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E04124: Bronze censer with a dedicatory Greek inscription invoking *Jeremiah (possibly the Old Testament prophet, S01421), *Kyrikos (probably the child martyr of Tarsus, S00007), and other unnamed saints. Provenance unknown, probably the Roman provinces of Palestine or Arabia. Now in Jerusalem. Probably 6th c.

online resource
posted on 2017-10-09, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
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.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Jeremiah, Old Testament prophet : S01421 Kyrikos/Cyricus, child martyr of Tarsus (son of *Ioulitta/Julitta) : S00007 Unnamed saints (or name lost) : S00518

Saint Name in Source

Κύρικος Ἡεριμίας οἱ ἅγιοι

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Arabia Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Chalices, censers and other liturgical vessels


Bronze 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.


The 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.


Further reading: 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. Reference works: L'Année épigraphique (1994) [1997], 1913. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 700. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, 44, 1376.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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