V 241. Partenit. Building inscription of Damianos, 1427 C.E.



Wall block. 



Additional description

Reused, broken into 3 parts. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context

Basilica, in front of the altar, in the floor. 

Find circumstances

October 1871, excavations of D.M. Strukov. 

Modern location


Institution and inventory



Non vidi. 

Epigraphic field


Entire front surface. 


Lapidary; relief letters, cut between relief guiding lines, elongated, accentuated with serifs. Alpha with slanting crossbar and with capping horizontal bar pointing left, almond-shaped epsilon, theta, omicron and sigma, V-shaped upsilon, ornate omega; diacritic marks. 

Letterheights (cm)




Building inscription. 


1427 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Explicit date. 


L1. Klopotovich 1871; 1.1. Karaulov 1872, 312–313; 2. Latyshev 1886; 1.2. Hermogenes 1887, 150; 2.1. Latyshev 1896, 77–79, № 70. 


Ἰ(ησοῦ)ς Χ(ριστὸ)ς νικᾷ. Ὁ πάνσεπτος καὶ θεῖος ναὸς τῶν ἁγίων ἐνδό-
ξων, πανευ̣φήμων καὶ πρωτοκορυφαίων ἀποστόλων
[Πέτρου κ]αὶ Πα̣[ύλ]ο̣υ̣ ἐκτήσθη{ν} ἐκ βάθρων πρὸ χρόνων
πολλῶν πα[ρὰ] τοῦ ἐν ἁγ̣[ίο]ι̣ς π(ατ)ρ(ὸ)ς ἡμῶν καὶ ἀρχιεπισ-
5κόπου πόλεως Θε[ο]δώρους [καὶ] π̣άσης Γοτθίας Ἰω(άννου)
τοῦ ὁμολογητοῦ· ἀνεκαινί[σθ]η δὲ νῦν κα-
θὼς ὁρᾶται παρὰ τοῦ π[α]νιε[ρωτάτ]ο̣υ μ(ητ)ροπο-
λίτου πόλεως Θεοδώρου[ς] κ[αὶ] πάση[ς Γοτ]θ̣ί-
ας κυροῦ Δαμιανοῦ ἔ[τους] ἑξακισχ̣ι̣-
10λιοστοῦ ἐννακοσι[ο]στοῦ τριακοστοῦ ἕκ-
του, ἰνδικτιῶνος ἕκτης, μηνὶ Σεπτε-
β̣ρίῳ δεκάτῃ.



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/><expan><abbr>Ἰ</abbr><ex>ησοῦ</ex><abbr>ς</abbr></expan> 
      <expan><abbr>Χ</abbr><ex>ριστὸ</ex><abbr>ς</abbr></expan> νικᾷ. 
      Ὁ πάνσεπτος καὶ θεῖος ναὸς 
      τῶν ἁγίων ἐνδό<lb n="2" break="no"/>ξων, 
      πανε<unclear>υ</unclear>φήμων καὶ πρωτοκορυφαίων 
      <lb n="3"/><supplied reason="lost">Πέτρου</supplied> 
      <supplied reason="lost">κ</supplied>αὶ 
      Π<unclear>α</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ύλ</supplied><unclear>ο</unclear><unclear>υ</unclear> 
      ἐκτήσθη<surplus>ν</surplus> ἐκ βάθρων πρὸ 
      <lb n="4"/>πολλῶν πα<supplied reason="lost">ρὰ</supplied> τοῦ ἐν
      ἁ<unclear>γ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ίο</supplied><unclear>ι</unclear>ς 
      <expan><abbr>π</abbr><ex>ατ</ex><abbr>ρ</abbr><ex>ὸ</ex><abbr>ς</abbr></expan> ἡμῶν 
      καὶ ἀρχιεπισ<lb n="5" break="no"/>κόπου πόλεως 
      Θε<supplied reason="lost">ο</supplied>δώρους <supplied reason="lost">καὶ</supplied> 
      <unclear>π</unclear>άσης Γοτθίας 
      <lb n="6"/>τοῦ ὁμολογητοῦ·
      ἀνεκαινί<supplied reason="lost">σθ</supplied>η δὲ 
      νῦν κα<lb n="7" break="no"/>θὼς ὁρᾶται παρὰ 
      τοῦ π<supplied reason="lost">α</supplied>νιε<supplied reason="lost">ρωτάτ</supplied><unclear>ο</unclear>υ 
      <expan><abbr>μ</abbr><ex>ητ</ex><abbr>ροπο<lb n="8" break="no"/>λίτου</abbr></expan> πόλεως 
      Θεοδώρου<supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied> κ<supplied reason="lost">αὶ</supplied> 
      πάση<supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied> 
      <supplied reason="lost">Γοτ</supplied><unclear>θ</unclear>ί<lb n="9" break="no"/>ας κυροῦ 
      <date>ἔ<supplied reason="lost">τους</supplied> 
      ἑξακισ<unclear>χ</unclear><unclear>ι</unclear><lb n="10" break="no"/>λιοστοῦ 
      ἐννακοσι<supplied reason="lost">ο</supplied>στοῦ 
      τριακοστοῦ ἕκ<lb n="11" break="no"/>του, ἰνδικτιῶνος 
      ἕκτης, μηνὶ 
      <rs type="month" ref="sep">Σεπτε<lb n="12" break="no"/><unclear>β</unclear>ρίῳ</rs> δεκάτῃ</date>.
Apparatus criticus

2: ΠΑΗΕΦΜΩΠ Klopotovich, Karaulov, Hermogenes
3: [Πέτρου κ]αὶ Πα[ύλ]ου: om. Klopotovich, Karaulov, Hermogenes
5,.8: Θεοδωροῦς Latyshev
11-12: ΣΕΠΤΕ.ΒΡΙΩ Klopotovich, Karaulov, Hermogenes; Σεπτε[μβ]ρίῳ Latyshev


Jesus Christ is victorious. The all-revered and divine church of the holy, glorious, worthy of every praise and chief apostles [Peter] and Paul was erected from the foundations a long time ago by our father, who is with the saints, and archbishop of the city of Theodoro and of all Gotthia, John the Confessor. And now it has been renovated in its present state by the most sacred metropolitan of the city of Theodoro and of all Gothia, lord Damianos, in the year six thousand nine hundred thirty sixth, in the sixth indiction, on the tenth of September.



On the circumstances of find, see Karaulov 1872.

1. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.C.e.

1–2. The epithet describing the church as πάνσεπτος καὶ θεῖος (or in reverse order) is typical of Late Byzantine building inscriptions (25 cases, according to PHI7 Database), however it is nowhere combined with the verb ἐκτίσθη. A rare epithet of the apostles - πρωτοκορυφαῖος - is characteristic of the Late Byzantine period and is first recorded in Miklosich, Mueller 1871, 107 (1274 C.E.).

1–6. The inscription was set up in connection with the restoration of a basilica at Partenit, dedicated as is clear from the text to the saint apostles Peter and Paul. The basilica was probably the katholikon of the "monastery of saint apostles" described in V 243 (906 C.E.), although reconsecration is not to be excluded. The inscription attributes the construction of the church to St. John of Gothia (late VIIIth century), while the archaeologists in charge of the latest excavations (Adaksina, Kirilko, Myts 1999) unambiguously date the construction to the Xth century, although Zavadskaya (2006) critiques their conclusions. In addition, the Vita of John of Gothia mentions the construction of a monastery, and it is unlikely that it would have been built without a church. If the church at Partenit is indeed as late as the Xth century, it would mean that the monastery had changed its location by then. In any case, what was important for metropolitan Damianos was an association with St. John the Confessor, who was his most famous predecessor among hierarchs of Gotthia. It is of note that the exact age of the basilica is not stated ("long time ago"). Also of note is that in contrast to Vita of St. John of Gothia (BHG 891), the main source on information about the saint, he is not called a bishop, but archbishop (an anachronistic transfer of Damianos' titulature upon the saint): what stands behind this is probably a recollection of the change in Gothia's status from an archbishopric to a metropolis in the XIIIth century (see commentary V 239), about a century and a half prior to the setting up of our inscription.

6–9. The church at Partenit, which had apparently been part of a monastery in 906, by 1427 has come under the supervision of metropolitan Damianos. Other sources are unaware of this ecclesiastical authority (see PLP 5071, where he is imprecisely titled the metropolitan of Theodoropolis); he might be referred to in Genoese documents of 1442 and 1428–1429 as the "bishop of Theodoro" (Vassiliev 1936, 278). The same attribution probably holds for the stone with a monogram of metropolitan Damianos (V 244). The verb ἀνακαινίζω in this case most likely carries the sense of reconsecration of the church after a renovation (see commentary to V 176). The formula καθὼς ὁρᾶται is comparable with ὃ νῦν ὁρᾶται in V 180 of the same year - both are unique in Byzantine epigraphy. An accent over the word Theodoro is marked on the stone.

9–12. A full or partial spelling of the date is also known in late Theodorite epigraphy (cf. V 282). September 10th in 1427 fell on a Wednesday. This date in Constantinople was dedicated to the adoration of the Holy Cross (Delehaye 1902, 34), associated with St. Constantine and St. Helen, who were probably the patrons of the cathedral church of the Gotthian metropolis (see commentary to V 180).

The inscription probably ended up in the floor of the basilica after yet another reconstruction (see commentary to V 242). For historical commentary, see Myts 2009, 143–147, as well as commentary to V 239. In 1390, Partenit had been transferred from the metropolitan of Gothia to the metropolitan of Cherson (Miklosich, Mueller 1862, 148–150, № 419) — but apparently by 1427 it came back under the authority of the former: it might have had something to do with the rise of Theodoro who were patrons of the Gothian metropolis, with their control over the south coast of Crimea (cf. the title "Ruler of Theodoro and the Coast" in V 179 and V 180).

In its design (relief letters; relief guiding lines between lines of text) this monument seems to be a typical representative of Theodorite epigraphy of the XVth century. It is however less ostentatious (no reliefs) than some of its near contemporaries such as V 179 and V 180 (1425–1427 C.E.), and uses a different script: letters are not elongated and less ornate. The origin of the letter-cutter thus poses a question: he might well have been a non-Theodorite, even though he employed Theodorite formulae (see above). In this regard, we should also ask about the permanent place of residence of metropolitan Damianos: a quarter century earlier (in 1399), the metropolitan of Gothia was Ioannes Holobolos (Vassiliev 1936, 278), who nevertheless resided at Constantinople (see PLP 21044).



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