V 329. Hermonassa (?). Building inscription of Justinian I, 533, 548 or 563 C.E.
H. 64.5, W. 39.0, Th. 17.5.
On the front - relief Latin cross with serifs on the ends of the arms. Broken at the top and left, the right side of the original stele is preserved.
Place of Origin
Taman, vicinity; Suvorovskaya fortress.
Unknown; before September 1893.
Institution and inventory
Historical and Archeological Museum of Kerch State Historical and Cultural Preserve, КЛ-256.
May 1999, September 2004, September 2008.
Epigraphic field 1
On the cross.
533, 548 or 563 C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1894, 657–662; 1.1. Latyshev 1895, 56–61, № 64; 1.2. Kulakovsky 1895, 189–198; 1.3. Latyshev 1896, 98–105, № 98; 2. Vinogradov 2007, 264, № 14; 3. Vinogradov 2010a, 153-155.
<div type="textpart" subtype="inscription" n="1"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><supplied reason="lost">Φ</supplied><unclear>ῶ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ς</supplied>, <lb n="2"/><supplied reason="lost">ζ</supplied><unclear>ω</unclear>ή. </ab> </div>
1-3: Φῶς, ζωή Bolotov apud Kulakovsky, Kulakovsky, Latyshev 1896 et al.; Ἰη(σοῦς) Latyshev 1894, Latyshev 1895
The restoration of Text 1 is virtually certain, especially since the traces of omega are visible at the crossing of the arms. On the formula, see IV.3.C.b.
Epigraphic field 2
In corners between the arms of the cross.
Lapidary. Alpha with broken crossbar, rectangular epsilon, mu with slightly sagging middle, omicron is occasionally smaller than other letters, pi with extended horizontal, V-shaped upsilon, wide omega in the shape of two side-by-side bowls joined at the top middle. Ligature sigma-pi, sigma-tau.
533, 548 or 563 C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1894, 657–662; 1.1. Latyshev 1895, 56–61, № 64; 1.2. Kulakovsky 1895a, 29; 1.2.1. Kulakovsky 1895, 189–198; 1.3. Latyshev 1896, 98–105, № 98; 1.3.1. Millet 1900; 1.3.2. Dain 1933, 219–220; 22.214.171.124. SEG 37, 679; 126.96.36.199. Feissel 2000, 93–94, № 26; 188.8.131.52.1. SEG 50, 710bis; 1.3.3. Diatroptov, Yemets 1995, 3; 2. Vinogradov 2007, 264, № 14; 3. Vinogradov 2010a, 153-155.
[ἀνενεώθ]η τὸ μερικόν,
5[νοῦ τοῦ αἰ]ωνίου Αὐγ-
[καὶ αὐτοκρά]τορος, σπουδῇ
[. 8. τ]οῦ λαμπροτά-
[του πατρὸ?]ς ταύτης τῆς πό-
10[λεως, πράττ]οντος Ἀνγουλᾶ
[τοῦ λαμπροτ]άτου τριβού-
[νου καὶ ἐργο]λάβου, μηνὶ
[Μαΐῳ, ἰνδι]κ̣τιο͂νι ἑνδεκάτῃ.
<div type="textpart" subtype="inscription" n="2"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><supplied reason="lost">Τοῦτο τὸ <note>e.g.</note></supplied> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <supplied reason="lost">ἐν</supplied> <lb n="2"/><supplied reason="lost">Ἑρμωνάσ</supplied>σῃ φῶ<unclear>ρο</unclear><supplied reason="lost" cert="low">ν</supplied> <lb n="3"/><supplied reason="lost">ἀνενεώθ</supplied>η τὸ μερικόν, <lb n="4"/><expan><abbr><supplied reason="lost">βασιλεύον</supplied></abbr><ex>τος</ex></expan> Ἰουστινια <lb n="5" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">νοῦ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">τοῦ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">αἰ</supplied>ωνίου <roleName>Αὐγ<lb n="6" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">ούσ</supplied>του</roleName> <lb n="7"/><supplied reason="lost">καὶ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">αὐτοκρά</supplied>τορος, σπουδῇ <lb n="8"/><gap reason="lost" quantity="8" unit="character"/> <supplied reason="lost">τ</supplied>οῦ λαμπροτά<lb n="9" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">του</supplied> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">πατρὸ</supplied>ς ταύτης τῆς πό<lb n="10" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">λεως,</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">πράττ</supplied>οντος Ἀνγουλᾶ <lb n="11"/><supplied reason="lost">τοῦ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">λαμπροτ</supplied>άτου τριβού<lb n="12" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">νου</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">καὶ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">ἐργο</supplied>λάβου, <date>μηνὶ <lb n="13"/><supplied reason="lost"><rs type="month" ref="mai">Μαΐῳ</rs>,</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">ἰνδι</supplied><unclear>κ</unclear>τιο͂νι ἑνδεκάτῃ</date>. </ab> </div>
1: om. Latyshev et alii
2: σηφω[ν...] Latyshev et alii; [Τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰω]σὴφ (?) ὡ ν[αὸς (?) Vinogradov 2007
3: [ᾠκοδομήθ]η Millet
4: [ἐφ᾿ ὑπατία]ς Latyshev 1894, Latyshev 1895; [βασιλεύοντο]ς resp. ἐκ προνοία]ς Kulakovsky; ... Latyshev 1896; [ἐκ προσφορᾶ]ς Millet; [βασιλεύοντο]ς Feissel
9: [πατρὸ]ς Feissel; [κόμητο]ς Latyshev; [πρωτεύοντο]ς Bolotov apud Kulakovsky; [ἄρχοντο]ς Millet
10-11: Ἀνγουλᾶ [τοῦ λαμπρο]τάτου Bolotov apud Kulakovsky, Latyshev 1896; Ἀνγουλά[του λαμπρο]τάτου Latyshev 1894, Latyshev 1895
13: Μαίῳ Vinogradov; ... Latyshev 1894 et alii
[This in Hermonas]sa forum (?) was partially [renovated (?)] in the reign of Justinian, the eternal Augustus and emperor, by the efforts of..., the illustrious [father (?)] of this city, [with the assistance of] Angoulas, the illustrious tribune and contractor, in the month of [May], in the 11th indiction.
2. All scholars who had studied the inscription considered this line to be the first, but the break at the top (especially considering the position of the last line at the edge of the stone) makes it quite likely that one or more lines had been lost above this one. Following editio princeps, everyone has read σηφω[ν..., in this line, without however offering any restoration. Not long ago I proposed a restoration on the basis of Latyshev's reading, however, my latest visual inspection of the stone, which was taken off the exhibit and hence available for close investigation, showed that omega is followed by rho and probably omicron. Such a combination in an inscription can be interpreted only as the beginning of the word φόρον, that is forum, and the preceding ση — is most likely the end of the word [Ἑρμωνάσ]σῃ, that is, the name of the city of Hermonassa located not far (2.5 km) from the findspot of this monument. An omega instead of an omicron should not suprise us - see the reverse substitution in line 12.
We should not consider such a late mention of the city ethnic Hermonassa unique: in the anonymous "Periplous of Pontos Euxeinos" dated to the VIth - middle of the IXth century C.E. (Diller 1952, 130) the name 'Hermonassa' is mentioned without a contemporary equivalent. The Byzantine Tamatarcha (Matracha) that had replaced Hermonassa is first mentioned in Notitia episcopatuum 3 (end of the VIIIth — 1st half of the IXth century, Darrouzès 1981, 242).
4. In trying to restore the lost word, some scholars (Bolotov, Kulakovsky, Feissel) did not pay attention to the size of the lacuna (ca. 9 letters), while Latyshev was forced to withdraw his original reconstruction due to a large number of other equally possible restorations. Meanwhile, nobody has noticed that the word ends with a typical abbreviation mark (in the shape of S, cf. V 273). In my opinion, the most likely standard formula here would be [βασιλεύον](τος).
9. The title of "comes of the city" proposed as a restoration by the author of editio princeps does not sit well either in a Byzantine context, or in the late Kingdom of Bosporus: if we were to judge on the basis of V 265, there were several comites there, but their only known function is 'royal secretary', while an eparchos is also mentioned, who is probably the capital's mayor. Thus, we have no grounds for expecting in Byzantine Bosporus a unique post of "comes of the city." Rather, a widely known title of "the father of the city", restored by Feissel, is more attractive here.
11–12. The name Angoulas is attested as Isaurian in Vita Symeonis Iunioris 123, 128, 168, 240 (Van den Ven 1962). Our tribune Angoulas may well have been the same person as Ἀγγίλας — taxiarchos in Lazica 556 C.E. (PLRE III, 82). Bartikyan 2009 speculates that the name Ἀγγύλας in the epic "Digenis Akritas" might take its origin in the name of the Byzantine province of Angylena in the territory of Armenia.
13–14. A hypothesis about such origin gives us a reason to prefer the two later ones out of three possible dates for the inscription. At the beginning of line 14, there is room only for the word Μαίῳ, and the 11th indiction corresponds during the rule of Justinian I (a date in the rule of Justinian II is excluded for historical reasons) to the years 532/3, 547/8 or 562/3 C.E. We should note that a building inscription from Mangup (V 171) is also dated in the 11th indiction of Justinian's rule, while Procopius of Caesarea (De aed. 3, 7, 12) refers to construction projects in the Mountainous Crimea and in Bosporus as parts of the same building programme (see Feissel 2000). Since Procopius completed his work prior to 563 C.E., the most likely date for our inscription would be 548 C.E.
In this regard, we are reminded of a hypothesis outlined by Kulakovsky (and rejected by Latyshev) about a possible connection between this construction project and the request of Crimean Goths-Tetraxitai in 547-548 C.E. to appoint a bishop for them. The word φόρον is attested in the context of church building (LBW V 991 С; Ezana in Phrygia Pacatiana, 981 C.E.). In addition, the presence of a Roman military tribune confirms Procopius' testimony about the submission of Tetraxitai to the Byzantine control and helps explain how a military came to play the role of a building contractor (this also helps explain the absence of a bishop in the inscription, something that bothered Latyshev, in particular: although Procopius does mention one, he is not necessarily saying that the bishop went together with the embasssy). If Angoulas of our inscription had served as a tribune in Lazica, this might have something to do with the precedent of Abasgia cited by Tetraxitai and mentioned by Procopius.