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E04453: Greek dedicatory inscription, commemorating the donation of a wall to a church, as an act of thanksgiving to God and unnamed saints. Found at Bargylia (Caria, western Asia Minor). Probably 5th or 6th c.

online resource
posted on 2017-12-11, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Block A: ποιῶ ὑπὲρ σωτηρίας ἑαυτοῶ καὶ τῆς γαμετῆς μου καὶ τῶν τέ-
Block B: κνων μου καὶ πάντων τῶν διαφερόντων μοι· εὐχαριστῶν
Block C: τῷ θεῷ καὶ τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐποίησα τὸν τοῖχον τοῦτον

2. εὐχαριστῶν Pleket, εὐχαρίστων· Zäh

'I make it as a vow for the salvation of myself, and my spouse, and my children, and all the members (of my household). Giving thanks to God and to the saints I made this wall (toichos).'

Text: SEG 52, 1040.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, unnamed or name lost : S00518

Saint Name in Source

οἱ ἅγιοι

Image Caption 1

Block A, photograph. From: Zäh 2000, 119.

Image Caption 2

Block A, drawing. From: Zäh 2000, 118.

Image Caption 3

Block B, photograph. From: Zäh 2000, 119.

Image Caption 4

Block B, drawing. From: Zäh 2000, 118.

Image Caption 5

Block C, photograph. From: Zäh 2000, 119.

Image Caption 6

Block C, drawing. From: Zäh 2000, 119.

Image Caption 7

Block B, drawing. From: Maiuri 1921-1922, 476.

Image Caption 8

Plan of Basilica II. From: Zäh 2000, 116.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)


  • 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


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

Bargylia Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Other lay individuals/ people


The inscription is carved on three reused architrave blocks (A-C), over an earlier erased inscription. Dimensions of each block: H. 0.35 m; W. 2.32-2.37 m; letter height 0.08-0.09 m. The blocks come from the ruins of a three-aisled basilica at Bargylia (Basilica II). Above the inscription there is a relief showing maritime scenes with fish, and sea monsters. Blocks A and B were first published in the mid-19th c. by Philippe Le Bas. In 1921 Block B was rediscovered by Amedeo Maiuri, who published it as ineditum. This mistake was recognised by Louis Robert (1937). The two blocks were republished by Wolfgang Blümel in his corpus of the inscriptions of Iasos (a major city sited close to Bargylia) in 1985. Block C, which bears a dedication to saints, and is therefore important for our project, was published only in 2000 by Alexander Zäh who found it during his surveys of Caria. Zäh also revisited Blocks A and B, and plausibly identified the text from Block C as part of the same inscription. When recorded by Zäh, Block A was partly damaged.


The inscription commemorates a donation to God and the saints as a vow for the salvation of the donor's family, and, at the same in gratitude for grace already received. Zäh plausibly argues that the unnamed benefactor probably paid for one wall of the church rather than founded the entire building, as the inscription names the object of the donation a 'wall' (toichos). Zäh originally interpreted the last word in line 2, εὐχαριστων, as an epithet of the members of the benefactor's household (G. pl.: εὐχαρίστων/'dear'). Pleket in his comments in the SEG rightly points out that this is a participle (N. sing.: εὐχαριστῶν/'giving thanks') which belongs to the new sentence carved on Block C. For a similar dedication, see E00792.


Edition: Zäh, A., "Die Stiftung der oberen Basilika von Bargylia", Epigraphica Anatolica 34 (2002), 117-118 (Fragments A-C). Zäh, A., "Un'iscrizione de fondazione tardoantica dalla basilica superiore di Bargylia (Turchia)", Quaderni friulani di archeologia 10 (2000), 113-123 (Blocks A-C). Blümel, W., Die Inschriften von Iasos, vol. 2 (Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 28, Bonn : R. Habelt, 1985), no. 638 (Blocks A-B, after LBW). Maiuri, A., "Viaggio di esplorazione in Caria (Parte III)", Annuario della Regia Scuola archeologica di Atene e delle missioni italiane in Oriente 4/5 (1921/1922), 476, no. 24 (Block B). LBW, no. 491 (Blocks A-B). Further reading: Robert, L., Études anatoliennes: recherches sur les inscriptions grecques de l'Asie mineure (Paris: Boccard, 1937), 455, note 1. Reference works: SEG 4, 204; 52, 1040.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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