V 59. Cherson. Image-related inscription, V or IX–XIIth centuries C.E.
White fine-grained marble.
H. 10.0, W. 9.0, Th. 2.5.
On the front is a frame in relief, with traces of an image in relief inside the frame; polished; on the back is a ledge in relief. Broken off on the right and top, cut on the bottom.
Place of Origin
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 82/36504.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
On the frame (at the bottom of the panel).
Lapidary. Letters are accentuated with serifs and lean slightly to the right; hastae are slightly curved. Alpha with straight crossbar.
V or IX–XIIth centuries C.E.
The relief inside the frame looks like the right-hand side of the upper half of a human torso, with a flexed right arm held out in front of the chest in a gesture of benediction or simply holding a cross. The figure's proportions allow us to restore the original width of the stone - about 0.2m. In this case, the inscription is most likely image-related. It might have started on the frame at the top of the panel face, or inside the frame on either side of the figure in relief. In that case, kappa and alpha should indicate the beginning of a name, which judging by the width of the stone would have consisted of 6-7 letters. On what looks like a miniature icon we most likely see the depiction of Saint Kapiton who was a revered saint of Cherson (see Latyshev 1906a; Vinogradov 2010a).
Such miniature marble icons were typical for Early Byzantine Cherson (see V 31), although the crudeness of depiction precludes the possibility of stylistic analysis. A slight elaboration of the kappa (curved hastae, cf. V 11 and V 68) might suggest the Middle Byzantine period, but the straight crossbar of the alpha (cf. V 5, V 6, V 10, V 81, V 283) compels us to date the inscription to the Vth century C.E.