V 103. Chersonesos or Bulgaria. Building inscription, IX–Xth centuries C.E.
H. 4.5, W. 9.0, Th. 4.0.
Roll moulding on the back; in secondary use. Broken off on all sides, except the right.
Place of Origin
Chersonesos or Bulgaria.
1900, chance find.
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 34899.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
On the front.
Lapidary. Beta with vertically spaced loops, V-shaped upsilon with curved right hasta. Abbreviation.
Building (?) inscription.
IX–Xth centuries C.E.
L1. Vinogradov 2011, 229–230, № 7.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <seg part="F"><supplied reason="lost" cert="low">σ</supplied>υβηγις</seg> <lb n="2"/><date><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><num value="7">ζ</num>· <expan><abbr>ἰ<supplied reason="lost">ν</supplied>δ</abbr><ex>ικτιῶνος</ex></expan> <num><gap reason="lost" quantity="2" unit="character"/></num></date> </ab> </div>
...ybegis... on the 7th, in ... indiction.
Skubetov found this inscription in a pile of stones (Kostsyushko-Valyuzhinich 1900, 33, № 1). Latyshev twice published this inscription without a reading (IOSPE IV 174; IOSPE I2 627).
1. The preserved letters cannot be anything but a non-Greek name: we can discern a Turkic title "beg" (cf. V 172). We can also detect here a typical titulature of Bulgarian kings Omurtag and Malamir (IXth century) κανα συβίγι "Great Khan" (Beševliev 1963, № 55–67; kindly pointed out to us by D.V. Kashtanov), with the addition of a final sigma to create a more Greek-like form of the word.
2. Here was probably the date. Number 7 either indicated the year, or the day of the month. A similar abbreviation for the word "indiction" is know from V 170 (Xth century). In the Bulgarian inscriptions cited above, a date by indiction is attested only in the building inscription of Omurtag 822 C.E. (Beševliev 1963, № 56). We know nothing either about the presence of Bulgarians in Cherson in the IXth century, or about their building activities. If this inscription is indeed Bulgarian, then we must assume that this fragment was brought to Cherson from Bulgaria.
The lettershapes, especially upsilon, resemble those of V 67 and date to the IX-Xth centuries. The characteristic shape of beta with separated loops is found in one of the Bulgarian inscriptions cited above, dated to 827-829 C.E. (Beševliev 1963, № 59).