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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity


from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world


Greek dedicatory inscription engraved on a silver lamp and censer, offered by bishop Eutychianos to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and the Holy Sion monastery. Found in Kumluca (Lycia, south-west Asia Minor). Mid-6th c.

Evidence ID

E00863

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects

Identical text, engraved both on a lamp and on a censer:

+ Εὐτυχιανὸς ἐλάχιστος ἐπίσκοπος τῇ δεσποίνῃ τῇ Θεοτόκῳ

'Eutychianos, the most humble bishop, for the Lady God-Bearer (
Theotokos).'

Text: Ševčenko 1993, no. 15.

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Related Objects

Chalices, censers and other liturgical vessels
Precious material objects

Source

A silver lamp and censer (both inscribed with the same dedicatory inscription) belonging to the so-called treasure of Kumluca, which includes more than forty precious objects. It is said to have been found in a mound known as Büyük Asar at the present-day Kumluca, near Antalya (southern Asia Minor). Believed to have been originally owned by the Holy Sion monastery in Korydalla or a church of Holy Sion in Kumluca. Currently kept in Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington, DC. This is one of the most significant hoards of Byzantine silver artefacts that have come to light in Anatolia.

Discussion

The inscriptions adorning silver vessels, belonging to the treasure of Kumluca, were published by Ihor Ševčenko. They comprise 26 formulae, repeatedly engraved on various objects. Among them only one refers explicitly to a saint. This is put on a silver censer and a lamp dedicated to *Mary as the God-Bearer (Θεοτόκος) by a certain bishop Eutychianos. Other invocations and dedicatory and votive formulas mention God, the Holy Sion monastery or have no specified addressee.

Bishop Eutychianos is an otherwise unattested person, but he had to be a man of significance with strong ties to the Holy Sion Monastery. He offered 29 objects, eight of which are dedicated to the Holy Sion. Their quality is far better than that of artefacts offered by other donors. Ševčenko hypothesised that Eutychianos could be a descendant (perhaps a grandson) of a homonymous Pretorian Prefect of the East, but we lack evidence to support this claim.

The treasure is stylistically dated to the 6th c.


Bibliography

Edition:
Ševčenko, I., "The Sion Treasure: the evidence of the inscriptions", in: S.A. Boyd & M. Mundell Mango (eds.), Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium. Papers of the Symposium Held May 16-18, 1986, at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., organized by Susan A. Boyd, Maria Mundell Mango, and Gary Vikan, (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1993), no. 15.

Further Reading:
Destephen, S., Prosopographie du Diocese d'Asie (325-641) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 3, Paris: Association des amis du centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2008), Eutychianos 3.

Ševčenko, I., "The Sion Treasure: the evidence of the inscriptions", in: S.A. Boyd & M. Mundell Mango (eds.),
Ecclesiastical Silver Plate in Sixth-Century Byzantium. Papers of the Symposium Held May 16-18, 1986, at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C., organized by Susan A. Boyd, Maria Mundell Mango, and Gary Vikan, (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1993), 39-56.

Tabula Imperii Byzantini
8/2, 655-657.

Reference works:
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 346.


Record Created By

Pawel Nowakowski

Date Last Modified

14/06/2020

Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΘεοτόκοςCertain


Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Pawel Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E00863 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E00863