The new complex of Greek inscriptions from Machkhomeri fortress is a unique evidence of the Christianization of Lazica in the 6th c. Along with the inscriptions from Sepieti and Vashnari (now in the Ozurgeti Museum) churches, these are the first monuments of lapidary epigraphy from Lazica and the only complex of inscriptions known there. Three lapidary inscriptions have different characters: one is an invocative and building inscription, the second is invocative and prohibitive, and the third is probably prohibitive. All three of these inscriptions are executed according to the epigraphic style of the mid-6th ‒ mid-7th c., but by different carvers; especially the form of epsilon is different: drop-shaped (incl. with a gap at the top), rectangular and diamond-shaped, that indicates Lazica’s acquaintance with different varieties of the Greek epigraphic ductus. The graffiti inscriptions on the slab, possibly of school character, should also be considered as evidence of the spread of Greek alphabet in Lazica; but also here the form of alpha varies between one with a broken crossbar (like on the lapidary inscriptions of Machkhomeri) and the other with a loop. One should also pay attention to the names of the ktetors: Gorgonios and Theonas, who, as in the case of Sepieti (Philoktistos), are not of local, but of Greek and Christian origin. Probably, the builder of the martyrium basilica, Gorgonios, dedicated it to the holy Forty martyrs of Sebasteia, bearing himself the name of one of them. Also important are the parallels to the formulas of Machkhomeri inscriptions found in the epigraphic traditions of Asia Minor and the East (Arabia and Syria), which may suggest the origin of the ktetors or carvers.
The newly found Gothic inscriptions from Crimea reopened the question of the Christian identity of the Crimean Goths in its interrelation with the Greek-Byzantine environment. The Mangup graffito I.1 and the Late Medieval inscription from Bakhchysarai both contain the acronymised formula ‘(Saviour) God Jesus’ which we think was a purposeful declaration of the Gothic community’s Orthodox Nicene allegiance. The expanded variant of Ps. 76:15 in the graffito of Mangup proves its liturgical character and the involvement of the Crimean Goths with Byzantine liturgical processes. The alternative counting of weekdays which from the 11th century onwards is epigraphically attesed in the Gothic eparchy in Crimea may have its origin in the Gothic church calendar of the 4th–5th century and have influenced neighbouring peoples of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
This article is a study of an honorific inscription from a statue base of Andreas, an imperial official in late fourth–early fifth antique Ephesos. By combining insights from the literary and intertextual analysis of the inscription with a discussion of the visual associations which the text relies on, we argue that Andreas’ inscribed praises find itself at the intersection of classicizing literary idiom, visual patterns of representation of the imperial power attested on coins, and New Testament phrasing. The inscribed honorific statue therefore is an instance of appropriation of traditionally Roman and Hellenic visual, ideological, and literary discourses by the increasingly Christian authors, readers, and viewers of public inscriptions in late antique cityscapes. It attests to profound, if subtly manifesting, shifts in the ‘epigraphic habit’ in late antiquity that were informed by the emergence of hybrid, equally Roman and Christian, identities and ways of representing them epigraphically
This chapter looks at a late antique iscribed imperial sacra from Ephesos and seeks to place it into the the "contested space" of the city riddled with the religious contestation between Chalcedonian and miaphysite communiites.
Eastern Syriac mystical writers in describing the way of the solitude leading to the state of Union with God used different Syriac words meaning ‘face’(appē, quḇlā and parṣōpā).The usage of the idea of ‘face’ in the mystical theology has been predefined by the medical and theological (trinitarian and especially Christological) usage. In theology face was an expression of the idea of person (qnōmā) and was used to denote God in relation to a Man. Syriac Gallenic medicine knew that the face was an external expression of the brain conveyed by nervous impulses. In the ascetical thought of the Eastern Syriac mystics face of the man expressed sorrow (contrition) or joy (sense of the Union) – main emotions of the ascetic. In the highest mystical sense the ‘Face’ as in theology is a metaphor for the Encounter with God. This is the last and the highest goal of the human. An ascetic is dealing with his physical face as with a part of the self, an object to transfigure or efface. The goal is to make of it a reflection of eternal light or joy, which accompanies the ascetic toward the last stage of the Union with God which is called ‘Seeing God’s Face’.
This paper explores the use of legal imagery in 5th century homilies by Christian authors from Asia Minor writing in Greek. I particularly focus on the idea of legally framed 'redemption' of sinners by Christ.
This chapter explores the different uses of hymn-singing, both liturgical and devotional, as elements of devotion to, and cult of, saints in late antique Greek-speaking Christian communities
The" Library "of Patriarch Photius, Codex 52 contains evidence of the Acts of the Council of Side, which is used to be taken as one of the main elements of the "anti-messalian dossier" in the Byzantine Church tradition. Whether this Council took place in fact and in what form is not known. However, the available data suggest a great deal of confusion and possibly falsification of its entire story. The main characters (Lampetius, Sabba, Dadoes etc) from the Syriac side look like fictitious. From the comparison of the names with the Syriac documents (Philoxeni Ad Patricium) follows, that , the chief heretic – "Lampetius/ Malpatius" is a fictitious figure. Behind him hides the Syrian Adelphius, a disciple of St. Julian Sabba. The history of "messalianism" in the light of a new perspective of the research on the Late Antique heresiology appears as a great misunderstanding, caused by the conflict of ascetic models. The Syriac model was based on the idea of apotage (disconnection from the world), which three hundred years later was fully adopted in the Greek asceticism. The dossier of the "messalian heresy" (connected with Ps.-Macarius writings) was further used against the new releigous movements of the Middle Ages (paulicianism, bogomilism). Historical inconsistencies in the middle-century anti-heretic literature ceased to confuse readers, because the whole history of "messianism" turned into a myth.
This paper is a brief case study of a fourth-century Greek epigram from Aegina (IG IV, 53), which is discussed as an instance of 'hybrid' diction bringing together classicizing diction and elements of Christian idiom. I frame my argument within the recent research into late antique epigraphic poetry and the dynamics of the traditional Hellenic and Christian styles in it. The case study, forming part of a Companion to languages in Christianity, seeks to highlight the recent developments in the study of the epigraphic discourse in late antiquity, the issues of literary paideia, and Christianization of the elite.
The present article deals with the literary image of a Gothic man who happened to be in Edessa in the 5th century AD as a part of Roman auxiliary troops. He is reported to marry there a local girl under pretext of being a celibatarian. Having left Syria for Gothia, it turned out that he was married and had children. The Syrian wife became a slave and suffered a lot before returning miraculously back to Edessa. From the comparative study of the sources it becomes clear that the Gothic auxiliary troops were summoned to Edessa in connection with the advance of the Huns. Notwithstanding the common equation of Goths and Getae, the Gothic soldier in question was Germanic and not Getan (Dacian). The last question is the character of the marriage gift he presented for his temporary marriage.
This volume arises from the international conference 'Hymns of the First Christian Millennium — Doctrinal, Devotional, and Musical Patterns' held in June 2014 at the Institute of Classical Studies in conjunction with King's College London. The original scope of the conference has been re-scaled to focus particularly on late antique Christian devotion as it manifests itself in hymns; experts on a variety of topics of early Christian hymnody have been invited to boost both specificity and depth of discussion in the proposed volume. The resulting collection of papers covers a range of aspects of literary, social, doctrinal, musicological, and devotional patterns of Christian hymnic texts, their liturgical and pious use in the period of late antiquity.
Review of T. Arentzen, The Virgin in Song. Mary and the Poetry of Romanos the Melodist (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)
The chapter offers a critical re-consideration of both late antique accounts, and modern scholarly discussions, of the so-called 'heretical hymns' in use in late antique Christian communities.
Historians tend to take ‘dynasty’ for granted. It is assumed that ‘we’ know what ‘dynasty’ is; and that the concept unproblematically corresponds to the empirical reality of a historical institution present in all rulerships across time and place. Taking as its point of departure the peculiar and little-researched history of the word itself, which acquired its current meaning only as recently as the second half of the eighteenth century, this article sets out a research agenda for historicising ‘dynasty’. Introducing the special issue on the global intellectual history of the modern invention of ‘dynasty’, it argues that ‘dynasty’ is not simply a neutral historical term, but a political concept that became globally hegemonic in the aftermath of the French Revolution and the expansion of European colonialism. The article maps out three main trajectories for rethinking both past and present beyond the totalizing and falsely transparent concept of ‘dynasty’. First, it points toward a more complex and less hierarchical vision of pre-capitalist, including and especially extra-European, societies. Second, it considers how exactly capitalism produced new modes and ideologies of hereditary transmission of sovereignty and property and theorises a link between ‘primitive accumulation’ and the political form of the royal/princely ‘House’. Third, it centres the role of colonialism – European imperial expansion as well as anti-colonial non-European nationalisms – in globalizing ‘dynasty’ as a category of power. The article concludes on a political and ethical note: a global intellectual history of the invention of ‘dynasty’ ultimately has the polemical aim of denaturalizing, demystifying, and provincializing hierarchy and inequality.
The article examines the forms of the name of the fortress Anakopia (Abkhazia) in Byzantine, Georgian and Italian sources. First of all, since 929, this name is found in the Greek forms [Ἀν]ακουφων, Ἀνακουφίαν, Ἀνακουφήν, Ἀν(α)κουπί(ας). Since the end of the 11th c., in Georgian sources, a stable form of Anakopia is fixed. From the 14th c. we find the form Nicofia/Nicoffa on the Italian portolans (possibly due to confusion with Nicopsia in Zekhia). The Abkhazian etymologies of Anacopia (from анаҟәаԥ or аных-а) are unconvincing from a phonetic point of view. On the contrary, the earliest oikonym’s forms (*Ἀνάκουφα and Ἀνακουφία/Ἀνακουφή) have a transparent Greek etymology: from ἀνακουφίζω “facilitate”, which is comparable to its probable ancient name Τραχέα “heavy”. The emergence of the name Anacopia may be associated with a change in the status of the fortress, its transformation into the residence of the Greek-speaking archbishop of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the political center of Abkhazia.
For the first time are publishing in Russian a full translation of the «Acts of John», one of the oldest Christian apocryphal works (2nd century). The following texts have been translated: fragments from the «Epistle about Virginity» of Pseudo-Titus, from POxyr. 850, from «Liber Flavus Fergusiorum» and the surviving Greek part of the Acts. Translations are provided with commentary and an indication of the most important discrepancies. It was prefaced a brief description of the text.
The question of the origin of the triconch of “Athonite type” — an inscribed cross on 4 free-standing supports with additional apses from the south and north — still causes a heated debate in the scholarship.
The purpose of this article is to draw attention to monuments of this type outside the Balkans. It is very likely that the Triconch hall and the church of the Archangel Michael, built for the Emperor Theophilos by Ioannes Grammatikos and the architect Patrikios, had probably such a plan, possibly following an Arabic model, which, in turn, goes back to the Late Antique examples. The early churches of this type in Asia Minor (Islamköy and Sarıca Kilise), dating to the early 10th century, show its common and “prestigious” character, which led to its spread not only to the Balkans, but also to Russia.
English royal borrowing from foreign merchants on the Antwerp bourse from 1544 to 1574 is a well-know phenomenon. It is not clear yet how exactly the royal loans were formalized. This article seeks to reconstruct the use of certain financial instruments, such as bonds and bills of exchange, in contracting loans for the English crown. Multiple evidence is scattered in literature, some authors stating the English royal loans to be exchange lending transactions. The reconstruction of borrowing practices of the crown shows that this understanding is false. The historiographical account of the article investigates what nourished such an opinion. The research is based on the official correspondence of Thomas Gresham (ca. 1518–1579), the English royal financial agent in the Netherlands in 1550–1560s.