Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

Grave of Gerontion Father of a Christian Assembly (ekklēsia) (late imperial era) Nikaia - Bithynia

Nikaia (Bithynia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), late imperial era
INikaia 577 = SEG 59 (2013), no. 1084 = NewDocs IV 127 = PHI 278061 = AGRW ID# 20562


Marble block. The title, pater , was used for bishops and other high-standing professional clerics in some early Christian letters (see Dineen, Titles of Address, 12-13). G.H.R. Horsley suggests that Gerontion may be a "father" in a different sense. Since Gerontion was a benefactor of a group known as the "assembly of the pious" in Nikaia, and as he is without a clerical title (such as episkopos), he may have been a "father" to the group in the sense of functionaries and benefactors who held this title (pater, αppas, etc.) in associations (see Harland 2009: 86-94 for comparative material)

Divine-willed Gerontion, named after his father, acquired the grave for himself from his own resources with the result that he has filled the whole structure with virtuous people, after building its foundations. He did this because he is the father of the assembly (ekklēsia) of the pious (eusebai). While he waits for resurrection, the structure is a shelter for his mortal body; for his most faithful Christ-bearing wife, Kyradia, having lived to 28; and, for his dearest and sweetest Eugenios Gerontios and also Leonides, who have Christ in their hearts.

Translation by: Richard Last

Γεροντίων θεόφρων ἔκτησα ἐκτήσατο τύμβον|ἑαυτῷ ἐξ οἰκίων πόνων ὁμώνυμος ὢν πατρὶ ἑαυ|τοῦ θεμελίους πήξας, |πληρώσας οἰκοδομὴν | ἅπασαν σπουδέων, πατὴρ ἐὼν τῆς τῶν εὐσεβῶν || ἐκκλησίας, σκέπην σώματι θνητῷ, ἀνάστασ<ι>ν προσ|δεχόμενος, καὶ γυναικὶ Κυραδίῃ πιστοτάτῃ χριστοφό|ρῳ, βιωσάσῃ [ἔ]τησιν(?) κηʹ, καὶ φιλτάτοις γλυκυτάτοις Εὐγενίῳ |Γεροντίῳ ἀλλὰ καὶ Λεωνίδῃ Χριστὸν ἐν στέρνοις ἔχουσιν.

Item added: December 26, 2015
Item modified: January 22, 2016
ID number: 20562
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