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E01389: Fragmentary Greek inscription with the names of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023), and *Bakchos (soldier and martyr of Barbalissos, S00079). Found in Katevati/Istron, on the coast of the Mirampelou/Mirabello Bay (Crete). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-05-20, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[- - - τῶν ἁγί]ων Σεργίου καὶ Βάχχου

[- - - τῶν ἁγί]ων PHI database, [- - -μαρτύρ]ων Halkin Gerola Xanthoudides

'[- - - of the] saints Sergios and Bakchos'

Text: PHI database, PH201463.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023 Bakchos, martyr in Barbalissos (Syria), ob. c. 303-311 : S00079

Saint Name in Source

Σέργιος Βάχχος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

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

Crete Katevati/Istron

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

Crete Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia Katevati/Istron Salamis Σαλαμίς Salamis Salamis Farmagusta Far Κωνσταντία Konstantia Constantia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



A fragmentary marble slab. First recorded by Stephanos Xanthoudides in Katevati/Istron, and published by him in 1903.


This fragmentary inscription offers us just the names of two martyrs, Sergios and Bakchos, in the genitive case. It is disputable, if the names were preceded by the title τῶν ἁγίων/'of saints' (argued by the editors of the Packard Humanities Institute database) or μαρτύρων/'of martyrs' (argued by former editors). We can add that another fixed set of epithets could be used here: [- - - τῶν ἁγίων καὶ ἐνδόξων μαρτύρ]ων Σεργίου καὶ Βάχχου/'[- - - of the holy and glorious martyrs] Sergios and Bakchos', as it is very frequent in late antique inscriptions. The fact that both saints occur together is significant, as in inscriptions Sergios was usually venerated alone and Bakchos was hardly ever mentioned. Xanthoudides and Gerola dated the inscription to the mid-6th c. and believed that it was made after the construction of the church dedicated to these saints in Constantinople, in the palace of Hormisdas, by Justinian in c. 527-533 (see: EXXXXX), an event, they say, which gave a boost to the cult of these two figures. However, François Halkin reasonably notes that the cult of at least Sergios alone was very popular in the Near East even before Justinian's foundation.


Edition: The Packard Humanties Institute database: PH201463. Gerola, G., Monumenti veneti nell'isola di Creta, vol. 4 (Venice 1932), 580. Xanthoudides, S., “Χριστιανικαί επιγραφαί Κρήτης”, Ἀθηνᾶ 15 (1903), 76-77. Further reading: Halkin, F., "L'Egypte, Chypre, la Crète et les autres îles grecques. La Grèce continentale et les pays balkaniques. L'Italie et la Sycylie", Analecta Bollandiana 70 (1952), 119-120.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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