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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek graffito commemorating the consecration of a rock-cut church dedicated to *Nicholas (probably the bishop of Myra under Constantine, S00520), just possibly with a reference to the intercession of *Mary, Mother of Christ (S00033). Found at Strobilos (Caria, western Asia Minor). Probably 7th c.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti

+ ἐνκ(αί)ν(ια) τοῦ ἁ-
γυίου Νικωλ(άου)
μινὴ Μαΐ(ῳ)



1-2. ἁ|γυίου = ἁγίου || 3. μινὴ = μηνὶ || 4-6. πρ(εσβείαις) τ(ῆς) πανα[γ]ία(ς) πα(ρ)θ(ένου) (?) Grégoire

'+ The consecration (of the church) of Saint Nicholas (took place) in the month of May.'

Then follow random letters that according to Grégoire should be read:

'(It was completed) through the intercessions of the all-holy Virgin.'

IGC, no. 233(4).

Liturgical Activities

Ceremony of dedication


Anniversary of church/altar dedication

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)
Cult building - monastic

Places Named after Saint


Non Liturgical Activity

Construction of cult buildings


Saint aiding or preventing the construction of a cult building


A graffito edited by Henri Grégoire from a drawing by Emil Szanto. Found on a wall in a rock-cut church at Strobilos, between Myndos and Halikarnassos (Henri Grégoire erroneously claimed that the inscription had been found in Termera. For correct identification of the find-spot see the comments in Halkin 1953a, p. 83, n. 6). Lines 1-3 are in a frame; lines 4-6 are scarcely legible. Most of the text seems to have been written by one hand.


The graffito commemorates the consecration of a church dedicated to Saint Nicholas, apparently *Nicholas of Myra, presumably the rock-cut church in which the inscription was found. The dedicatory formula is followed by an unintelligible sequence of letters, which Henri Grégoire interpreted as an invocation of the Virgin *Mary, but this is highly hypothetical.

Dating: probably 7th c. (based on the archaeological context).


Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 233(4).

Further reading:
Destephen, S., 'Quatre études sur le monachisme asianique (IVe-VIIe siècle)', Journal des savants (2010), 203.

Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 83.

Record Created By

Pawel Nowakowski

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of Christπα(ρ)θ(ένος)Uncertain
S00520Nicholas, bishop of Myra in Lycia, under ConstantineΝικώλ(αος)Certain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Pawel Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E00943 -