V 47. Cherson. Invocation of N–, IX–Xth centuries C.E.
White fine-grained marble.
H. 7.5, W. 18.0, Th. 1.5.
Split into two pieces, broken off on all sides; the surface is worn.
Place of Origin
Church 13 ("Western basilica"), northern chapel ("Chapel B"), wall.
1901, excavations of K.K. Kostsyushko-Valyuzhinich.
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 34912.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
On the front.
Graffito. Letters are leaning to the right. Alpha with slanting crossbar; beta with larger bottom loop and underscoring; delta with the right diagonal extended left and upwards; ksi with bottom underline; У-shaped upsilon. Abbreviations.
IX–Xth centuries C.E.
L1. Latyshev 1902a, 28–29, № 12.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/><g ref="#stauros"/> <roleName><expan><abbr>Κ</abbr><ex>ύρι</ex><abbr>ε</abbr></expan></roleName>, βοήθη τοῦ δούλου σου <seg part="I">Ν</seg><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <lb n="2"/>ἁμαρτολὸν <expan><abbr>κ</abbr><ex>αὶ</ex></expan> ἀ<supplied reason="lost">νά</supplied>ξηον δοῦλον <lb n="3"/>τοῦ <roleName><expan><abbr>Θ</abbr><ex>εο</ex><abbr>ῦ</abbr></expan></roleName>, ἀμή<supplied reason="lost">ν</supplied>. <supplied reason="lost"><g ref="#stauros"/></supplied> <roleName><expan><abbr>Κ</abbr><ex>ύρι</ex><abbr>ε</abbr></expan></roleName>, <expan><abbr>βοήθ</abbr><ex>ει</ex></expan>. </ab> </div>
1-2: [τὸν] ἁμαρτωλὸν Latyshev
3: +: om. Latyshev
O Lord, help your servant N[...], a sinful and un[worthy] servant of God, amen. O Lord, help.
1, 3. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.E.a. This inscription represents a unique and independent development of the formula. The author is not troubled by the repetition of the word "servant," once with the modifier "Your" and the second time with the modifier "of God." He then also repeats the phrase "O Lord, help." In the space between this final phrase and the preceding "amen," I am inclined to restore a cross, by analogy with the start of the same phrase at the beginning of the inscription. A variant, "O Lord, help your servant" is attested in Grégoire 1929, no. 347 (Tralles, VIII–IXth centuries), and Jerphanion 1936, no. 117 (Zelve, Xth century). The formula "help the unworthy servant" is known from Jerphanion 1936, no. 45.
Sadly, the first editor provides only very spare references to the archaeological context of this find, so that it is not possible to say whether it could have been built into the wall of a chapel. The dates assigned to "Chapel B" range from the VIth (Beiernacki, Klenina, Ryzhov 2004, 42–43) to the IXth century (Sorochan 2005, 839–840); it is destroyed in the X-XIth century.