Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Can Account for All These References to Names Related to Chrestos in the Pontic Region?

I am starting to wonder whether the traditional relationship between Marcion and the Pontus (= Euxine Sea) might have something to do with (a) a traditional interest in the epithet 'Chrestos' (= Good) and (b) the possible shared use of the term Χρηστίων meaning 'belonging to Chrestos.'  There was an influential Chrestos family in the Bosphoran Kingdom related to G Cassius Crestos who died at the beginning of the second century.  Very influential.  I went through all the inscriptions discovered at Gorgippia (Anapa) — ca. 150-250 CE in what is now southern Russia.  It is hard for me to believe that all these references to 'Chrestion' represent different individuals using the same name.

In any event it is well established that there was a prominent Jewish presence at Gorgippia (cf. 1124, 1127, 1128).  I have included the links so the reader can see how little has survived of many of these inscriptions.  That makes it all the more uncanny to see Χρηστός, Χρηστίων, Χρ̣ηστίωνος turn up so many times.  Many of these appear at a voluntary association of ship builders on the Pontic Sea.  I am wondering again if the language associated with Marcionitism resembled terminology associated with this culture:

CIRB 1124 ([τὸ γένος] Ἰουδαί[ο]υ[ς]),
CIRB 1127 (προσευ[χῇ]),
CIRB 1128 ([προσευχ]ῆς),
CIRB 1129 (καὶ συναγ[ωγὸν],  ἱ̣[ε]ρῶν οἰκο[νόμος], [Ἀθη]ν̣όδωρος Χρήστου,  Χρησ̣[τίων], Χρηστίων Κομιν[ίκου],
CIRB 1130 (ἱερῶ[ν οἰκονόμος])
CIRB 1131 ([Χρη]στίω[ν]),
CIRB 1132 ([καὶ συν]α̣γωγὸν Ἀπο̣[λλώνιον?])
CIRB 1133 (συν[αγωγὸν])
CIRB 1134 (θέασος ναυκλήρων, τῆς βα[σ]ι̣λείας καὶ συναγωγὸν Μοιρόδωρον Νεοκλέους̣, Χρηστίων Πάπα, Μυρίσκος Χρήστ̣ου)
CIRB 1135 ([κ]αὶ συναγωγὸ̣[ν] Δι[ονύσιον? Σ]υμμάχου), Χρη]στίων Πόθου Τειμοθέ[ου], Χ[ρη]στίων Γαδι- ])
CIRB 1136 (καὶ συναγωγὸν τὸν] [δεῖνα — —ων]ος, Χρησ[τίωνα τοῦ δεῖνος])
CIRB 1137 (very long list of personal names no reference to any Chrestos, Chrestion etc), 
CIRB 1138 (just small fragments), 
CIRB 1139 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1140 (Χρη?]στίων Πάπα ∙ Χρηστίων Λι[μνάγου?])
CIRB 1141 (just small fragments), 
CIRB 1142 (Μάρκος Μυστικοῦ)
CIRB 1143 (just small fragments), 
CIRB 1144 (Πατέρα)
CIRB 1145 (Χρηστίωνος, Χρηστοῦς Φαρνάκου), 
CIRB 1146 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1147 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1148 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1149 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1150 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1151 (Π̣αντα̣λέ̣ων Χρ̣η[στίωνος? — —]Φαρνακίων Χρησ[τίωνος? — —] Ἀγαθ̣οῦς Χρήστο̣[υ?])
CIRB 1152 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1153 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1154 (Χρησ[τίων]),
CIRB 1155 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1156 ([Χρ]η̣στίω[ν]), 
CIRB 1157 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1158 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1159 (Χρη[στίων])
CIRB 1160 (just broken letters), 
CIRB 1161 - 1177 (just broken letters),
CIRB 1178 ([Χ]ρηστ̣[ίων?]), 
CIRB 1179 (Πόθος Χρηστίωνος, Χρηστοῦς Μυρίσκου, Πάπας Χρηστίωνος, Χρηστίωνος Ἑρμοῦ, Παπίας Χρηστοῦ, Σαφάας Χρηστίωνος, Πόθος Χρυσοχόου, Πόθος Πάπα, ... ς Χρυσώτου,  ... στων Χρηστίωνος, Χρηστίων Θέκα, ΧρηστίωνοςἈνδραλέ[ω]ν, ... εος Χρηστοῦ, Πάππος Θέκα, Χρηστοῦς Πά[π] ..., Σιαγοῦς Χρηστίωνος ΦαρνακίωνοςΧρηστίων Ἑρμοῦ Χρηστοῦς)
CIRB 1180 ([Χ]ρηστίωνο̣[ς])

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Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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