V 170. Danilcha-Koba (?). Building inscription of Neilos, Хth century C.E.
H. 27.0, W. 26.0, Th. 11.0.
On the front - inset panel with raised border (H. 0.3cm), which is heavily damaged. Broken off on the right.
Place of Origin
Monastyrskaya Gully, near Danilcha-Koba cave (?).
1910, chance find.
Institution and inventory
Central Museum of Tavrida, А–20731.
Within inset area.
Lapidary. Alpha with broken crossbar, lambda and some alphas - with a slightly projecting right hasta, some thetas have an extended horizontal, some iotas are shortened and sometimes with diaeresis, upsilon Y- and V-shaped. Ligature: omicron-upsilon. Occasional accents.
Хth century C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1918, 42–44, № 12; 2. Vinogradov 2011, 236–239, № 11.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/> Πᾶ<unclear>σ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">αν</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">τὴν ἐκκλησίαν</supplied> <lb n="2"/>ἁγίαν ταύτι<unclear>ν</unclear> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">ἀνήγειρεν</supplied> <lb n="3"/>ὁ ἐλάχιστος Νῖλο<supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">συνδρομῇ</supplied> <lb n="4"/>το͂ν εὐσεβῶν οἰκι<unclear>τ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">όρων</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">τῆς</supplied> <lb n="5"/><expan><abbr>θ</abbr><ex>ε</ex><abbr>ωφυλάκτου</abbr></expan> πώλ<supplied reason="lost">εως</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">Δό</supplied><lb n="6" break="no"/>ρους <certainty locus="value" match=".." cert="low"/> <date><expan><abbr>μ</abbr><ex>ηνὶ</ex></expan> <rs type="month" ref="iun">Ἰουνήου</rs> <num value="1">α</num>, <expan><abbr>ἰνδ</abbr><ex>ικτιῶνος</ex></expan> <num value="1">α</num>, <unclear>ἔ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">τους</supplied> <num><gap reason="lost" quantity="3" unit="character"/></num></date> </ab> </div>
1: Πα[ντοκράτορι ἔκτισε ? Latyshev
2: ταύτη[ν ἐκκλησίαν (?) Latyshev
5-6: Θεοδώ]ρους Latyshev
6: Ἰουνίῳ Latyshev; ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) α´, ἔ[τους ...: om. Latyshev
The en[tire church], this holy one, the unworthy Neilos [erected with the help] of pious inhabitants of the God-protected ci[ty of Do]ros (?). 1st of June, in the 1st indction, in [the year...].
The stone was reused in the construction of a Tea House at the estate Kokkoz of Prince F.F. Yusupov (modern village of Sokolinoe). There is a contradiction in the information about the findspot provided by the first editor: referring to the testimony of M.I. Skubetov, he states, on the one hand, that the findspot was Kuchuk-Babugan, on the other hand, that it was a much more distant cave of Danilcha-Koba. It is possible that Latyshev had confused Kuchuk-Babugan as the site of the Tea House with the original findspot of the monument. It is still unclear why the stone would have been transferred to the Tea House, and not to the Kokkoz estate, which was much closer to Danilcha-Koba.
The uninscribed bottom half of the inset panel was used for graffiti.
1-2. The inscription probably relates to a church that had stood in front of the cave of Danilcha-Koba.
3. Judging by the epithet "unworthy," the ktitor might have been a cleric or monk. The name Neilos (here Nilos) is not otherwise attested in Crimea, but is well known from synaxaria (see Delehaye 1902, 1139) — it was most likely a monk's name.
4-6. One of the most important questions concerning this inscription is the restoration of the city name in lines 5-6. The restoration of Latyshev "Theodoro" is supported by the use of the epithet "God-protected" (see V 175), however, there is not enough space for that word since the width of the text is securely determined by the length of line 4. In addition, Theodoro appears in our sources only at the turn of the XIIIth and XIVth centuries (see commentary to V 175 and V 176), and for this reason, as well as on the basis of the inscription's date (see below) it is more plausible to restore the name Doros here, known in the VIIth-IXth centuries (Pioro 1990, 63–65).
Besides the typology of abbreviations, the second dating criterion of the inscription is its palaeographic features. Alpha with broken crossbar last occurs in Crimea in 915 C.E.(V 66), at the same time, iota with diaeresis appears in Crimea only in the Xth century (cf. V 89), and a narrow theta is also characteristic of this period (V 172), so our inscription should most likely date to Xth century.
The church at Danilcha-Koba has not been assigned a precise date: there are finds both of the VII-IXth centuries and of XIII-XVth centuries (see Myts 1991b).