V 224. Eski-Kermen. Epitaph of La–ouli-bei, XIIIth century C.E.






Additional description

Chipped along the edges. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context

East, Lesser gates, bank. 

Find circumstances

1937, excavations of N.I. Repnikov. 

Modern location


Institution and inventory



Non vidi. 

Epigraphic field


On the front. 


Lapidary; angular letters. Alpha with a loop, wide mu. 





XIIIth century C.E. 

Dating criteria

Palaeography, historical context. 


L1. Vinogradov 2004, 123–130; 1.2. Vinogradov 2005a, 431–432. 


Ἐκημίθ̣ι (ἐν)
μακαρίᾳ κὲ
ὁ δοῦλος τοῦ θ(εο)ῦ Λα.-
.ουλι-βει, ὡ κὲ πρό̣-
5της θέσεος τοῦ γ´
μ̣έ̣ρ̣ους, μηνὴ μ[αΐ]ο ιζ̣(?)´,
ἡμέρᾳ παρασκ[ευ]ῇ̣.



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/>Ἐκημί<unclear>θ</unclear>ι <expan><ex>ἐν</ex></expan>
      <lb n="2"/>μακαρίᾳ κὲ
      <lb n="3"/>ὁ δοῦλος τοῦ
    Λα<gap reason="illegible" quantity="1" unit="character"/><lb n="4" break="no"/><gap reason="illegible" quantity="1" unit="character"/>ουλι-βει,
      ὡ κὲ πρ<unclear>ό</unclear><lb n="5" break="no"/>της
      θέσεος τοῦ <num value="3">γ</num>
      <lb n="6"/><unclear>μέρ</unclear>ους, <date>μηνὴ
      <rs type="month" ref="mai">μ<supplied reason="lost">αΐ</supplied>ο</rs>
      <num value="17">ι<unclear>ζ</unclear><note>?</note></num>,
      <lb n="7"/>ἡμέρᾳ 
      παρασκ<supplied reason="lost">ευ</supplied><unclear>ῇ</unclear></date>.
Apparatus criticus

5: γ´ Kourtsian apud Vinogradov


Fell asleep in blessed, and a servant of God, La..ouli-bei, of the First grade, of the Third division, 17th (?) May, on Friday.



Information about this inscription is missing from the "Diary of cleaning works and reinforcement of fortifications conducted by the Eski-Kermen expedition of 1937" (Manuscript Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences f. 2, op. 1. 1937, d. 179). It is mentioned in the "Inventory of data from the Eski-Kermen expedition of 1937. From Trench No. V (line of defence)" (Manuscript Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences f. 2, op. 1. 1937, d. 182, l. 84 ob; kindly mentioned to us by S.V. Kharitonov), according to which the monument was transferred to the State Academy for History of Material Culture. It is also mentioned in several manuscripts of Repnikov. The negatives and photographs are preserved at the Photo Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences (II–39479, II–40870; О.1344.2, O.1373.49).

1–3. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.e.The abbreviation of the word ἐν looks somewhat unusual, and resembles the typical abbreviation of καί. The omission of the word "memory" occurs in V 144.

3–4. Two letters in the name of the deceased have been lost, but the beginning and the end are clear, as well as the Tatar title "bey," which is also attested, in other variants, in V 166 and V 172.

4–5. It is typical for the Middle and Late Byzantine epigraphy to introduce the status of a deceased with the words ὁ καί (cf., e.g, V 340). What is quite unusual is the office - "First rank, Third division." As far as the last letters go (Kourtsian, in a private conversation, suggested that we can read γ´), we can find an analogy in V 175, where at the end of line 6 we read ἕως ια´ μέρους "to the 11th division," which in that context refer to the furthermost extent of the Theodorite state territory. We may hazard a guess that the princedom of Theodoro, which consisted of valleys separated by mountains, might have been divided into districts - "divisions" (at least 11), and the number of the one where Eski-Kermen was located would be 3, which would make good sense if the count started from the centre of the state, that is, from the nearby Mangup. The expression "First rank" looks like hapax and apparently designates the highest rank of Theodorite magistrates, but it might be also used in V 151 (see commentary). The palaeographic features date the inscription to the Late Byzantine period, but the historical realia ("division") point specifically to the XIIIth century (see comm. to V 175), that is, before the destruction of Eski-Kermen in 1299.



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