University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E03300: Greek epitaph for Euphemia, a nun asked to intercede for her family after death (S01734). Found at Alexandreia Troas in Hellespontus (north-west Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

online resource
posted on 2017-07-16, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
The inscription has a complicated layout organised around a cross in low-relief:

On top: ἐνθάδε ἀναπαύετε

On the vertical arm of the cross: ἡ εὐλαβ(εστάτη) δούλη τοῦ Χ(ριστο)ῦ

On the horizontal arm of the cross: παρθένος Εὐφημία·

To the left of the cross:
αὐτῆς, ὁ θ(εό)ς,
τοὺς ἀδελ-
φοὺς αὐτῆς (monogram: ΡΑΤ)
κ(αὶ) (Ῥουφῖνον)

To the right of the cross:
κ(αὶ) φύλαξον
τῇ ἁγίᾳ
σου τὸν
αὐτῆς τὸ-
ν δοῦλόν
σου (Ἀνατόλιον)

κ(αὶ) φύλαξον Feissel Kirchhoff, Κ(ύριε) φύλαξον Drew-Bear

'Here rests the most pious servant of Christ, the virgin Euphemia. Through her intercessions, O God, have mercy upon her brothers (name written as an undeciphered monogram) and (Rouphinos), and protect by your holy providence her cousin (Anatolios)!'

Text: SEG 60, 1310. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Euphemia, a deceased nun invoked at Alexandreia Troas in Hellespontus (northwest Asia Minor) : S01734

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Eski Stambul

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

Eski Stambul Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Relatives of the saint Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Stone slab (or possibly lid of a sarcophagus) with a carving of a cross in low-relief. H. 0.67; W. 0.32 m. Now broken into three parts. First recorded by an early 18th c. traveller, Louis-André de la Mamye de Clairac, at Alexandria Troas in Hellespontus. Later the stone was included in the collection of Choiseul-Gouffier (but by that time its provenance was unknown) and was eventually acquired by the Louvre Museum in 1818 (inv. MA 3050). The inscription was published by Adolf Kirchhoff in 1856 in the fourth volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, and in 1865 by Wilhelm Froehner in a volume on the collection of the Louvre Museum. In 2009 Thomas Drew-Bear offered a new edition from the notes of de Clairac, and identified the find-spot. In 2013 Denis Feissel offered a description of the history of the stone, which had been unknown to Drew-Bear.


The inscription is a very interesting case of an epitaph composed for a pious nun by her closest relatives who clearly considered her as a person able to intercede for the living in the same way as the martyrs. The text illustrates the fact that in some cases the birth and development of the cult of a given saint could be the result of the personal beliefs of family and/or friends. Unfortunately, we do not know whether our Euphemia was ever venerated on a larger scale in her hometown or region. Given the location of the find-spot, it is very likely that the deceased was named after the martyr *Euphemia (S00017), the very famous saintly figure venerated in nearby Chalkedon. Dating: Froehner placed the inscription in the 5th c. (giving no arguments). Drew-Bear and Feissel describe it as 'proto-Byzantine'.


Edition: Drew-Bear, Th., "", in: J.-P. Laporte (ed.), Le voyage à Constantinople du chevalier de Clairac : archéologie et architecture en Méditerranée orientale (1724-1727) (Antibes: , 2009), 96 and figs. 84-85. Froehner, W., Les inscriptions grecques (Paris: Charles de Mourgues Frères, 1865), no. 282. Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum IV, no. 9448. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2013), 514. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 60, 1310.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager