Saint NameChristophoros, martyr in Samos (Lykia) or Antioch (Syria) under Decius (249-251) : S00616
George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259
Saint Name in SourceΧριστοφόρος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Evidence not before600
Evidence not after800
Activity not before600
Activity not after800
Place of Evidence - RegionAegean islands and Cyprus
Aegean islands and Cyprus
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcRhodes (island)
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Rhodes (island)
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsAwarding privileges to cult centres
SourceThe inscription is carved on four faces of the abacus of a small Corinthian capital (H. of the capital 0.255 m; H. of the abacus 0.04 m; W. of the abacus 0.25 m; L. of the abacus 0.26 m; letter height 0.015 m). When recorded, the capital was housed in the library of the Historical and Archaeological Institute of Rhodes.
First described by Anastasios Orlandos in 1948. In 2002 the inscription was re-edited, together with a good photograph, by Eleni Papavasileiou, in the catalogue of an exhibition in the White Tower in Thessaloniki.
DiscussionIn her edition Papavasileiou placed the object in the chapter 'Farming' and considered Christophoros and Georgios, mentioned in the inscription, farmers who set up boundary markers on their fields to prevent trespassing.
We, however, think that the inscription marked the boundaries of an estate belonging to a church or a monastery dedicated to the martyrs Christophoros and Georgios, probably the two famous saints: Christophoros, martyr in Lycia or Syria (S00616), and George, martyr in Nikomedia or Diospolis (S00259), both frequently referred to in the hagiographic tradition.
The original findspot of the capital is unknown, but it is almost certain that the column, bearing it, stood outside the city, at the boundary it marked, and was brought to the library by an antiquarian.
Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors.
Based on the style of the capital, Orlandos dated the inscription to the 7th-8th c.
Papavasileiou, E. (ed.) in: Papanikola-Bakirtzi, D. (ed.), Everyday Life in Byzantium (Athens: Hellenic Ministry of Culture, 2002), 123, no. 116.
Orlandos, A.K., "Παλαιοχριστιανικά λείψανα τῆς Ῥόδου", Ἀρχεῖον τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος 6 (1948), 10-12.
Dimitrokallis, G., Συμβολαὶ εἰς τὴν μελέτην τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων Νάξου, vol. 1 (Athens: 1972), 75, note 83 (mentioned).
Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 377.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 55, 908.