V 148. Kalamita. Building inscription of Alexios (?), 1427–1446 C.E.
Broken on all sides, except the top (?).
Place of Origin
Monastyrskaya rock, St. George church.
1880s, survey of A.L. Bertye-Delagard.
Institution and inventory
On the front.
Lapidary. Ornate letters; epsilon accentuated with serifs, nu with broken diagonal. Relief letters, carved between relief horizontal lines.
L1. Vinogradov 2011, 232–234, № 9.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><supplied reason="lost">Ἐκτίσθη <note>e. g.</note> τὸ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">κάστρ</supplied>ον εἰ<unclear>ς</unclear> <certainty match=".." locus="value" cert="low"/> <gap reason="illegible" quantity="3" unit="character"/> <lb n="2"/> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <unclear>ὑπ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ὸ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">ἡμερῶν</supplied> <lb n="3"/><supplied reason="lost"><roleName>κυροῦ</roleName> Ἀλεξίου αὐθέντου πόλεως Θεοδώρους καὶ παραθαλασσίας,</supplied> <date><supplied reason="lost">μηνὶ</supplied> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <supplied reason="lost">ἔτους</supplied> <num><supplied reason="lost"><num atLeast="6900">ςϠ</num></supplied><gap reason="lost" quantity="2" unit="character"/></num></date> </ab> </div>
This fortress was built (?)] in... in [the days (?) of Lord Alexios, Authentes of the city of Theodoro and the coastline, in month... year...].
Bertye-Delagard found this fragmentary epigraphic monument in the main church of St. George monastery, but it was not known where it had come from. Latyshev (1897б, 151, № 34) did not offer a reading. I was able to find a photograph (taken ca. 1941) of the inscription at the Photo Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences (II–36780; O.1319.29). It is quite possible that another fragment can be associated with the same monument - fragment of a panel with a monogram of Alexios, found at Kalamita in 1926 (Malitsky 1933, 32, fig. 9). According to Malitsky, that panel was found in the masonry of the Turkish period, and only its right side, where the inscription would have been, was broken off. If indeed the two were fragments of the same panel, then we would know that our monument was originally 40cm high and 16cm thick, and its design would be similar to V 179, although in the latter case monograms were inscribed inside round cartouches (see below).
The style of the inscription is indeed similar to other inscriptions associated with the ruler of Theodoro, Alexios, 1425–1427 C.E. (V 179 and V 180), which is not surprising considering that the latter probably originates in Inkerman. The script, however (the letters are ornate, but not elongated), has more affinity with V 241 from Partenit, 1427 C.E. Palaeographic features thus indicate a date in the first half of the XVth century, since in the 1450s letters tend to become elongated (cf. V 189, V 238). The latter also shares with our inscription the round cartouche of the monogram (see above commentary to V 13), but the rounded element at the base of the monogram is more almond-shaped here, as well as in other cases mentioned above, rather than strictly round as in V 238. The same is true about other letters and decorative elements in the monogram. Thus, the Inkerman monogram might be a transitional form of Theodorite monograms, in the period between 1420s and 1459 C.E., similar to the monograms in V 13 (see commentary), and therefore belong to the second half of the reign of Alexios of Mangup (between 1427 and 1446 C.E.).
The formula of the inscription is restored hypothetically, by analogy with other inscriptions of prince Alexios (see above). Even if we were not to draw parallels with the Inkerman fragments, we would still identify this text as a building inscription on the basis of lettering. We know of only one inscription in Crimea, with letters partially cut in relief, which is not a building inscription — this is a tombstone of Stephanos from Mangup, and it is of a later date - 1456 (V 189). A fragment of another inscription from Mangup carved in the same manner (V 187) probably represents a framing element of some object with rounded top, most likely for the icon of the Mother of God from some church, that is, it would be in origin akin to building inscriptions. Since no large overground structures of the Theodorite period are known in Inkerman except for the Kalamita fortress, it is logical to suppose that our inscription originates from there. Thus, we may conclude that we have yet another Theodorite building inscription and this one the first certainly originating from Inkerman. The construction of the walls of Kalamita might have been part of the renovations following the seizure of the fortress by the Genoese fleet of Carlo Lomellino in 1434 (see Myts 2009, 123).