Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Renovations to a Mosaic by a Christian Friendly Society (ca. 500 CE) Anemourion - Cilicia

Anemourion (Cilicia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), ca. 500 CE
James Russell, The Mosaic Inscriptions of Anemurium (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1987), 61-66 (no.11) = S. Hagel and K. Tomaschitz, Repertorium des westkilikischen Inschriften (Vienna: Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), note 28 = Sheila D. Campbell, The Mosaics of Anemurium, Subsidia Mediaevalia 25 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1998), 24 (narthex, with plates 107-111) = SEG 37 (1987), no. 1275 = PHI 286922 = AGRW ID# 19831
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1773


Tablet with handles (tabulla ansata) situated in front of the middle doorway through which one entered the basilica or Church of the Holy Apostles (panel dimensions: 199 x 54.5 cm; letter height: approximately 8 cm). The guild in this inscription calls itself a φιλιάκον. This rare word is also used as a self-designation by a Christian group in Korykos, about 170 km East of Anemourion (see MAMA III 580, 780, 788 for that group). Keil and Wilhelm take that group to be a burial club or friendly society. For discussion of the basilica, mosaics, and Christianity in Anemourion, see J. Russell, "Christianity at Anemurium (Cilicia)," Publications de l’École Française de Rome 123 (1989) 1621–1637. Although Sheila Campbell interprets philiakon as a reference to the "fellowship" of the apostles (rather than to an association of people), she seems unfamiliar with the use of the term at Korykos.

By the advocacy of the holy apostles, the same friendly society (philiakon) was strengthened here. They renovated the mosaic in the lobby (narthex). Through their (the apostles’ [?]) prayer, let us all be shown mercy.  In the month of September during the fifth year of the indiction.

Translation by: Richard Last

πρεσβίαις τῶν ἁγ(ίω)ν ἀποστόλων | ἐνεδυναμόθη τὸ αὐτὸ φιλιακὸ(ν) το͂ν | ἐνταῦθα · ἀνενέωσαν τὸ ἔργον τῆς ψη|[φ]ώσεως τοῦ νάρθικος · εὐχ[ῇ] αὐτ(ῶ)ν ἐλε||ηθῶμεν πάντες. Μη(νὸς) Σεπτεμ[β](ρίου) Ἰνδ(ικτίωνος) ε΄.

Item added: December 11, 2015
Item modified: November 13, 2020
ID number: 19831
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