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E04468: Fragmentary Greek inscription carved on a lintel, invoking the help of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) for an emperor Constantine, probably Constantine IV (AD 668-685). Found at the gateway of Hisar Kapısı at Bursa/ancient Prusa ad Olympum (Bithynia, north-west Asia Minor).

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posted on 2017-12-16, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ Θεωτώκε βωήθι Κων-
σταντίνου μεγάλου [- - -]

2. possibly: μεγάλου [βασιλ]έως καὶ Θεοδώρου κ|όμιτος καὶ ̣Σ̣τεφάνου Grélois

'+ O God-Bearer (Theotokos), help Constantine, the great [- - -]!'

Text: SEG 49, 1799.

History

Evidence ID

E04468

Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source

Θεωτώκος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

  • Greek

Evidence not before

668

Evidence not after

685

Activity not before

668

Activity not after

685

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Prusa ad Olympum

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

Prusa ad Olympum Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family Aristocrats Officials

Source

The inscription is on a stone lintel, reused in the gateway of Hisar Kapısı at Bursa/ancient Prusa ad Olympum. No dimensions given. Recorded by John Covel, an English clergyman travelling in western Turkey between 1670 and 1677. A journal of his travel, now in the British Museum, was published in 1998 by Jean-Pierre Grélois. Our inscription is one of 80 epigraphic monuments copied by Covel.

Discussion

The inscription is incomplete, and Grélois notes that the missing part could be restored based on another fragmentary text found in the same area, which reads βασιλ]έως καὶ Θεοδώρου κ|όμιτος καὶ ̣Σ̣τεφάνου (I. Prousa ad Olympum, no. 222). Grélois identifies the emperor mentioned as Constantine IV (AD 668-685), as he uses the epithet μέγας in the Acts of the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681). The same Acts also mention a patrician Theodoros, comes of the Opsikion theme and hypostrategos of Thrace, probably identical with the Thedoros mentioned above. Given this timeframe, it is possible that our inscription refers to the fortification of Prusa after the Arab capture of Kyzikos in 670 and the siege of Constantinople in 674-678.

Bibliography

Edition: Grélois, J.-P. (ed.) with a preface by Cyril Mango, Dr. John Covel Voyages en Turquie, 1675-1677 (Réalités Byzantines 6, Paris: P. Lethielleux, 1998), 373-374, no. 32. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 49, 1799.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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