V 65. Cherson. Epitaph of Ariston, IV–Vth centuries C.E.
Ochre on plaster.
H. 26.0, W. 26.5.
Painted on the back wall of funerary niche: two green branches with three red flowers and green leaves and on each, and a compass-drawn circle in red paint with inscription inside. Faded.
Place of Origin
Necropolis by the Extramural Cruciform Church, Burial vault 2/2006 ("of the year 2002"), right bench, rear wall.
2002, survey of E.Ya. Turovsky.
Institution and inventory
In situ, no inventory number.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
Inside the circle.
Dipinto; letters lean slightly to the right. Alpha with left-slanting crossbar and upward projecting right diagonal, half-diamond epsilon, mu with shortened middle, У-shaped upsilon.
IV–Vth centuries C.E.
Archaeological context, palaeography.
L1. Vinogradov 2009, 229-231; 1.1. Vinogradov 2010, 124–126, № d.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/>Ἀρίστω<lb n="2" break="no"/>ν ἀληθάρ<lb n="3" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">γ</supplied>ητε, <lb n="4"/>ἡ ψυχή σου <lb n="5"/>μετὰ τῶν <lb n="6"/>δικέων. </ab> </div>
2-3: ἀληθαργίσ]ει(?), κὲ Vinogradov 2009
Ariston, of eternal memory, your soul is with the righteous.
The present author's editio princeps (published in Stupko, Turovsky, Filippenko 2007, 190, with multiple typos), and the subsequent edition (Vinogradov 2009) were prepared on the basis of photographs generously made available by the discoverers of the burial vault. An autopsy conducted in September 2008 and a consultation with D. Feissel made it possible to amend the reading of lines 2 and 3.
1-3. The first half of the formula has an analogy in Grégoire 1929, № 9 (Cyzicus, IVth century C.E.): "blessed Arkadios, ever-remembered master, not subject to forgetting (ἀληθάργ[ητε])» (сf. also IGLS 2530; Robert 1948, 128). The name Ariston is attested in Christian use (see Delehaye 1902, 753); it is also known in Bosporos in the Vth century (see V 342), and in our case we should rather consider it part of the local tradition: while in Christian epigraphy it is attested 10 times (of which seven are in Asia Minor), in ancient Chersonesos we have 40 attestations (see also commentary to V 342). Artiston was apparently laid to rest in this catacomb, and probably on the central bench.
4-6. On the formula, see Introduction IV.3.F.b.
Palaeographic features are close to those found in V 64: alpha with a loop and elongated rho. At the same time, a rare half-diamond-shaped epsilon can be compared with the same shape of sigma in V 72. On the basis of archaeological remains, the vault is dated to the IVth - early Vth centuries (Stupko, Turovsky, Filippenko 2007).