Greek graffiti on a marble balustrade, with invocations of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and probably *John (presumably either the Baptist, S00020, or the Apostle and Evangelist, S00042), *Michael (the Archangel, S00181), and *George (soldier and martyr, S00259). Found in Aphrodisias (Caria, western Asia Minor), at the Temple/Church site. Probably 5th/6th c. or later.
Inscriptions - Graffiti
Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Graffiti on fragments of a white marble balustrade:
[- - -] τ(οῦ) [- - -]
Θεοφύλακτος τ(οῦ) ̣Ρ̣Γ̣Λ̣Χ [- - -]
+ + Γεοργηίου Κ(ύρι)ε + βω(ήθι)
μ(ήτη)ρ [θ](εο)ῦ Μιχ(αὴλ) τ(οῦ) Πα̣λ̣μα Κω(νσταντῖνος) τ(οῦ) ̣Β̣Τ̣Η
A: '[- - -] Theophylaktos [- - -].'
B: 'Georgios + + + son of Georgios. Lord, + help Geor(gios)!'
C: 'Joannes, Mother of God, Michael, son of Palmas (?), Konstantinos (?) Michael'
Text: IAph2007 1.33. Interpretation and translation: Ch. Roueché.
Prayer/supplication/invocationProtagonists in Cult and Narratives
Other lay individuals/ people
SourceFine graffiti on fragments of a white marble balustrade, on a polished surface at the upper edge. Found in Aphrodisias (Caria, west Asia Minor), at the Temple/Church site (the cathedral church). Letters height c. 0.05 cm.
DiscussionCharlotte Roueché supposes that the balustrades were covered with graffiti, because they “surrounded areas of particular sanctity, or rather because they were particularly easily accessible, standing probably at waist height” (see ala2004, ch. VIII.13).
The Virgin Mary is certainly the addressee of one of the invocations. Whether other figures (Michael, John, George) are saints or supplicants is disputable. Roueché argues that though the mentioned characters are not called ἅγιοι they are invoked saints rather than supplicants.
Dating: 5th-6th c. or later: proposed by Charlotte Roueché. But the epithet μήτηρ θεοῦ (mother of God) may indicate that the graffiti come from the post-Iconoclastic period.
IAph2007 1.33. http://insaph.kcl.ac.uk/iaph2007/iAph010033.html
Roueché, Ch. (ed.), Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity. The Late Roman and Byzantine Inscriptions including Texts from the Excavations at Aphrodisias conducted by Kenan T. Erim (Journal of Roman Studies Monograph 5, London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 1989), no. 132.
Roueché, Ch., Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity,electronic second edition (London, 2004), ch. VIII.13. http://insaph.kcl.ac.uk/ala2004/narrative/sec-VIII.html
|ID||Name||Name in Source||Identity||S00020||John the Baptist||Ἰωάννης||Uncertain||S00033||Mary, Mother of Christ||μήτηρ θεοῦ||Certain||S00042||John, the Apostle and Evangelist||Ἰωάννης||Uncertain||S00181||Michael, the Archangel||Μηχαήλ||Uncertain||S00259||George, soldier and martyr, and Companions||Γαιόργ̣ηος, Γεοργηίος||Uncertain|
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Pawel Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E00837 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E00837