Saint NameJohn the Evangelist : S00042
John the Baptist : S00020
Saint Name in SourceΘεολόγος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before451
Evidence not after1300
Activity not before451
Activity not after1300
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSmyrna
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Smyrna
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - unspecified
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics – unspecified
Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits
SourceInscription on a lintel, seen in the Museum of Izmir by Anastasios Orlandos before 1937 and said to have been brought there from Ephesos.
DiscussionThe inscription is an invocation of *John the Evangelist by an otherwise unattested ecclesiastical steward, Isidoros. Henri Grégoire hypothesises that he served in a monastery of *John the Baptist but this supposition is based only on the occurrence of an iota after the word oikonomos (which was not noted by Orlandos, the first editor of the inscription). In fact, there is no way to identify Isidoros' sanctuary.
Dating: This kind of invocation is usually dated to the 5th or later centuries. Another terminus post quem may be the council of Chalcedon (451) as one of its canons states that a steward (oikonomos) must be appointed in every church. Orlandos ascribed it to the 6th c. The stone was recently revisited and re-examined by Georgios Pallis (2016, 391 note 11) who dates it to the 10th or 11th c., based on the style of the decorations.
Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 85.
Orlandos, A.K., "Χριστιανικὰ γλυπτὰ τοῦ Μουσείου Σμύρνης’, Ἀρχεῖον τῶν βυζαντινῶν μνημείων τῆς Ἑλλάδος", 3 (1937), 133-134.
Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 78.
Pallis, G., "Τhe “speaking” decoration: Inscriptions on architectural sculptures of the middle Byznatine church", in: Stavrakos, Ch. (ed.), Inscriptions in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art. Proceedings of the International Symposium "Inscriptions: Their Contribution to the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine History and History of Art" (Ioannina, June 26-27, 2015) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag in Kommission, 2016), 391 note 11.