Saint NameArchangels (unspecified) : S00191
Michael, the Archangel : S00181
Saint Name in Sourceἀρχάνγελος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAegean islands and Cyprus
Aegean islands and Cyprus
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcIkaria
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Ikaria
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsRenovation and embellishment of cult buildings
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
SourceThe inscription is carved on a panel of the chancel screen of a church at the site 'Taxiarchis' at Miliopo (the Island of Ikaria). First published by Georgios Deligiannakis in 2015, after photographs and a squeeze. The site had been surveyed by Dimitrios Lazaridis and described in his paper in Αρχαιλογικόν Δελτίον in 1968, but he did not edit the inscription. The inscription was mentioned by Ioannes Melas in 1958, and Themistokles Katsaros in 2006. It was omitted in the volume of the Inscriptiones Graecae (XII 6,2), covering the island of Ikaria.
According to Lazaridis, the church was originally a three-aisled basilica, which after a destruction was restored as a smaller, one-aisled sanctuary. Lazaridis dated its construction to the 5th c.
DiscussionThe inscription refers to the construction or a restoration of the church. According to Deligiannakis, our text seems to be later than another carved inscription from the same church, which does not use set formulae characteristic of developed Christian epigraphy, so the latter option is more plausible.
Bishop Scholastikos is not otherwise attested. Deligiannakis stresses the importance of this attestation, as, depending on the precise date of the inscription, this may be the first mention of a bishopric on Ikaria.
As for the patron saint, an unnamed Archangel, Deligiannakis suggests that this could have been Michael who is often the patron of churches in Anatolia. Deligiannakis points out that, on the Ionian coast, the cult of Archangels was particularly strong at Miletos.
Dating: based on the shape of letters and the archaeological context, Deligiannakis dates the inscription to the 5th or 6th c.
Deligiannakis, G., "Εκχριστιανίζοντας τις νησιωτικές κοινότητες του ανατολικού Αιγαίου. Η περίπτωση της νήσου Ικαρίας [Christianizing island communities in the Eastern Aegean. The case of Ikaria]", Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας 36 (2015), 263-274.
Katsaros, Th., Ικαριακά Σύμμεικτα (Athens: , 2006), 184-186 and Fig. 204-209.
Melas, I., Ἱστορία τῆς νήσου Ἰκαρίας, vol. 2 (Athens: J. Melas, 1958), 251, 255.
Bulletin épigraphique (2016), 560.