V 258. Sougdaia. Inscription of an unknown, 1412 C.E.
H. 26.0, W. 116.0, Th. unknown.
On the front - multiple incised images of crosses. Condition unknown.
Place of Origin
"Monastery of St. George," chapel, exterior southwest corner.
1895, survey of A.L. Bertye-Delagard.
Institution and inventory
Along the upper edge of the stone.
Building (?) inscription.
L1. Latyshev 1896, 129–130, № 73а; 1.1. Millet 1900№ 73.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/> Ἀρχὴ σὺν <roleName>θεῷ</roleName>, ἀ<unclear>μ</unclear>ήν. <date>Ἔτους ἀπὸ <expan><abbr>Χ</abbr><ex>ριστο</ex><abbr>ῦ</abbr></expan> <expan><ex>χιλιο</ex><abbr>στ<supplied reason="lost">οῦ</supplied></abbr></expan></date> <lb n="2"/><num value="1412">υιβ</num>. </ab> </div>
1: ἀμήν Millet
1-2: α..´, μ(ηνὸς) (?) ιβ´ Latyshev; αφθ´ (?), ἰνδ(ικτιὼνος) ιβ´ Millet
A beginning with God, amen. In the year since Chist, one thousand 412.
The inscription belongs to the category of graffiti made on exterior walls of churches, among which unepigraphic drawings (crosses in our case) predominate. Some such graffiti in churches sometimes contain dates (e.g., V 173).
The restoration of the word missed by Latyshev in the middle of the text leaves no doubts. The same reading is mentioned in handwritten marginalia in the copy of Latyshev's publication now in the collection of the Centre de recherche d’Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, CNRS (Paris).
Dates 'since the Birth of Christ' appear in the Northern Black Sea region only in Late Middle Ages, probably under the western influence during the period of the Genoese control of Sudak. A correct reading of the remaining three numbers depends not on chronological calculations, but on the study of signs at the end of line 1 and beginning of line 2. In my opinion, the last two are not part of the inscription, since one can see on the estampage (Manuscript Archive, Institute for History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, f. 2, year 1928, d. 104, l. 36) that they are drawn by a different hand. Meanwhile, the first sign of line 2 is clearly an upsilon: an abbreviating overline above cofirms its numerical value. The set of numbers thus obtained (1, 6, 412) cannot, however, signify the year. It is the sitgma that especially sticks out here. Therefore we may venture a guess that the year date is partially spelled out, an epigraphic feature characteristic of the Late Middle Ages (see, e.g, V 241)).
On archaeological context, see Vinogradov, Dzhanov 2004.