V 13. Cherson. Building inscription of Isaac and Manouel (?), 1446–1459 C.E.






Additional description

On the front - relief border; in addition, three relief monograms set in a row within a rectangular relief frame and separated from one another by vegetative ornaments. 

Place of Origin


Find place

Sevastopol (Chersonesos). 

Find context

Tower XVII (?). 

Find circumstances

1798, survey of P.S. Pallas 

Modern location


Institution and inventory



Non vidi. 

Epigraphic field


Above the monograms. 





Building inscription. 


1446–1459 C.E. 

Dating criteria



L1. CIG IV 8851; 1.1. Latyshev 1896, 19–20, № 9; 1.1.1. Millet 1900; 1.2. Malitsky 1933, 36–37; 1.3. Vinogradov 2011, 220–222 № 3. 


Βαλλόμενον ε(ἰς?) τὸ κάστρο(ν?) τῖς Χερσονίας.



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/>Βαλλόμενον <expan><abbr>ε</abbr><ex cert="low">ἰς</ex></expan>
      τὸ <expan><abbr>κάστρο</abbr><ex cert="low">ν</ex></expan> τῖς
Apparatus criticus

1: βαλλομέ[ν]ου ᾿ς Kirchhof βαλλομένου ἐ[ν] Millet; Χερσ[ῶνο]ς Kirchhof et alii


Set up (?) in the Chersonia castle.



Pallas (1801, 74) discusses this inscription immediately after V 6 and mentions that it was found "in the same area," that is, either in the wall of Tower XVII, or somewhere in the general area of Chersonessos. The inscription is known from Pallas' drawing published by Dubois de Montpéreux (1843, atl. sér. IV, pl. 24b, fig. 10).

The form of the inscription (three monograms in cartouches) is decidedly representative of the Theodorite epigraphy of the XVth century (see, e.g. V 179, V 180). The uniform leaning of letters indicates that Pallas was not reproducing lettershapes in a facsimile style, but was presenting his own reading of the text.

1. Our reading of the inscription is rather tentative. On the specific meaning of βάλλω here, see Lampe, s.v. - we should probably identify this as the aorist stem - βαλ{λ}όμενον; the letter at the end of the word is definitely a nu, as it is the same as the fourth letter from the end in the last word - Χερσονίας - where its reading is indisputable.

The decipherement of the monograms is key to the dating of the inscription (Millet offered the following interpretation: ἰς κ᾿ μηνὸς Δεκεμβρίου). In the first monogram, the name Isaac is quite transparent; in the second - only the letters MAN are decipherable (perhaps from the name Manuel); in the third, the name is unclear. We know of Isaac, the ruler of Theodoro (died in 1475 C.E.; see Myts 1991a, 183): his monogram occupies the central position in V 238 (1459 C.E.), while in this case it appears in a secondary position: if we can judge by the inscriptions of Authentes Alexios (V 179, V 180), the main monogram is the central one, while the lateral ones are secondary. This fact prompts us to date the inscription before 1459 C.E., since by then Isaak had already acquired the leading role. The central monogram should refer to the senior Theodorite official, who from 1446 till 1459 was apparently Olobo (Myts 2009, 401-404): in the monogram, we might be seeing a reflection of his Christian name. Overall, we can conclude that the inscription was most likely put up some time between 1446 and 1459 C.E. (see also commentary to V 14). This date fits well with the unusual shape of the cartouches on the drawing of Pallas: they are neither pointy, as in V 179 and V 180, as well as on another fragment from Mangup with the monogram of Alexios (Malitsky 1932, 35, drawing 11), nor are they rounded, as in the later V 238, and in V 148 (of less certain date).



(cc) © 2015 Andrey Vinogradov (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
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