V 30. Cherson.Dedication, Xth - early XIth century C.E.





White fine-grained marble. 

Additional description

Polished on both front and back. Two fragments survive: Fragment 1 is broken on all sides, except the left; Fragment 2 is broken on all sides. 

Place of Origin


Modern location

Sevastopol, Crimea. 

Institution and inventory

, no inventory number. 


May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007. 


Dimensions (cm)

H.7.5, W.8.5, Th.4.0.

Find place

Sevastopol (Chersonesos). 

Find context

Church 23 ("Uvarov Basilica"), Chapel B. 

Find circumstances

1901, excavations of K.K. Kostsyushko-Valyuzhinich 

Institution and inventory

National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 34881. 


Dimensions (cm)

H.6.0, W.8.0, Th.3.5.

Find place

Sevastopol (Chersonesos). 

Find context

Necropolis near the Extramural Cruciform Church, soil heap. 

Find circumstances

Before 1908. 

Institution and inventory

National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 34883. 

Epigraphic field


On the front. 


Lapidary style. Alpha with slanting crossbar and capping horizontal bar pointing left. Ligatures: nu-kappa, omicron-epsilon, mu-?, tau-eta. Abbreviations and superscript diacritics. 

Letterheights (cm)






Xth - early XIth century C.E. 

Dating criteria



Fr.1. Latyshev1902a, 30, № 14. Fr.2. Unpublished. 


[--- εἰς]
τὰ [---]
τοῦ ἁγίου [Ἰω(άννου?)? ἐν]
τῇ μεσο[πόλει?]
5τῇ ἀναλ[ώσει]
τιν(ῶν) κτητόρ[ων]
τὸ σκεῦος [---]
ητ[---], [ἵνα (e.g). τὸν]
[ἄ]ρτον κλ[ά-]
10[σ]ε ἡμ(ᾶς) (pro ὑμ(ᾶς?)) εὐλ(ογημένον)
[ο]ὐ(ρα)νοῦ ζ´ Ε[---].



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <supplied reason="lost">εἰς</supplied>
      <lb n="2"/>τὰ <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      <lb n="3"/>τοῦ <roleName>ἁγίου</roleName> 
      <supplied reason="lost" cert="low"><expan><abbr>Ἰω</abbr><ex cert="low">άννου</ex></expan></supplied> 
      <supplied reason="lost">ἐν</supplied>
      <lb n="4"/>τῇ μεσο<supplied reason="lost" cert="low">πόλει</supplied> 
      <lb n="5"/>τῇ ἀναλ<supplied reason="lost">ώσει</supplied>
      <lb n="6"/><expan><abbr>τιν</abbr><ex>ῶν</ex></expan> κτητόρ<supplied reason="lost">ων</supplied>
      <lb n="7"/>τὸ σκεῦος <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      <lb n="8"/><w part="I">ητ</w><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>, <supplied reason="lost">ἵνα <note>e.g</note>. τὸν</supplied>
      <lb n="9"/><supplied reason="lost">ἄ</supplied>ρτον κλ<supplied reason="lost">ά</supplied>
      <lb n="10" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">σ</supplied>ε <choice><reg><expan><abbr>ὑμ</abbr><ex cert="low">ᾶς</ex></expan></reg><orig><expan><abbr>ἡμ</abbr><ex>ᾶς</ex></expan></orig></choice> <expan><abbr>εὐλ</abbr><ex>ογημένον</ex></expan>
      <lb n="11"/><expan><abbr><supplied reason="lost">ο</supplied>ὐ</abbr><ex>ρα</ex><abbr>νοῦ</abbr></expan> <num value="7">ζ</num> <orig>ε</orig><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>.
Apparatus criticus

1-2: om.Latyshev1902a
4-6: ἐν ... κτητόρ[ων: om.Latyshev1902a
6: καὶLatyshev1902a
7-11: [τ]ὸ ... ζ: om. Latyshev1902a


...[in]... Saint [John (?)?], in the Middle [town (?)], with the reso[urces] of certain ktitores, this equipment... [for (?) our (?) breaking] of bread, blessed, heavenly...



Latyshev (1908, 34, no. 30) was the first to join the fragments, but he offered no reading for Fragment 2, which is covered with diagonal grooves (apparently predating the inscription, since the letter-carver made a special effort to avoid crossing the last groove. The same groove can be traced on Fragment 1, at the very bottom, in the space of kappa in line 6 (that is why Latyshev mistook it for an abbreviated καί), thus indicating the order in which the fragments should be placed one before the other.

Judging by what the fragments say, the inscription speaks of a dedication.

3-4. The name of the patron saint of the church did not survive; nevertheless, the length of the lines is quite certain, and therefore the space of the lacuna allows only one name as a possible restoration - Io(annes). Apparently, several churches in Cherson were dedicated to this saint: that is how we can explain the attribute "Middle-", which could be a reference to "the Middle Town," corresponding to the position of Church 23.

5-6. Ktitores are described as "certain," suggesting that they deliberately chose to remain anonymous.

7. The dedicated object was probably stated in the missing lines at the start of the inscription, while here it is called σκεῦος. The word can mean a vessel, as well as any equipment, including liturgical furnishings. The latter seems preferable, otherwise it would be difficult to explain why the inscription was not made on the vessel itself. If the dedicated object was a piece of equipment, then we could speculate that the panel with inscription was built into it.

9-11. A reference to the breaking of the "blessed, heavenly bread," that is, the eucharist, suggests that the object was a prothesis, or, more likely, an altar table.

11. The meaning of zeta at the end is numerical (i.e., 7), since a vacat follows: it is possible that the number refers to the days of the week (something like "on the seventh day" or "seven times a week," i.e., every day), and it is not likely to be referring to the "seventh heaven."

The script of this inscription is close to V 11 and V 12 (XIth century; cf. the shape of alpha with slanting crossbar and a serif at the top), but is also similar to V 98, Xth century (cf. the superscript omicron above tau). In fact, the two inscriptions are so similar in size and palaeography that they might have been parts of the same complex, although the greater length of lines in V 98 precludes the possibility of merging the two inscriptions into one.

The inscription probably originates from Chapel Б attached to Church 23, where Fragment 1 was found, while Fragment 2 must have been transported outside the city limits with a heap of rubbish.



(cc)© 2015 Andrey Vinogradov (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
You may download this inscription in EpiDoc XML. (This file should validate to theEpiDoc schema.)