V 46. Cherson. Invocation of Michael, Х–XIth centuries C.E.
H. 28.0, W. 33.0, Th. 12.0.
On the front is an anathyrosis along the top and right edge; there is incised framing line on the left, decorated with an incised geometric ornament; in the centre of the panel is a roughly chiseled image of a cross with forking ends, on Golgotha; on either side of the top arm of the cross are two small versions of the same type of cross, faintly incised.
Place of Origin
Northern shore, in the masonry of the monastery fence.
1896, survey of M.N. Skubetov.
Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Institution and inventory
The State Museum of the History of Religion, no inventory number.
In the bottom left corner between the arms of the cross.
Lapidary. Letters are angular and uneven. Alpha with a loop; delta with extended horizontal; iota with diaeresis. Ligature: omicron-upsilon.
Х–XIth centuries C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1908, 32, № 27.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><roleName><expan><abbr>Κ</abbr><ex>ύρι</ex><abbr>ε</abbr></expan></roleName>, βοήθ<lb n="2" break="no"/>η τὸν <expan><abbr>δοῦ<lb n="3" break="no"/>λό</abbr><ex>ν</ex></expan> σου Μι<lb n="4" break="no"/>χαήλη. </ab> </div>
3-4: Μιχαήλει Latyshev
O Lord, help your servant Michael.
The letters of the inscription appear scratched into the stone rather than carved: their shapes are angular. It is not absolutely clear whether the inscription is contemporary with the carving of the cross or made later, e.g., at the same time with the two small crosses. For this reason, it is not clear whether we should classify this inscription as dedicatory or as a graffito on a pre-existing monument.
1-3. On the formula, see IV.3.E.a.
3-4. The name Μιχαήλ, in the Byzantine period, was also declined according to the noun forms Μιχάηλος or Μιχαήλιος (see, e.g.,Sozomenus. Hist. eccl. 2, 3, 8), from where we get the typically Byzantine form of accusative Μιχαήλιν, with the omicron dropping out. The omission of the final nu in δοῦλον and Μιχαήλην can probably be explained by the process of transition to Modern Greek. Such an explanation seems more probable than the one offered by Latyshev, who suspected a confusion of noun cases, which is indeed common in Byzantine inscriptions using this formula (see IV.3.E.a).