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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek inscription commemorating the construction of a building dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) as the God-Bearer, probably a village church. Found near Flaviopolis (Cilicia, south-east Asia Minor). Very probably 590.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

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

+ ἐπληρώθη τ-
ὸ ἔργον τῆς Θε-
οτόκου ἐπὶ Στεφ-
άνου ἐργολάβου ὑ-
πουργήσι τῆς κώ-
μης Σιφῶν, ἔτους θχ'

1-2. τ|ὸ Dagron and Feissel (after a photograph), τοῦτο <τὸ> Dagron & Marcillet-Jaubert, τοῦτο

'+ The building of the God-Bearer (
Theotokos) was completed under the contractor Stephanos with the assistance of the village Siphoi, in the year 609.'

I. Cilicia, no. 113.

Cult Places

Cult building - unspecified
Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Construction of cult buildings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Merchants and artisans


A limestone block found at Çemkale-Farnas near ancient Flaviopolis. H. 0.31 m; W. 0.61 m; letter height 0.04 m. When recorded, it had been reused in the wall of a medieval fortress, in a section adjacent to the road leading to the main gate. The text is contained within a frame.


The inscription commemorates the completion of a building, probably a church or a monastery, dedicated to Mary as the God-Bearer (Θεοτόκος). Stephanos, a contractor (ἐργολάβος) mentioned in lines 3-4, was the founder or entrepreneur rather than a common worker or architect. The phrase 'with the assistance of the village of Siphoi' suggests this was a village church.

Dating: 590 (if the date, the year 609, is given according to the era of nearby Anazarbos, which began in 19 BC).


I. Cilicia - Dagron, G., Feissel, D. (eds.), Inscriptions de Cilicie (Paris: De Boccard, 1987), no. 113.

Dagron, G., Marcillet-Jaubert, J., "Inscriptions de Cilicie et d'Isaurie",
Belleten Türk Tarih Kurumu 42 (1978), no. 23.

Reference works:
Bulletin épigraphique (1979), 600.

Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum
28, 1260.

Record Created By

Pawel Nowakowski

Date Last Modified


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, E01080 -