Help reading a Christian inscription spotted in Imma (near Antioch)

I was wondering if I could tap the collective help of the denizens of Current Epigraphy to read the photograph of a late-era inscription that my colleague Andrea De Giorgi will soon publish in Anatolica as a part of an article detailing a survey of Antioch’s territory. The inscription was spotted in Yeni Şehir (ancient Imma), which is a village that sits on the Antioch-Chalcis-Beorea road about 55 km east of Antioch. It was last seen in 1999 and this photograph is its only known record at this point.

I’ve got a preliminary text, but significant parts of the third and fifth lines have me stumped.

About PaulIversen

Assistant Professor of Classics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
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5 Responses to Help reading a Christian inscription spotted in Imma (near Antioch)

  1. K. Rigsby says:

    Line 1: maybe aiwnion estw? I can’t make out a M.
    In line 3, epenohqh
    In line 5, [p]eriode(utou). Year pw = 890 Sel. = A.D. 578/9, but maybe there is another letter after?

  2. PaulIversen says:

    Dear Professor Rigsby,

    Thank you for your comments. I believe the letter in question in line 1 is inscribed like a μ (miniscule mu) — a very common form on late inscriptions (and of course on papyri). I’m reasonably certain of the reading of the first and second lines. There are several examples of this formula in Christian literary sources.

    I’ll have to think some more about your suggestion for line 3 — it looks quite promising. However, if right, it makes the ουτ(-) or θυτ(-) that follows very enigmatic.

    I believe you have solved the riddle of the beginning of line 5. In fact, I now see the lower horizontal of the delta. I would now restore something like:

    [- – – – – – – – – lei]tourgesantos
    [presb(uterou) kai/ke p]eriod(eutou). etous Π??.

    As for the year, πω would yield 880 (= A.D. 568/9), not 890, right?

    I wonder whether the second letter might not be a phi, so we have ΠΦ = 580. But then there would be two traces after this. Could these two traces be the abbreviation i(ndiktionos) ι’? The overline over these last two traces also seems to be higher, perhaps indicating they belong to a different dating system.

  3. K. Rigsby says:

    Line 1: ok; but what would a month be doing in the first line?
    3-4: could be οὗτ|[ος ὁ τόπος/οἶκος/ναός
    5: my error, of course 880. ΠΦ does look better; but I can’t make out what follows. If 580, then not territory of Antioch, yes?

  4. K. Rigsby says:

    This looks plausible. I’d leave the archbishop’s name unrestored–there are too many Philo- names possible.

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