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E01328: Fragment of a limestone bread mould with a fragmentary Greek inscription, probably labelling bread as eulogia of *John the Baptist (S00020). Found at Karpasia (Cyprus). Probably 6th-7th c.

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posted on 2016-05-02, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Fragment of a round, limestone bread mould. Max. L. 0.085 m; max. H. 0.078 m; Th. at the rim 0.023 m; letter height c. 0.008-0.01 m. Presumed dimensions of the whole object: circumference: c. 0.62 m; diameter: 0.166 m. The fragmentarily preserved inscription runs around its edge, the letters are deeply carved, in mirror writing. Found in 1961 in the ruins of Karpasia/Ayios Philon (northern Cyprus). Seen and copied by Ino Michaelidou-Nicolaou in the Cyprus Archaeological Museum in Nikosia before 1963.


[+ εὐλογία τ]οῦ ἁγήου καὶ τ̣ι[μίου Προδρόμου καὶ Βαπτιστοῦ Ἰωάννου]

'[+ Blessing] of the holy and venerable [Forerunner and Baptist John]'

Text: Michaelidou-Nicolaou 1963, 130-132, no. 4.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John the Baptist : S00020

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens


  • 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


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

Karpasia Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Production and selling of eulogiai, tokens

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Visiting graves and shrines

Cult Activities - Relics

Contact relic - other Ampullae, eulogiai, tokens Making contact relics

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Other Ampullae, flasks, etc.


The inscription is the blessing formula, stamped on bread baked from the mould. These loaves were probably distributed to pilgrims to a sanctuary dedicated to John the Baptist, as the editor notes that the epithets from the preserved part of the inscription, ἅγιος καὶ τίμιος/'holy and venerable', were characteristic of this saint. Michaelidou-Nicolaou adds that in 1963 the museums of Nikosia and Paphos housed 4 more unedited bread moulds. Dating: Based on the form of letters, Michaelidou-Nicolaou dated the object to the 6th or 7th c.


Edition: Michaelidou-Nicolaou, I., "Inscriptiones Cypriae Alphabeticae 1960-1961", Berytus 14 (1963), 130-132, no. 4. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1965), 456.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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