V 111. Bakla. Demonstrative inscription, X–XVth centuries C.E.
Frame of a niche.
H. 5.0, W. 9.5.
Wall niche framed at the top with three roll mouldings and a row of circular holes. Monograms on the bottom part of the frame. Letters are considerably effaced.
Place of Origin
East of the citadel, cave north of the "Church of 2003", eastern wall.
Discovered in the twentieth century, by several researchers independently.
Institution and inventory
In situ, no inventory number.
On the right field.
Lapidary. Epsilon and sigma with thickened bottom curves, iota with diaeresis, mu with short middle hastae, almond-shaped omicron, У-shaped elongated upsilon. Ligature: omicron-nu, with omicron not fully closed at the top.
X–XVth centuries C.E.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/> <g ref="#stauros"/>Ὀσμὺ <lb n="2"/>κερίον <lb n="3"/>ἱδονή. </ab> </div>
The fragrance of candles is a delight.
In 2001-2002, somebody traced the letters of the inscription (often incorrectly) with blue and red pencils, making it difficult to read the text.
2. The interchange of eta and epsilon should be viewed as a Late Byzantine phonetic variant (see Κριαρᾶς VIII, 158).
1-3. To our regret, we were not able to find parallels of the text of this inscription in any Byzantine monument, epigraphic or literary. We may venture a guess that the inscription could have been inspired by the practice of lighting candling in the richly decorated niche, on whose frame it was inscribed.
Iota with diaeresis appears in Crimea from the Xth century (V 66).
© 2015 Andrey Vinogradov (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
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