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E01826: Inscribed 'reliquary cross', commissioned as an ex-voto offering by a certain Ioannes. Provenance: Seleukeia/Seleucia ad Calycadnum in Isauria (southern Asia Minor) or Seleukeia/Seleucia Pieria near Antioch-on-the-Orontes (north Syria). 6th c. or later.

online resource
posted on 2016-08-30, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
On the lower vertical branch of the cross:

τὴν εὐ-
χὴν ἀ-

'I, Ioannes, son of Engolios, having made a vow, fulfilled it.'

Text: IGLS 3/2, no. 1211.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Extant reliquaries and related fixtures


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Seleukeia Pieria Seleucia ad Calycadnum

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Seleukeia Pieria Thabbora Thabbora Seleucia ad Calycadnum Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Relics

Reliquary – institutionally owned Reliquary – privately owned

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Ex-votos Crosses


A metal 'reliquary cross' (presumably hollow). H. 0.25 m. The upper branches are decorated with globes. The lower vertical branch bears the inscription. Acquired by the British Museum in 1896, from the collection of Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks. Reported provenance: Seleucia. First published by Ormonde Dalton in 1901. Republished by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1953, based on a new copy by Jalabert.


The inscription says that the cross was an ex-voto offering of a certain Ioannes, son of Engolios (Aingolios/Engolis/Egolis, etc.). If it contained relics, there is no record of what these were. Dalton published the cross, marking the provenance simply as 'Seleucia', without a precise identification of this city. Mouterde argued that this could be either Seleukeia/Seleucia ad Calycadnum (modern Silifke) in Isauria or Seleukeia/Seleucia Pieria (modern Suadiye) near Antioch-on-the-Orontes (north Syria). Though he reasonably pointed out that both the name of Ioannes' father and the formula εὐξάμενος τὴν εὐχὴν ἀπέδωκα are characteristic of southeast Asia Minor (see: E01082; E01083 and Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua 3, no. 56), he eventually published the object under Seleukeia Pieria. Dating: Dalton dated the cross stylistically to the 6th or later centuries.


Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R. (eds.), Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 3/2: Antioche (suite). Antiochène: nos. 989-1242 (BAH 51, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1953), no. 1211. Dalton, O.M., Catalogue of early Christian Antiquities and Objects from the Christian East in the Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography of the British Museum (London: Printed by order of the Trustees, 1901), 113, no. 566.

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