The inscription is written on the bottom of the censer in three concentric lines:
+ ἅγιε Ἡεριμία καὶ ἅγιε Κύρικε καὶ +
+ ἡ σὺν ὑμõν ἅγιυ προσδέξατε τὴν π- +
+ ροσφορὰν τοῦ δούλου ησον Ἀναστασίου +
2. ἡ σὺν ὑμõν ἅγιυ = οἱ σὺν ὑμῖν ἅγιοι Feissel, ησαν υμον αγιυ Piccirillo
'+ Saint Jeremiah, and Saint Kyrikos, and + the saints who are with you, accept the + offering of your servant Anastasios! +'
Text: Piccirillo 1994, note 17 with diacritics in line 2 according to Denis Feissel in CEByz, 700.
Saint NameJeremiah, Old Testament prophet : S01421
Kyrikos/Cyricus, child martyr of Tarsus (son of *Ioulitta/Julitta) : S00007
Unnamed saints (or name lost) : S00518
Saint Name in SourceΚύρικος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed objects
Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after600
Activity not before500
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Palestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcJerusalem
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Caesarea Maritima
Sakkaia / Maximianopolis
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
Cult Activities - Cult Related ObjectsChalices, censers and other liturgical vessels
SourceBronze censer of unknown provenance, now in the Museum of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem. It was first mentioned in 1899 in the Ἡμερολόγιον Ἱεροσολύμων. In 1986 Yiannis Meimaris offered a transcription with standardised spelling. Piccirillo gave a complete faithful transcription in a footnote, in 1994.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the offering of the censer on which it is inscribed. The saints invoked are Jeremiah, Kyrikos, and other unnamed saints. Kyrikos is almost certainly the child martyr of Tarsus, commonly venerated in the East. The identity of Jeremiah is, however, difficult to establish: he can be either the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah (which is the possibility favoured by Meimaris) or a homonymous figure (a martyr or holy monk?). Meimaris notes that an image of the prophet appears in the apse mosaic of the Basilica of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, and that his feasts are mentioned in the Lectionary of Jerusalem (see E03138 [1 May, in the village of Anathoth]; E03281 [21 July, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre]), and in the Kanonarion of the Church of Jerusalem (21 July). The name is also frequent in the documentary and epigraphic evidence from Egypt (see relevant records). The unnamed saints can be either martyrs, or the entire heavenly community of saints.
The patron saint of the church or monastery to which the censer was offered, is not named, but he could be one of the two figures addressed by name by Anastasios. As the find-spot of the censer is unknown, we cannot say where the sanctuary was located. It is, however, very probable that the censer comes from the Roman provinces of Palestine or Arabia, or possibly Syria/Phoenicia.
We are not aware of any published image of this interesting object.
Piccirillo, M., "Alcuni oggetti liturgici inediti del Museo della Flagellazione a Gerusaleme", in: A. Recio Veganzones (ed.), Historiam pictura refert: miscellanea in onore di Padre Alejandro Recio Veganzones O.F.M (Città del Vaticano: Pontificio Istituto di archeologia cristiana, 1994), 467-468, note 17.
Meimaris, Y., Sacred names, saints, martyrs and church officials in the Greek inscriptions and papyri pertaining to the Christian Church of Palestine (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, Center for Greek and Roman Antiquity, 1986), 96-97, no. 581; 122, no. 660.
Ἡμερολόγιον Ἱεροσολύμων 1899, 93.
L'Année épigraphique (1994) , 1913.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 700.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, 44, 1376.