V 64. Cherson (?). Epitaph of Theodore, Constantine and others (?) (?), late IVth – Vth century C.E.
Crimbal (Alma) limestone.
H. 40.5, W. 31.5, Th. 18.0.
The panel is damaged: the top is mostly missing (there are traces of an incised circle on the front, probably containing a cross with widening arms); the central and bottom parts of the front are deeply chipped, the right side is badly weathered.
Place of Origin
Sevastopol (Chersonesos). (?)
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 120/36504.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
Top half of the front.
Lapidary; bouletée. Looped alpha, lunate and rectangular epsilon and sigma; the diagonals and the vertical of kappa do not touch, mu with shortened middle, rho with extended vertical, V-shaped upsilon.
Late IVth – Vth century C.E.
L1. Vinogradov 2007, 263, № 12; 2. Vinogradov 2010, 134–136, № h.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/> <roleName><expan><abbr>Κ</abbr><ex>ύρι</ex><abbr>ε</abbr></expan></roleName>, ἀν<surplus>ν</surplus>άπαυσον <lb n="2"/>τὰς ψυχὰς τὰς ἐνθά<supplied reason="lost">δε</supplied> <lb n="3"/>ἀνακιμένας μετὰ δι<lb n="4" break="no"/>κέον <g ref="#dipunct"/> Θεοδόρου · Κοσταν<lb n="5" break="no"/>τίνου <g ref="#dipunct"/> Ἀσενίκας <g ref="#dipunct"/> Μαρίας <lb n="6"/>Κυρα<unclear>δ</unclear>ίας · Γεοργίου <g ref="#dipunct"/> Ἀν<lb n="7" break="no"/><surplus>ν</surplus>αστα<supplied reason="lost">σίο</supplied>υ <g ref="#dipunct"/> Ἰωάνν<supplied reason="lost">ου</supplied> <lb n="8"/>Ἀνα<unclear>σ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">τασία</supplied>ς <g ref="#dipunct"/> Νικομήδ<supplied reason="lost">ου</supplied> <lb n="9"/>Ἀσε<supplied reason="lost" cert="low">νίκα</supplied>ς <g ref="#dipunct"/> Μνήμης <lb n="10"/><unclear>Κ</unclear>υ<unclear>ραδ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ίας</supplied> <supplied reason="lost"><g ref="#dipunct"/></supplied> <app type="alternative"><lem>Ἱδονε̑<supplied reason="lost" cert="low">ς</supplied> </lem><rdg>Ἱδόνε<supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied></rdg></app>. </ab> </div>
9-10: Μνήμησ[ον], κύρ[ιε, μετὰ δικέ]ον Vinogradov 2007
Lord, grant rest to the souls lying here, with the righteous: of Theodore, Constantine, Asenika, Mary, Kyradia, George, Anastasia, John, Anastasia, Nikomedes, Asenika (?), Mneme, Kyradia and Hedone (?).
Mass graves on such scale are not otherwise attested in Chersonesos. The largest group burial consists of four individuals (V 63.1). We must hypothesize that they are victims of fire, violence, or epidemic; a family tomb is less likely.
1–4. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.b.
4-9. The names are separated with a dipunct. Only in lines 4 and 6, a high dot is used instead of dipuncts. We should note that there is a regular alternation between male and female names: two male, three female, three male, one female, one male, four female. In addition, we may observe that the second occurs right after the first group of two men and three women. One possible explanation is that representatives of two or three families were buried together (a male name between two female at the end might be that of a child).
The names Theodore, Constantine, George, and John are well attested in the Northern Black Sea region (see Index of Personal Names). Anastasia is attested as a saint's name (V 76). Nikomedes is also known as Christian (см. Delehaye 1902, 122); Nikomedios is attested in SEG 7.251. The name Kyradia is known only from two Christian inscriptions in Asia Minor (I.Iznik 577; MAMA VII 555; Lycaonia), and so we can safely suppose that our Kyradia also hailed from Asia Minor. The names Mneme and Hedone (here Hidone) represent Christian nick-names ("memory" and "pleasure" respectively, cf. V 61 and V 63): the former has no parallels (although there is a Μνημοσύνη in LGPN), while the latter is recorded in LGPN 16 times (in V 339 a male equivalent, Hedonios, is attested). It is notable that the majority of female names are less common than male names.
9–10. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.b.
A characteristic orthographic feature of this inscription is dittography of nu (lines 1 and 6), as well as the loss of a long "o" sound (and possibly, exchange of eta for epsilon in line 9, see commentary to V 61). Palaeographic features are close to those of V 65: we may compare the shapes of alpha with a loop and elongated rho; there is also an affinity with the script of V 5: rectangular epsilon and sigma, mu (cf. also V 21) and V-shaped.