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E01255: Greek inscription on a boundary stone of a church dedicated to unnamed *Apostles. Found in a later church of St. Mamas on the island of Naxos (Aegean Islands). Probably 6th-7th c.

online resource
posted on 2016-04-08, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
τ ῶ-
ν ἁγί-
ων ἀ-

'The boundaries (of the church) of the holy Apostles.'

Text: Kiourtzian 2000, no. 30.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Apostles (unspecified) : S00084

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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Naxos (island)

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

Naxos (island) 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 stele. H. 0.8 m; W. 0.2 m; Th. 0.1 m. Found in the church of St. Mamas, sited near the villages of Tritis and Kato Potamia in the central part of the island of Naxos. The present building dates probably to the 9th c. and is considered as the oldest extant Christian structure on the island. The inscription is written over a carving of a Latin cross. The middle letters in lines 1, 3, 4, and 5 are on the vertical bar of the cross, lines 6-7 are below the cross. First published by Georgios Dimitrokallis in 1972.


The inscription marked the boundaries of a church dedicated to the Apostles. Georges Kiourtzian supposes that the church of Mamas, where the inscription was found, could have been constructed over the foundations of a late antique church dedicated to these saints, which is possible. The other possibility, he considers, is that the stone was brought from another place. Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors. Dating: Kiourtzian stylistically dated the inscription to the 6th or 7th c. This dating roughly corresponds to the period of the reign of emperors mentioned on other, datable boundary stones. Georgios Dimitrokallis, the first editor of the inscription, stylistically dated the cross to the "Byzantine" period.


Edition: Kiourtzian, G., Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes des Cyclades, de la fin du IIIe au VIIIe siècle après J.-C., (Travaux et mémoires du Centre de recherche d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance. Monographies 12, Paris: De Boccard, 2000), no. 30. Dimitrokallis, G., Συμβολαὶ εἰς τὴν μελέτην τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων Νάξου, vol. 1 (Athens: 1972), 74-75. Further reading: Drossoyianni, Ph., "[Review:] G. Kiourtzian, Receuil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes des Cyclades, De la fin du IIIe au VIIe siècle après J.-C.", Βyzantinische Ζeitschrift 95 (2002), 693 (attempts to identify the church). Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 366-367, 373. For a description of the church, see: Ohnesorg, A., "Die antiken Spolien in der Kirche des Hagios Mamas auf Naxos", Architectura. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst / Journal of the History of Architecture 24 (1994), 170-184. Rhoby, A., Byzantinische Epigramme in inschriftlicher Überlieferung, vol. 3/1: Byzantinische Epigramme auf Stein (Denkschriften (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse) 474, Denkschriften (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse). Veröffentlichungen zur Byzanzforschung 35, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2014), 315. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 50, 771.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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