V 232. Ay-Basil. Epitaph of Nicholas, 1344 C.E.
Broken into 3 fragments.
Place of Origin
1871, excavations of D.M. Strukov.
Institution and inventory
On the front.
Lapidary; letters are slightly ornate. Ligatures, abbreviation marks.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><expan><abbr>Ἐκημή</abbr><ex>θη</ex></expan> ὁ δοῦλο<supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">τ</supplied><unclear>ο</unclear>ῦ <roleName><expan><abbr>θ</abbr><ex>εο</ex><abbr>ῦ</abbr></expan></roleName> <lb n="2"/><expan><abbr>Νηκόλα</abbr><ex>ος</ex></expan> <date>μηνὶ <rs type="month" ref="apr"><supplied reason="lost">ἀ</supplied><unclear>π</unclear>ρηλίου</rs> <lb n="3"/><num value="29">κθ</num>, ἔτους <num value="6852">ςωνβ</num></date>. </ab> </div>
Fell asleep: a servant of God, Nicholas, on the 19th of April, in the year 6852.
Transcriptions made by Strukov are preserved at the Russian State Historical Archive, St. Petersburg (f. 695, op. 1, d. 17, l. 10; I would like to thank A.V. Dzhanov for providing me with a drawing) and at the Manuscript Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences (f. Р–I, № 619, l. 8). The latter is published here. The monument had been transferred to the Museum of the Academy of Arts, but I could not find it there. We know that Strukov read only the last three digits in the year date, and two of them incorrectly.
1. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.e.
2. On the name Nicholas, see commentary to V 48.
There is no archaeological date for this church; if we are to judge by its liturgical design, then by analogy with cave churches of Crimea, it would date no earlier than XIIIth century (see Vinogradov, Gaydukov, Zheltov 2005, 75–76). Thus, our inscription could well be the tombstone of the church's founder, and in that case, the church would have been built sometime in the 1320-30s. The date of the Ay-Basil Treasure also fits this date - XIII-XVth centuries (Zalesskaya 1993).