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E01219: Greek inscription on a boundary stone of a church dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found near Eresos (Lesbos, the Aegean Islands). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-03-22, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ὅροι τῆς ἁγίας Μαρίας

'Boundaries (of the church) of the holy Mary.'

Text: Conze 1865, 34, note 1.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source


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

Aegean islands and Cyprus Aegean islands and Cyprus

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Lesbos Eresos

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

Lesbos Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia Eresos Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Awarding privileges to cult centres


A white marble block, found near Eresos (Lesbos) in the summer of 1858 by Alexander Conze in a ruined church named Panagia Στὰ χλιαρά ('the All-holy one by the hot springs'). There is no detailed description of the stone.


The inscription marked the boundaries of the asylum site or an estate belonging to a church dedicated to the 'holy Mary'. The fact that Mary is here identified by her name and the epithet ἁγία (holy), is remarkable, as she is usually venerated as the God-Bearer/Θεοτόκος in Greek inscriptions from the Aegean Islands and Anatolia. For a boundary stone with a similar formula, see: E00910. Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors. Dating: Probably late antique (based on the context of other dated boundary stones), but any reliable attempt to date the inscription would require an examination of the script; and there is no drawing or photograph of the stone.


Edition: Conze, A., Reise auf der Insel Lesbos (Hannover: C. Rümpler, 1865), 34, note 1. Further reading: Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 376. Robert, L., Hellenica, Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 10: Dédicaces et reliefs votifs, villes, cultes, monnaies et inscriptions de Lycie et de Carie. Inscriptions et topographie. Inscriptions de Phocée et des Dardanelles, Péripolarques, monnaie de Thibron (Paris: Librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient, Ed. Maisonneuve, 1955), 230, note 1. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1956), 200.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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