V 92. Cherson. Liturgical inscription, X–XIIth centuries C.E.
H. 11.0, W. 12.5, Th. 14.0.
Cuboid base of a central window colonnette. The base is topped with a circular ornamented roll moulding (H. 4cm) and bears a cavity (D. 6cm) in the centre. Broken on the right and back.
Place of Origin
Northeast, Block III, by the underground church, infill.
1909, excavations of R.Ch. Loeper.
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 4545/09.
May 1999, August 2001, September 2002, September 2003, September 2004, September 2005, September 2006, September 2007.
On all four faces of the cuboid base.
Lapidary. Alpha with a loop, phi with extended vertical.
X–XIIth centuries C.E.
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/>Φοτ<supplied reason="lost" cert="low">όδοτα,</supplied> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">σοι</supplied> <supplied reason="lost" cert="low">δο</supplied><unclear>ξ</unclear>α <note>e.g.</note>, ἀμή<supplied reason="lost">ν</supplied>. </ab> </div>
Ligh[t-giver?], glory [to you?], amen.
The text was arranged on all four sides of the base: it started with letters φοτ (i.e. φωτ) on the front, that is, φῶς in an oblique case or some other word, derivative of φῶς, and it ended with the word "amen" on the left face. Before "amen" there are traces of an alpha and a letter stroke before it, which might belong to a ksi or zeta (the slant is too low for a kappa). It is clear that we are dealing with some liturgical formula. Our reconstruction is hypothetical, based on the well-known liturgical formula "Light-giver, glory to you" (the end of Epiphany troparion). It is possible that the formula referring to "light" plays on the associated function of the base - to support a central colonnette of a double- or triple-sectioned window, perhaps in a church.
The closest church to the findspot of this monument was the church that stood over an underground church in Block III. The presence of an underground church in this complext might, by contrast, have made the theme of light particularly relevant in the structure immediately above it.
© 2015 Andrey Vinogradov (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
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