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E01297: Floor-mosaic with a Greek dedicatory inscription to a certain saint *Anastasia (perhaps a local martyr, S00457), as 'a bride and spouse of Christ'. Found in the basilica in Arkasa (island of Karpathos, Aegean Islands). Probably 5th c.

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posted on 2016-04-20, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Ἀναστασίαν νύμφην καὶ σύνζυ-
γον τοῦ Χ(ριστο)ῦ ἥνπερ ἐξεγόρασεν διὰ
τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος ὁ ἀρχηγὸς τῆς ζω-
ῆς δόξης περιβεβλημμένην καὶ πεπυκιλμένην δοξάζοντες ἐγὼ
ὁ ἁμαρτολὸς καὶ ἐλεεινὸς
Κύρος ἐπισκόπος οἵ τε εὐλαβεὶς
κ(αὶ) θεοφιλεὶς κληρικοὶ τὸν τόπον
ἐκοσμήσαμεν ἐν μ(ηνὶ) Ἰουνίῳ κ΄ ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) γ'. +
+ Κ(ύρι)ε μνήσθετι ἐν τῇ βασιλίᾳ σου τῶν καρπο-
φόρων Ὑακίνθου ἐνδοξοτάτου κουβικου-
λαρίου κ(αὶ) Ἰσιδόρου ἐπιτρ(όπου) δεσπο(τικοῦ) κ(αὶ) Ἰωάν-
νου ἐλεοπράτου κ(αὶ) Κυριακοῦ νοταρίου
κ(αὶ) Γεοργίου κ(αὶ) Κοσμᾶ ψηφοθέτου +

8. κ(αὶ) Pelekanides, Atzaka

'I, the sinful and miserable Kyros, bishop, and the pious and dear-to-God clerics, embellished the room (topos) on the 20th of the month of June, in the 3rd indiction year, gloryfing Anastasia, the bride and spouse of Christ, whom the Champion of Life redeemed by his own blood. She is enshrouded in glory and adorned. +

+ O Lord, remember in your Kingdom the contributors: Hyakinthos, endoxotatos koubikoularios, and Isidoros, the imperial steward (epitropos), and Ioannes, the olive merchant, and Kyriakos, the notary, and Georgios, and Kosmas, the mosaicist!'

Text: Pelekanides & Atzaka 1988, 60, no. 5. Translation: E. Rizos, P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anastasia (unspecified) : S00457 Anastasia, martyr in Sirmium (Illyricum, modern Serbia), c. 302-305 : S00602

Saint Name in Source

Ἀναστασία Ἀναστασία

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)


  • 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

Karpathos Arkasa

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

Karpathos Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia Arkasa Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Officials Aristocrats Merchants and artisans


The mosaic floor with the inscription was originally sited in the basilica in Arkasa on the island of Karpathos, in the narthex, in front of the main entrance. Currently a part of the mosaic is displayed in the Museum of Rhodes. The basilica was archaeologically dated to the 5th c.


The mosaic inscription names a certain Anastasia νύμφη καὶ σύνζυγος τοῦ Χριστοῦ / 'bride and spouse of Christ'. Such an expression is quite frequently used for female martyrs and holy virgins in literary sources, but is exceptional in inscriptions. It is presumed, probably correctly, that the church where the mosaic was found was dedicated to her. The identity of this saint is not clear; she might be *Anastasia (martyr with cult in both Sirmium and Rome, S00602). But it is also possible that she is a local saint, who also received a church dedication at Apolakkia-Zonaras on the nearby island of Rhodes (see E01290). Remarkably, the founders and donors, mentioned in the mosaic inscription, belong to very varied milieus: there is a reference to a bishop, lesser clergy, high imperial officials, and local people of importance (an olive merchant, a notary).


Edition: Pelekanides, S., Atzaka, P., Σύνταγμα τῶν παλαιοχριστιανικῶν ψηφιδωτῶν δαπέδων τῆς Ἑλλάδος, vol. 1: Νησιωτικὴ Ἑλλάς (Thessalonike: , 1988), 60. Further reading: Volanakis, I.E., "Die frühchristliche Basilika der heiligen Anastasia von Zonaras Apolakkia Rhodos", ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ, τόμος 66/4, 775, note 14 (mentioned).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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