]ργιος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after1300
Activity not before500
Activity not after1300
Place of Evidence - RegionAegean islands and Cyprus
Aegean islands and Cyprus
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcMytilene
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Mytilene
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
SourceThe inscription was found in a field, near Telonia (Antissa), close to Mytilene, inside a small shrine (sacellum), apparently dedicated to Saint George. Seen and copied by Comaghi. The copy was forwarded to Adolf Kirchhoff for publication in the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum.
DiscussionThe inscription contains an invocation of the God of Saint George, asked to protect a certain Staurakios and all who 'remember the grace' of the saint. The latter expression is especially interesting, as it may refer to the promise, made by God to George, shortly before his death as a martyr. It is extensively described in the Greek 'epic' Martyrdom of George (see E06147), and is also present in the other language-versions of the text (see, for example, E06307 on the Syriac translation).
George's wish is the following: "Lord God, grant me this petition that whoever shall be in torture or in fear or having a terrifying dream and remember my name shall have what is good, and evil hateful visions shall depart from him. Lord God, grant to my name and to my bones that everyone who shall be engaged in a dangerous law-suit and remembers me shall come out of his suit without danger and without harm. Lord God, grant me this favour, that when clouds are gathered together and men remember me in that country there shall not be there burning heat or hail. Lord God, bestow on me this favour that, whoever shall make mention of George or make an offering and remember the day of his martyrdom, there shall not be in his house one that is leprous, nor shall a stammerer and a blind man be born in it, nor one that is palsied and one that is blind, nor one that is driven by a demon; and mention not their sins, because thou art a merciful God, and remember that they are flesh and blood and have mercy on them for my name's sake." (trans. E.W. Brooks)
The explicit reference to 'those who remember the grace of Saint George' in our inscription suggests that its author at least knew the legend of God's promise, if not precisely one of the preserved versions of this martyrdom account.
IGC - Grégoire, H (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 157.
Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum IV, no. 8900.
Brooks, E.W., "Acts of Saint George", Le Muséon 38 (1925), 67-115.
Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie. Supplément", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 340.
Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 377.