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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 on a floor-mosaic commemorating the paving of an aisle in a church under a servant of *Konon (one of the several homonymous Anatolian martyrs). Exact provenance unknown, probably the environs of Tyre, Lebanon. Dated probably 25 March 560 (if so, on the feast of the Annunciation, not mentioned explicitly in the text).

Evidence ID

E07673

Type of Evidence

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

[ἐτελιώθ]αι
[ἡ ψήφ]ωσις
[τοῦ ἐ]μβολίου ἐπὶ
[τ]οῦ ἐλαχίστου Μαιν-
ᾶ δούλου ἁγίου Κώνονω-
ς ὑπὲρ σωτερίας καὶ ἀντιλ-
έμψαιως τῶν ὡ Κύριος τὸ ὄ-
νομα γινόκι μηνὶ
Δυστροῦ ηʹ τοῦ
χπεʹ ἔτους

2. possibly [ἡ μαρμάρ]ωσις or [ἡ ἀνανέ]ωσις Seyrig

'The paving of the aisle was completed under the most humble Menas, servant of saint Konon, as a vow for the salvation and redemption of those whose name the Lord knows. On the 8th day in the month of Dystros, in the year 685.'

Text: Rey-Coquais 2016.

Festivals

Saint’s feast
Dating by saint’s festival

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Prayer/supplication/invocation
Saint as patron - of an individual
Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Source

Mosaic inscription framed by a medallion. Now lost. There is no published description or a photograph. First mentioned in a letter from Maurice Chéhab to Henri Seyrig, dated 10 April 1952. Chéhab notes that the inscription was presented to him by Lebanese authorities, and had been previously known to the inhabitants of an unspecified village. He gave a provisional text in the letter. Another copy was sent sent by Chéhab to René Mouterde five days later.

The first edition was offered in 2016 by Jean-Paul Rey-Coquais from the two transcriptions by Chéhab, and incorporating unpublished comments by Seyrig.


Discussion

Rey-Coquais notes that the inscription commemorates the paving with mosaics or a restoration of the pavement of an aisle (here termed embolion) in a church. The actual designation of the act commemorated is, however, partly lost and the editor also considers other possibilities suggested by Henri Seyrig, e.g. the revetment with marble, [ἡ μαρμάρ]ωσις.

Dating: Rey-Coquais points out that the year 685 mentioned in the dating formula must be computed according to the era of Tyre or the era of Sidon which were both in use in the area in Late Antiquity. This date according to the era of Sidon would correspond to AD 585, and according to the era of Tyre to AD 559/560. The editor opts for the latter, as in the calendar of Tyre the 8th day of the month of Dystros fell on 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation, which, in his opinion, would be a good opportunity to celebrate the completion of the work.


Bibliography

Edition:
J.-P. Rey-Coquais, "Pierres en errance : Syrie et Liban", Syria (2016), 129-136.

https://journals.openedition.org/syria/4508#tocto1n1


Record Created By

Paweł Nowakowski

Date Last Modified

01/06/2020

Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristUncertain
S00177Konon, gardener and martyr of Magydos of PamphyliaΚώνωνUncertain
S00429Konon, martyr of Iconium ΚώνωνUncertain
S00430Konon, martyr of Isauria ΚώνωνUncertain


Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Paweł Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E07673 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E07673