V 177. Theodoro. Building inscription of –tzi, 1391–1401 C.E.






Dimensions (cm)

H. 71.0, W. 35.0, Th. 13.0.

Additional description

Inset panel. Broken on the right, chipped all around. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context

Tabana-Dere, second line of defence, tower, reused in the masonry. 

Find circumstances

1890, survey of F.A. Braun. 

Modern location

Bakhchisaray, Crimea. 

Institution and inventory

Bakhchisaray State Historical and Cultural Preserve, А-В–1352. 


September 2006. 

Epigraphic field


Within inset field. 


Lapidary; elongated letters of varying heights. Alpha with slanting crossbar and capping horizontal bar pointing left, and alpha with a loop; beta with vertically spaced angular loops, minuscule zeta, almond-shaped theta, iota with diaeresis, mu with T-shaped middle, И-shaped nu, wide omega. Ligatures pi-iota, tau-alpha; irregular diacritics. 

Letterheights (cm)




Building inscription. 


1391–1401 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Explicit date. 


L1. Latyshev 1896, 54–55, № 46; 1.1. Malitsky 1933, 5–6; 1.1.1. Myts 2009, 26; 2. Vinogradov 2011, 242–244, № 14. 


+ Ἐκ[τίσθη ἐκ β-]
άθρων [διὰ]
κόπου [---]
τζι το̣[ῦ] ἑκα-
ἐπὶ τῆς β[ασιλί(ας)]
ἐπὶ ἔτους [͵ςϠ´ resp. ͵ςϠ.´ ].



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/> Ἐκ<supplied reason="lost">τίσθη</supplied>
      <supplied reason="lost">ἐκ</supplied>
      <supplied reason="lost">β</supplied><lb n="2" break="no"/>άθρων <supplied reason="lost">διὰ</supplied>
      <lb n="3"/>κόπου
      <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      <lb n="4"/><seg part="F">τζι</seg>
      τ<unclear>ο</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ῦ</supplied>
      ἑκα<lb n="5" break="no"/>τοντάρ<supplied reason="lost">χου</supplied>,
      <lb n="6"/>ἐπὶ τῆς
      <expan><abbr>β</abbr><supplied reason="lost"><abbr>ασιλί</abbr><ex>ας</ex></supplied></expan>
      <lb n="7"/>Τοχταμ<unclear>ή</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied>.
      <lb n="8"/>ἐπὶ <date>ἔτους
      <supplied reason="lost"><app type="alternative"><lem><num value="6900">ςϠ</num></lem>
      <rdg><num atLeast="6901">ςϠ.</num></rdg></app></supplied></date>.
Apparatus criticus

1-2: Ἐκ[τίσθη ὁ πύργος (?) οὗτος ἐκ β]άθρων Latyshev et alii
3: [(καὶ) συνδρομῆς Latyshev et alii
4: Τζιτ[ζικίου Latyshev et alii
7: Τοχταμ[...] Latyshev; Τοχταμ[ύσου resp. ύση] Malitsky, Myts


Built from the foundation, through the effort of [...]tzi, the centurion, in the r[eign] of Tochtames, in the year [6900 (or 690.)].



F.A. Braun (1893, 19–20, fig. 12) noticed a marble piece in the tower's masonry and removed it to find an inscribed panel. It must have been reused in the Turkish period. The inscription was published by Latyshev on the basis of a photograph taken by Monastyrly and sent to him by A. I. Markevich: it is preserved in the Photo Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences (О.710.83).

It is easy to restore the original length of lines by using line 6 where undoubtedly the word β[ασιλί(ας)] should be read.

1-2. On the formula, see commentary to V 172. There is no room left to indicate the structure that had been built but such an omission is intelligible, since the stone was built into the wall of that structure, and the reference would be clear to the reader. Still, the omission is unusual and could perhaps be explained by the reuse of a spolium (there is only one other inscription on marble at Mangup — V 178) — the cutter was forced to abbreviate the text in order to fit it onto the available surface. Braun identified the monument as a building inscription related to the construction of a church, while Latyshev associated it with the tower where it had been reused.

3–4. Latyshev's restoration of the builder's name as Tzitzikios is not supported by the traces on the stone, where an omicron is clear in line 4. In addition, there appears to be a vacat after the first three letters in line 4, and the following tau and omicron, judging by the length of the line, must go with the article accompanying the word "centurion." The name of the builder must have been something like Mountzi (cf. V 184).

4–5. The builder was a centurion, just like Chouitanes from another inscription of the XIVth century from Mangup - V 175.

6-8. To date the inscription by the ruler, Latyshev identified two possibilities: Tokhta (1291–1313) and Tokhtamysh (1380–1406). Already Malitsky was doubtful about the first possibility. In addition, our reconstruction of the length of lines allows only the second possibility (in the former case, a mu after the name would be hard to explain, since there is no room for the indication of the month). As far as we can tell from the distance between letters in line 8, there is no room for an omega in the year date - after the necessary stigma there could have been only a sampi and possibly one more letter. Thus, the inscription was cut some time between 1391 and 1401 C.E. For the historical commentary, see Myts 2009, 25–31.

The palaeographic features of this inscription differ both from the earlier monuments of the XIVth century (V 175, V 176), and from the Theodorite epigraphy of the XVth century (the earliest example - V 178, 1403 C.E.). The proximity of the latter's date and of the possible date of our inscription suggests the first half of the 1390s for the text in question.



(cc) © 2015 Andrey Vinogradov (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
You may download this inscription in EpiDoc XML. (This file should validate to the EpiDoc schema.)