Site logo

The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek dedicatory inscriptions on four capitals, commemorating the offering of columns to a church of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found in the 17th c. church in the village of Aphantos/Afandou, near the city of Rhodes (island of Rhodes; Aegean Islands). Probably late antique.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

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

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements

Inscription A: + ὑπὲρ εὐχῆς κ(αὶ) σωτηρίας

Inscription B: Ἰσιδόρου Βολίονος

Inscription C: ἀνέθη]κεν τῇ Θεοτόκου το[ὺς κίονας

Inscription D: τῇ Θεοτόκου τοὺς κίονας

Inscription A: '+ As a vow and for the salvation'

Inscription B: 'of Isidoros, son of Bolion'

Inscription C: 'dedicated [the columns] to the (church) of the God-Bearer'

Inscription D: 'the columns to the (church) of the God-Bearer'

Text: Orlandos 1948, 25-26.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Construction of cult buildings
Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Τhe 17th c. church, dedicated to Παναγία ἡ Καθολική in the village of Afandou was examined by Anastasios Bandy before 1948. The scholar found there 5 column shafts (diameter 0.45 m), reused in the northern and southern walls of the church, which he rightly attributed to a late antique basilica. Next to the fencing of the church he found also inscribed Ionic column capitals of greyish marble, measuring on top c. W. 0.65-0.68 m; L. 0.89-0.995 m; H. 0.28 m. The capitals were decorated with carvings of crosses, and a christogram within a circle, flanked by the letters Α and Ω. Orlandos examined four of them.

The inscriptions run on a band, on top of the capitals, on the side that was almost certainly facing the nave of the church. It is probable that the text was repeated on both southern and northern sides of the name, as capitals C and D bear very similar passages.


The inscriptions certainly belonged to the same dedicatory text, commemorating the offering of columns by a certain Isidoros, son of Bolion, to a church of Mary, venerated as the God-Bearer.

Interestingly, on capitals C and D the word 'God-Bearer'/Θεοτόκος is in the genitive form, but is preceded by the article in the dative form. Orlandos explained this confusing fact by the inconsistent grammar of late antique popular Greek and corrected the expression to either τῇ Θεοτόκῳ or τῆς Θεοτόκου. It is, however, much more probable that the article refers to the understood noun ἐκκλησία/'church'.


Orlandos, A.K., "Παλαιοχριστιανικά λείψανα τῆς Ῥόδου", Ἀρχεῖον τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος 6 (1948), 25-26.

Further reading:
Kiourtzian, G., "Pietas insulariorum", [in:] Eupsychia: mélanges offerts à Hélène Ahrweiler, vol. 2 (Série Byzantina Sorbonensia 16, Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1998), 377.

Reference works:
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 40, 777-780.


From: Orlandos 1948, 26.

Record Created By

Paweł 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:
Paweł Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E01403 -