V 270. Pantikapaion. Epitaph of Arsakis, III–IVth centuries C.E.
H. 97.0, W. 29.5, Th. 14.0.
On the top front - carved elongated cross with flaring arms, criss-crossed in the middle by a horizontal line and by a sideways cross in the top part; on the bottom arm of the central cross - carved elongated cross. Broken into 4 parts at the intersection of the arms.
Place of Origin
Glinishche, Bratskaya (modern Frunze) Street, house no. 17, yard of the widow of A. Bondarenko.
23 January 1903, chance find.
Institution and inventory
Historical and Archeological Museum of Kerch State Historical and Cultural Preserve, КЛ–1174.
May 1999, September 2004, September 2008.
In the middle, between two horizontal lines.
Lapidary; letters, crosses, and framing lines are filled in with ochre. Alpha with broken crossbar, delta with projecting right hasta.
III–IVth centuries C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1904, 86, № 100; 1.1. Diatroptov, Yemets 1995, № 8; 2. Vinogradov 2007, 261, № 8.
Here lies Arsakis, a Christian.
The monument was found next to V 287. The shape of the monument is quite peculiar: on the one hand, the top part in the shape of the cross points to its affinity with burial crosses V 275, V 285, V 287, on the other hand, its main body is that of a tall and narrow stele, uncommon for Christian tombstones, but similar to another early (IVth century) monument, which also stands out among others - V 283.
1–2. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.d.
3. Under this name, we know of a martyr - Arsakis of Nicomedia (Sozomenus Hist. eccl. IV, 16), who suffered persecution under Licinius. This name is attested once among Christian inscriptions (IK.Prusias, № 126).
3-4. Latyshev believed that the use of the term "Christian" testified to the official status of Christianity at the time when the text had been inscribed. In reality, this formula was popular in the IIIrd-IVth centuries, that is, at the time when such identification was particularly poignant: see, e.g., Feissel 1983, № 123 (IVth? century); Beševliev 1964, № 36 (IVth century), 220b (III–IVth century); Wessel 1989, № 325–332; Hagel 1998, № Kry 18; IGLS 598 (369 C.E.); Asdracha 2003, № 118 (II–III вв.), 130–131, 165, 196. On the epithet "Christian" in inscriptions, see Leclercq 1913, 1470–1478. The identification "Christian" was also common in the epigraphic tradition of Phrygian montanists (see Gibson 1978), although there are no other indications to suspect that the Bosporan Arsakis was a montanist, and additionally, the name Arsakis is not attested in Phrygia.