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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek building inscription on a marble threshold probably referring to the church of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found in the early Christian basilica of Paiania near Athens (Attica, central Greece). Probably 5th or first half of the 6th c.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements

τῆς  ⳨  Θ[ε]-

l. 1. ΗϹ in ligature.

'(Church?/Of the church?) of the God-Bearer (

IG II/III (2nd ed.) 5, no. 13628.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Places Named after Saint



A marble threshold, broken at the top and in the upper right-hand corner. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.57 m; W. 0.48 m; Th. 0.09 m; letter height 0.032-0.058 m. In line 1. staurogram inside a circle, inverted and turned upside down. Found in the central door of the early Christian basilica of Paiania, the later Church of St Athanasius. Probably lost. First edited in 1997 by Erkki Sironen from the photo published by Euthymios I. Mastrokostas.


This inscription is very simple; it mentions only the name of Mary to whom the church was dedicated.

Dating: Sironen dates the inscription to the 5th-6th c., which is plausible on the basis of its Christian content and archaeological context. Editors of the
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database date it to the 5th or early 6th c.


Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 2214:

Inscriptiones Graecae II/III (2nd ed.) 5, no. 13628 with a photograph of a squeeze from Princeton.

Sironen, E.,
The Late Roman and Early Byzantine Inscriptions of Athens and Attica: An Edition with Appendices on Scripts, Sepulchral Formulae, and Occupations (Helsinki: Hakapaino Oy, 1997), 331-332, no. 328 (editio princeps).

Further Reading:
Mastrokostas, E. I., "
Μεσαιωνικά μνημεία Αττικής, Φωκίδος και Μαγνησίας," Archaiologikí Efimerís 1956 (1959), 29 with fig. 5 (photograph) [see also BE 1963, 88].

Sironen, E., "Life and administration of the Late Roman Attica in the light of public inscriptions," in: P. Castrén (ed.),
Post-Herulian Athens: Aspects of Life and Culture in Athens, A.D. 267-529 (Papers and Monographs of the Finnish Institute at Athens 1, Helsinki: Suomen Ateenan-Instituutin Sääti, 1994), 38, footnote (from Mastrokostas’ photo).

Reference works:
Bulletin épigraphique (1963), 88 (incorrectly cited as Θ[ε]οτόκοι).


Photograph. From: Mastrokostas 1959, 30, fig. 5.

Record Created By

Małgorzata Krawczyk

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:
Małgorzata Krawczyk, Cult of Saints, E06737 -