V 76. Cherson. Epitaph of St. martyr Anastasia, IVth century C.E.
H. 33.0, W. 23.0, Th. 11.0.
Cross with short side arms and widening ends, of crude workmanship. Decorated with a straight line and a zigzag band topped by a small cross running horizontally through the centre of the cross. Small poke marks on the front.
Place of Origin
Necropolis by the Quarantine Bay, Burial vault 785, in front of the entrance.
1896, excavations of K.K. Kostsyushko-Valyuzhinich.
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 4140.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
Top half of the cross.
Lapidary style. Alpha with broken crossbar, omicron and rho diamond-shaped, lunate sigma.
IVth century C.E.
Palaeography, archaeological context.
L1. Latyshev 1893, 46–49, № 45; 2. Vinogradov 2007, 263–264, № 13; 2.1. Vinogradov 2010, 129-132, № f; 3. Yashaeva, Denisova, et al. 2011, 436, № 25, илл. 25.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/> <g ref="#stauros"/> Μνημῖον <lb n="2"/>τῆς ἁγί<lb n="3" break="no"/>ας μάρ<lb n="4" break="no"/>τυρ<supplied reason="lost">ο</supplied>ς <lb n="5"/>Ἀναστασή<lb n="6" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">α</supplied>ς <g ref="#stauros"/>. </ab> </div>
Monument of saint martyr Anastasia.
1. Chersonian martyr Anastasia is not otherwise known, but Latyshev's supposition that she was not a local saint is unlikely: the term μνημεῖον designates specifically a tomb (Lampe, s.v. μνημεῖον). Apparently, the monument stood in front of the vault that was venerated as the burial place of the martyress.
2-3. For a similar formula (ἁγίας) see Hagel 1998, № Kry 113, 498. On inscriptions over graves of saints, see Halkin 1973.
4-5. The name Anastasia is not attested in the Northern Black Sea region in ancient times, while in Chersonesos it is attested in V 64 - it most likely became known here only in Christian times. The name occurs in Christian epigraphy, according to PHI7 Database: in Asia Minor (9 times), once each in Constantinople, Italy, Cyprus, 6 times in Greece, but most commonly in Syro-Palestine (24 times).
There are two possibilities for the date of this inscription on the basis of lettershapes (specifically, of alpha): the early (IVth century) and late (Vth-VIIth century). The early date is supported by the diamond-shape of omicron, as well as by the coins found in the burial vault and dated to 408 C.E. (Kostsyushko-Valyuzhinich 1898, 194). It is therefore possible to suggest that Anastasia was a local martyr who had suffered at the hands of pagans some time between the middle of the IIIrd and the end of the IVth century, and more precisely, during the time when saint Basileos, saint Elpidios, saint Eugenios, and saint Agathodoros were active, according to the "Vita of Chersonian Bishops." Anastasia's other connection with this group of saints (the latter three) would be their common place of burial - in the Western necropolis.
On tombstones in the shape of a cross, see commentary to V 61.