V 57. Cherson. Image-related inscription, late IV–Vth century C.E.





White marble. 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 22.0, W. 22.0, Th. 3.5.

Additional description

The screen panel is worked on all sides. On the front is a rectangular frame along the perimeter; inside the frame is an image, in sgraffito technique, of young (beardless) Christ, his head surrounded by a halo, stretching out his hand in a gesture of benediction. On the back is a frame in relief. Broken off on the right and bottom. 

Place of Origin


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Find circumstances

Before 1855. 

Modern location

Paris, France. 

Institution and inventory

Musée du Louvre, no inventory number. 


October 2003. 

Epigraphic field


On the frame (top section) and inside the frame, just below the top framing line. 


Lapidary. Alpha with broken crossbar; beta with vertically spaced loops; lunate epsilon and sigma; pi with extended horizontal; W-shaped omega with vertical side hastae, and middle hastae meeting at a right angle. 

Letterheights (cm)




Image-related inscription. 


Late IV–Vth century C.E. 

Dating criteria

Type of representation, script. 


L1. Latyshev, (=Latyshev 1909a, 303-310); 2. Dain 1933, 3; 3. Coche de la Ferte 1958, 85, № 2; 3.1. Kreidl-Papadopoulos 1977, 104–105. Nr. 20; 4. Vinogradov 2005b, 91–93; 4.1. Vinogradov 2010, 114–116, № а2. 


Ὁ κ̣(ύριο)ς Ἰε(σοῦ)ς λέγων Πέτρου [καὶ τῶν σὺν αὐτοῦ?]·
Βάλετε εἰς τὰ δ[εξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸν δίκ-]
τι[ον καὶ εὑρήσετε].



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      <lb n="1"/>Ὁ
      λέγων Πέτρου 
      <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">καὶ τῶν σὺν
      <lb n="2"/>Βάλετε εἰς τὰ
      δ<supplied reason="lost">εξιὰ</supplied> 
      <supplied reason="lost">μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸν</supplied>
      <supplied reason="lost">δίκ</supplied><lb n="3" break="no"/>τι<supplied reason="lost">ον</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">καὶ
Apparatus criticus

1: [καὶ τῶν σὺν αὐτοῦ (?) Latyshev 1901a, Vinogradov; ... Coche de la Ferte, Kreidl-Papadopoulos
2-3: δ[εξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου τὸν δίκ]τι[ον καὶ εὑρήσετε] Latyshev 1901a, Vinogradov; Δ… Coche de la Ferte, Kreidl-Papadopoulos


Jesus Christ telling Peter [and his companions]: Draw the net to the right [of the boat and you shall catch].



This Parisian panel was at some point in the collection of the general Robert who acquired it apparently during the Crimean War of 1853-55. It appears to be a twin of V 56, similar in the technique of the inscription, in the image and treatment of the back side.

For the literature on this image, see commentary to V 56, cf. also Heron de Villefosse 1896, 182; Grabar 1963, 43, n. 2. The subject of the image derives from John 21:6. It is important to note that the inscription emphasizes the special role of Peter in the depicted event, which is not mentioned in the textual source. This could be well explained if apostle Peter were the patron of that church (see commentary to V 58).

The shape of beta with vertically spaced loops occurs in Cherson either later (V 11, 1059 C.E.; V 68, 1183 C.E.), or earlier (V 85, IV-Vth century), but this relief is probably Early Byzantine. In this case, alpha with broken crossbar should be seen as a survival of the IVth-century script (cf. V 80) rather than an innovation of the VIth century (cf. V 7 and V 171).

See also commentary to V 58.



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