V 340. North-east of the Peninsula of Taman. Epitaph of Ioannikios, 1078 C.E.



Wall block with traces of cement pointing. 


Proconnesian marble. 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 17.0, W. 69.0, Th. 20.5.

Additional description

Wall block with traces of cement pointing, apparently, in secondary use. The front is polished. The right side is chipped. 

Place of Origin

North-east of the Peninsula of Taman. 

Find place

Old Temryuk. 

Find context


Find circumstances

1793-1794, survey of F.K. Marschall von Bieberstein. 

Modern location

Kerch, Crimea. 

Institution and inventory

Historical and Archeological Museum of Kerch State Historical and Cultural Preserve, КЛ–1876. 


May 1999, September 2004, September 2008. 

Epigraphic field


On the front. 


Lapidary. Ornate alpha, mu and mu, lunate epsilon, V-shaped upsilon, rectangular omega. Ligatures: omicron-upsilon, nu-eta; abbreviations, superscript marks. 

Letterheights (cm)






1078 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Explicit date. 


L1. Latyshev 1905, 132–133, № 54; 2. Skrzynska 1961. 


+Ἐκυμήθ(η) ὁ δοῦλ(ος) τοῦ Θ(ε)οῦ Ἠωανήκηο(ς) μοναχ(ός), ὁ (καὶ) ὐκο-
δόμ(ος), ἰς τὴν ἁγ(ίαν) μον(ὴν) ταύτ(ην), μινὶ Ὠκτοβρ(ίῳ) κγ´, ἡμέρᾳ
γ´,ὅρ(ᾳ) γ´, ἔτου(ς) ͵ςφπζ´, ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) β´.



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/><expan><abbr>Ἐκυμήθ</abbr><ex>η</ex></expan>
      ὁ <expan><abbr>δοῦλ</abbr><ex>ος</ex></expan>
      τοῦ <roleName><expan><abbr>Θ</abbr><ex>ε</ex><abbr>οῦ</abbr></expan></roleName>
      <expan><abbr>μοναχ</abbr><ex>ός</ex></expan>, ὁ
      <expan><ex>καὶ</ex></expan> <expan><abbr>ὐκο<lb n="2" break="no"/>δόμ</abbr><ex>ος</ex></expan>, ἰς τὴν
      <expan><abbr>ταύτ</abbr><ex>ην</ex></expan>, <date>μινὶ
      <num value="23">κγ</num>, ἡμέρᾳ
      <lb n="3"/><num value="3">γ</num>,<expan><abbr>ὅρ</abbr><ex>ᾳ</ex></expan>
      <num value="3">γ</num>, <expan><abbr>ἔτου</abbr><ex>ς</ex></expan>
      <num value="6587">ςφπζ</num>, <expan><abbr>ἰνδ</abbr><ex>ικτιῶνος</ex></expan>
      <num value="2">β</num></date>.
Apparatus criticus

2: ὁ καὶ Skrzynska; καὶ Latyshev
3: ὥρᾳ ζ´ Latyshev; ςφπζ´ Skrzynska; ςφπ´ Latyshev


Fell asleep: a servant of God, Ioannikios, a monk and builder, in this holy monastery, on the 23rd of October, Tuesday, in the 3rd hour, in the year 6587, 2nd indiction.



The monument was purchased for the Kerch Museum from the Taman merchant G.P. Foka, who had originally acquired it from a cossack named Kravchenko. Its text had, however, been transcribed (without correct line divisions) a century earlier by the admiral Marschall von Bieberstein at Old Temruyk (the drawing is preserved at the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg Branch f. 65, op. 1, d. 45, l. 5; see Tunkina 2010, fig. 39), the fact but neither Latyshev, nor Skrzynska were apparently aware of that transcription. Another epigraphic text transcribed on the same piece of paper and mentioning the name Michael probably belongs to a coin or seal. Any attempt to identify the findspot of the inscription, and hence the location of the monastery more precisely, are not likely to meet with success.

Already the author of editio princeps noted that the stone had been part of a wall, probably of a church where Ioannikios was buried (see commentary to V 336), and it is quite possible that material dating to classical antiquity had been used in construction.

1. On the formula, see IV.3.F.e. The Christian name Ioannikios (here Ioanekeos) is not otherwise attested in the Northern Black Sea region, but was common for Byzantine monks.

1–2. Addition of epithets "builder, ktitor" by means of the expression "he who is also..." (ὁ καὶ ...) is attested in Bulgaria (Beševliev 1964, № 213 (XIII–XIVth cet.) — τοῦ καὶ κτήτορος (cf. V 243)). The term "oikodomos" is known from a Milesian Christian dedication (Milet VI 974) and designates, certainly in our case, a founder of a monastery (we may compare it with a similar tombstone of a builder from Ephesos (Grégoire 1929, № 333.5=I.Eph 3319)), and not a master builder, as Skrzynska (1961, 80) thinks. Thus, all her suppositions about a possible connection of Ioanekeos, the architect, with the Russian hegoumenos Nikon, who was the founder of a monastery near Tmutarakan, have to be dismissed.

3. On the correspondence of years dated 'since Creation' to those dated 'since the Birth of Christ' in the Middle Byzantine period, see Introduction IV. 4. D.

The closest parallel for the inscription of Ioanekeos in terms of date, shape, and formula is V 295, which is, however, different in palaeography. Most other aspects of the inscription are discussed in the article of Skrzynska (1961); see the same article for further details on the history of the Taman peninsula in the 2nd half of the XIth century.



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