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E05037: Greek inscription invoking the Archangel *Michael (S00181) to protect a city. Found at Afyonkarahisar near ancient Akroinos and Prymnessos (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). No certain dating: possibly late antique or middle Byzantine.

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posted on 2018-02-09, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ἅγιος ὦ θεός, ἅγιος [ὦ θεός, ἅγιος ὦ θεός]

+ ἀρχάνγελε Μιχαήλ, ἐλέησον τὴν πόλι<ν> σου κ[α]ὶ ῥύση αὐτὴν ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηρ(οῦ) +

1. ἅγιος ὦ θεός, ἅγιος [ὦ θεός, ἅγιος ὦ θεός] Ramsay, but possibly ἅγιος ὡ θεός, ἅγιος [ἰσχυρός, ἅγιος ἀθάνατος, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς]

'Holy God, Holy [God, Holy God!] + O Archangel Michael, have mercy upon your city, and deliver her from evil!'

Text: Felle 2006, no. 495.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Akroinos Prymnessos

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

Akroinos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia Prymnessos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies


The inscription is on a small marble pillar. There is no published description. Line 2 runs around the pillar. Found at Afyonkarahisar near ancient Akroinos and Prymnessos by William Ramsay. When recorded, the pillar was in an Armenian church, said to have been 'an old building,' constructed by the Greeks. First published by Ramsay with a majuscule copy in 1882. Republished by Ramsay in 1897. In 2006 the inscription was included by Antonio Felle in his collection of epigraphs containing biblical quotations.


The inscription records a very interesting invocation of the Archangel Michael. He is asked to protect an unnamed city (polis) with the words borrowed from the Lord's prayer ('and deliver us from evil!'). Ramsay suggested that the city was nearby Akroinos. For a similar invocation based on the Lord's prayer, see E00743. Line 1 may contain a triple invocation of God, as suggested by Ramsay, or the Trisagion prayer. Dating: Sadly, there is no reliable way to date the inscription. We cannot say if it comes from the late antique or middle Byzantine period.


Edition: Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1552, see Felle, A.E., Biblia epigraphica. La sacra scrittura nella documentazione epigrafica dell'«Orbis christianus antiquus» (III-VIII secolo) (Bari: Edipuglia, 2006), no. 495. Ramsay, W.M., Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. 1, part 2: West and West-Central Phrygia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), 741-742, no. 678. Ramsay, W.M., "Prymnessos and Metropolis", Mittheilungen des Deutschen archaeologischen Institutes in Athen 7 (1882), 144. Further reading: Cumont, F., "Les inscriptions chrétiennes de l'Asie Mineure", Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire 15 (1895), no. 189.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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