THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIANITY IN DACIA AND DACIA ROMAN PROVINCES IN I-V CENTURIES A.D.
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The Romanization of Dacia and the Christianity are two phenomena that developed simultaneously. The intensity and the development of Romanization influenced directly the power of the Christianity. The urban centers are those that offer the best imagine of the Romanization and in the same time they become the focuses of the Christianity in thee first three centuries A.D.
But what was the religion of Geto-Dacians before the Christianity?
Vasile Parvan asserted that “in the contrast with other Thracians, who were polytheist “Getas show themselves in their believes to be henotheists* . Their opinion is a kind of dualism, similar to that Iranian but there isn`t any certain document. In connection with the mention of the Greeks that the god of Geto-Dacians had a name, the historian says that these called the god from the sky when Zamolxis, when Geleleizis, name in his opinion that there are ,,simple explanatory attributes of the power or the appearance of the divinity ,,The unic god didn`t need of a proper name, but only explanatory attributes of his power, that is infinite and in this way his attributes also would have been able to be countless. Nevertheless even these attributes lack at Getas: because “Zamolxis” is almost exclusively used, while “Gebeleizis” is entirely an exception here as an appellative of the supreme God.
Against the henotheism suggested by Vasile Pârvan there were: C.Daicoviciu, I.I. Russu, L.Blaga, Silviu Sanie, and the polytheist character of the Geto-Dacian religion is the dominat point manifested in all the post-war syntheses of the historiography (N.Cojocaru, Ortodox Christianity).The historian Silviu Sanie speaking about the Getas` religion mentions: “With all diversity of its elements, it represents o united and considered form. Geto-Dacians had a supreme divinity, either they called Zamolxis or Gebeleizis in that they believed, with all difficulty to understand it at the level of the ancient writers, the Greeks, for example or the Romans”.
Though, Niceta of Remesiana, Dacian bishop, writes in ,,De symbolo” text that in time when he tried to explain to the Daco-Romans, cathehumens about God-The Father from The Credo, he was meeting difficulties because the heathen mythology did from almost every god, a father, evidently in a different sense of that Christian. In this way Niceta gives to monotheism a foundation against the heathen polytheism, but present, simple for opwer of understanding of those who were listening to him. The divinity of Geto-Dacians was conceived as if existed in the sky. For this the Dacians worshiped a celestial cult: they had god warship altars, sanctuaries carved in the high mountains(according to Vasile Parvan), where they prayed, probably, with their belief to be nearer f their divinity.(Niceta of Remesiana, De Symbolo, in Church writers, by Pr. Prof.Ioan G.Coman, p.116)*
In accordance with the tradition, the Christianity was introduced to us still from the Apostolic Century. It is Known that after the Ascensin Day” the Saint Apostols didn`t delay too much in Jerusalim. They were all over in the world in order to preach, teach the Jesus` Gospel as if Origen wrote:,, Toma went to preach to Parths, Matei went to Ethiopa, Bartolomeu to West of India, John to Asia, Andrei to Scythia, Petru to Pont, Galatia, Bithynia and Capadokia, Paul went from Jerusalem to Illyria.
About the preching of Jesus` Gospel by Saint Apostols in Scythia territory and assimilation of the new Christian learning by Geto-Dacians, early, a study by P.S. Epifanie Norocel who synthesized the mentions of the church authors on the preaching of Saint Andrei in our territories, even by the epistle to Colosens of Saint Paul who said: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all(Clos.III,11).
Some historian and church people relying on some historic data suppose that in Dobrogea there were Christians even in the first centuries A.D. The historian C.C. Giurescu, speaking about ,,Christianity of Dacian-Getas, asserts:,,It`s sure that in Dacia Christians were before of the Roman retreat. The Christianity was in the time when the Roman legions were retreating, an oldness almost two and half centuries. It penetrated into all the most important centers of the Roman Empire, further throughout Balcan Peninsula. So it is not at all excluded as though the colonists brought by Traian would have been Christian soldiers, too. Also, they could be through the rows of the troops who had settled before in the east and now they had their garrison in Dacia (C.C.Giurescu, The Forming of the Romanian People, Craiova,p.116)*
How was Christianity born and spread in the Geto-Dacian territory? We could answer relying on the studied documentation: missionary was the term explained by A.von Harnack(Harnack, 1924,p.33-528). This missionary(missioner activity) could be of individual and spontaneous type or of type guided, ruled politically.
N.Gudea, at the pag.109 of his work,, From the History of Christianity at Romanians. Archeological Proves* mentions about the individual type:,,Missioners brought here not only the Christian ferment, because the Daco-Roman society at which this ferment was coming, as too the other part of the Empire was already capable to take over this ferment and ready prepared to develop it.
This thing is able to explain by Vasile Parvan`s words: ,,The cause of Daco-Roman Christianity found out on the public monuments much earlier to appear provinces of Illyricum, I think I must search only its bringing directly from East-The Trian`s colonists came in the most part from Christian Orient-and, as a result, in the old heart of the Christian community of Dacia that will have given its members a certain self-confidence in their power for resting even on the opportunity of the public fight with dominant heathen will have been as in the other part of the world a certain γνωσις, then a true idolatry”.
The spread of gnosticism by its pieces in the same time with those of the paleochristianity, charged also of some powerful evangelized communities. Those ,,abrasaxes” which a period lived together with Christianity to Porolissum, Romula, Orlea, etc. remained only a memory of the territory where they were discovered, emphasizing the idea that the Christian theology was imposed to the ,,bazilidei”gnosticism which integrated itself to Christianity. Owing to pure Christianity after 325 A.D. the gnostic cremation is replaced with proper inhumation, while the astronomical calculations, with regarding the great feasts were taken over from Dacians, through the writing down of the equinoxes and solstices into quadrilateral sanctuaries and circular discovered into diggings made to Sarmizegetusa by Victor Teodorescu and C.Daicoviciu since Dacia`s reign by Burebista, 81-44,BCh. and till period of Durpaneus Decebal IIc.A.D.
The researcher Nestor Vornicescu mentions chronologically the sufferings of the saints in old our territory: Pasincrate and Valeintin martyrized at Durostorum, in IIIc.A.D. The martyrization of the soldier Iuliu Veteranu, and in the same time and in the same citadel, where Saint Nicandru and Saint Marcian÷298, and Saint Isihic suffered, too. In 304 A.D. there is registered the sufferings of the Dacian priest Montanus and his wife Maxima, at Singidunum. In that epoch the bishop Irimeu worked and suffered at Sirmium and the priest Dasius suffered at Axiopolis. Also there are mentioned monks who suffered as martyrs and became saints as Epictet, Astion* about in 290 A.D. in Halmiris citadel.
Nestor Vornicescu remainds about the old episcopate office from Recidiva where in 328 A.D. there was the bishop Ştefan and in the second half of the IVc A.D.there was in Tomis a well-known episcopate ofiice led by bishop Bretanion, a famous priest. Another bishop in Tomis well-known, too there was Teotim about 390-407A.D. It is said that the Tomis episcopate office was promoted to the rank of metropolitan church by the Emperor Atanasie I(491-518) and had under its jurisdiction 14 episcopate offices: Axiopolis, Capidava, Bifainos, Caupros, Nicomidia, Dessu, Salsovia, Halmiris, Tropheum Traiani, Yeldipa, Dionzsopolis, Callatis, Histria, Constantiniana. All these episcopate offices are mentioned in the ,,Synekdemos” work by Hieracles.
On the left bank of the Danube, in the Buzău places, today, in 372A.D. suffered martyr death the well-known Saint Sava, called Gotul, too.At Niculiţel, in the IVc A.D. suffered martyr death as follow as: Zoticos, Atthalos, Kamasis and Filippos. They called saints. Also Many after Christians suffered martyr death like Emilian from Durostorum; at Singidunum the deacon Donat was and his twin brother Venust died to Sirmium and the list keeps on. We notice that some and the others were Dacians and with their example there is a confirmation of the continuity of Geto-Dacians in their country, Dacia.
The second type of missionary, that ruled politically manifested when there was a collaboration between Church and Empire, specially in the IVc.A.D. when Christian Church became the ally of the state especially when the missionary was directed to barbarian groups and people in order to be quiet down them and integrate in foreign politic of the Empire. In a kind of this missionary there were involved: Ioan Cassian, Dionisie the Greatest, Vasile the Greatest, Ulfila, in Moesia II or Scythia and Niceta of Remesiana in Mediterranean Dacia* .
The spread and evolution of Christianity gets a great importance in the three Dacian provinces after the Roman retreat till the downfall of the Byzantine border at the Lower Danube. What will put us in links with Daco-Roman Christianity evidences will be the archeological sources which demonstrate that the left people in its territories preserved an economic, social and spiritual Geto-Dacian autochthonous life. The Geto-Dacian language in wich there were concluded on commercial agreements at the Lower Danube is used as cult language,too till the downfall of the Byzantine Empire in 1204 and when is was imposed the practice of the Christian cult In Greek language mentioned in documents kept to Putna Monastery and studied by agreements at the Lower Danube is used as cult language,too till the downfall of the Byzantine Empire in 1204 and when is was imposed the practice of the Christian cult In Greek language mentioned in documents kept to Putna Monastery and studied by researchers, G.Ciobanu and I.Panţâru. The early Christianity study in Dacia represents generally, our contribution at the Christianity history. There was still a new trial of development of the European Historiography with new data, new knowledge by archeology.
If the beginnings seem to us poor in materials, IV-Vc.A.D. bring light in accordance with the organization of the Christian Church, the connection of the Geto-Dacian Christian communities with the entire Empire in special condition that were at the Lower Danube, when the Empire lost provinces in Balcans, where Barbarians conquered the territory between the Danube and Balcans and however the Christian population is developed, survives over the borders of the Empire, preserving the religion and ethnic entity and some aspects of its Roman origine.
The XXth century was the period when the most studies about the early Daco-Roman Christianity by the analysis of the objects discovered archeologically. The true research is begun by Vasile Pârvan who showed in his study: ,,The Epigraphic Contributions at the Daco-Roman Christianity History” .The historian pays attention:,,In traian- Dacia had to have been Christians before 270 A.D.,too. It is a logical-historic necessity:all believes were in Empire in that period, there were in Dacia ,too, especially those orientals, of which some of them appeared only here, and many colonize a great number was from old Christian provinces, missionaried by the God`g Apostols themselves, Syria, Galatia, Asia provinces, etc,”.
Vasile Pârvan remainds about Tertuluian who enumerates among the people in him reached” is Dacian people. Giving the example of non-concordance between Tertulian`s and Origen`s text, the Romanian savant added: ,,consequently the literary springs don`t give anything sure on the Christianity from the left bank of the Danube before 250cA.D.-Contrary a spring of another nature gives a documentation irrevocable about Christianity in traian-Dacia still before 270 AD” It is given for example an inscription from Napoca which begins as all the others with D(is) M(anibus) reason for which didn`t pay attention though it is finished with sacred monogram. In inscription was carved on a stone sarcophagus found about 1500 and the data about the inscription are Known from the manuscripts of the Mazerius humanist(about1516). Also, at 62 page of the work, the historian presents another Christian monograms discovered to Calatis, Tomis, Tropaeum Traiani and Axiopolis.
As Vasile Pârvan mentions: ,,Important and decisive for inscription there is the conclusion of Becker, that ,, the most inscriptions provided with the sigles D· M belong to the third century and the period of Constantin(I Emperor,p.67). If Vasile Pârvan opened the first stage of the research between 1911-1936 years, another stage is that researched by C Daicoviciu who brings new archeological Christian evidances dated in the IVc. When the Christianity is brought here, to the north Danube by missionaries, especially after 313AD.
Another stage of the research can be between 1936-1958 I.I.Russu makes up the first systematic catalogue of early Christianity particularly for Transilvania.
The work mentioned above is followed by another two catalogues made-up by I. Barnea, (Barnea 1977, Barnea 1979). These works make evident the real possibility of the early Christianity in Dacian provinces. The continuos research bases on the rich bibliographical lists, starting from that made-up by Vasile Pârvan and going fast to those relied on the new discoveries, rediscoveries and interpretations as Christian, objects made-up by K.Horedt(Horedt 1946), M.Macrea (Macrea 1948),C. Daicoviciu(C.Daicoviciu 1948;Daicoviciu 1949), I.I.Russu(Russu 1958) D. Protase(Protase 1966), I.Barnea(Barnea 1971, Barnea 1977, Barnea 1979, Barnea 1985), and K.Horedt(Horedt 1982).To theses lists we can add uncountless articles and other works in accordance with another discoveries of the Christian items. There were made-up maps respecting technical characteristics, as: materials, dimensions, descriptions, typologies, analogies; date of the place of the discovery and the place where these are preserved.Having a delivery of items on the maps could make comperisons among the situations of the Dacian provinces with the others from the entire Roman Empire and Balcanic region. Of course the discoveries in Dacia territory can join and integrate to the researches and discoveries which made and the other Christian territories as Britania and Germania as part of the Christian items associated of items from the late period of the Roman Empire and early Byzantine. In this way we can follow a movement of Christianity in European territory. The discovered items can analyze as making part from three stages of evolutions:
a)The period of Roman province consists of some ringstones and Christian talismans proper(found at Potaissa, Apulum and Romula, Transilvania in general), several gnostic ring gemstones (Porolissum, Apulum, Micia, Romula, Orlea); other gnostic items counting as talismans (Micia); gnostifc funerary objects(Dierna);vessel lids with a cross on them(Porolissum, Micia, Tibiscum, Resculum, Cumidava, Ulpia Traiana).
b)The early Christianity objects when the gnostic objects disappear the objects become more uniform in their classification in accordance with their use. That became more generalized being used during divine service; existence of churches and the tombstones as well. The found objects indicate us the existence of the initial hotbeds of Christianity, the cities of the provinces, the larger settlements and the artisans centers that indicate a wider spread of the new religion.
c)We can speak about IVcAD when there was discovered a greater variety of objects used in the service divine, talismans, burial objects, parts of equipment and harness. The studied maps show a larger area of spreading of Christianity.
For putting in evidence the thing presented above we could do a classification of the objects discovered especially their destination. Consulting the maps what content the spreading of the objects intended to Christian religious cult annexed to the work, the historian Nicolae Gudea realiyed a cetain grouping in his work,, From the History of the Christianity at Romanians Archeological proves:
1. Talismans and tokens:
a.)ring gemstones with gnostic symbols(Porolissum, Apulum, Micia, Romula, Orlea, Drobeta); b) ring gemstones with Christian symbols proper (Potaissa, Transilvania, Apulum, Romula);c) matal rings with Christian symbols and inscriptions on the plate(Boloa, Potaissa, Dierna, UlpiaTraiana, Sucidava);d)metal rings having a cross on the plate(Caraş river, Sacoşu Turcesc);e) cross shaped pendants(Porolissum, Romula, Dubovac, Vrsac);f)accessories for clothing with Christian symbols: brooches(Micia);belt brooches of Sucidava type(Apulum, Bratei, Orlea, etc.);belt attachments (applicae) (Feisa): pendants(Platea);g)gnostic funeral items(Dierna)
2. Ancient stone monuments or other common use objects which, later on were given a Christian nature or Christian significance (Christianized):a)tombstones(Napoca, Potaissa, Ampelum, Gilău, Ulmetum) b)building ceramic materials(Romula);c) various vessels with Christian symbols added after the date of fabrication(Porolissum, Poian, Micasasa, Cumidava); d)vessels with the fish images invised after the date of fabrication(Gherla);e) vessel lids(Porolissum, Resculum, Micia, UlpiaTraiana, Cumidava, Tibiscum, Caransebeş).
3.Objects used in the divine service:
a) Chandelier (Biertan); b) liturgical vessels (Biertan); c) eucharistic chalices (Porolissum, Ulpia Traiana); d) instruments for stamping the Eucharistic bread (Platea, Jobăr); e) bronze lamp supports (Dej, Gherla, Porolissum, Romula, Răcari); f) clay lamps with monogram of Christ or with a cross on the plate (discus)(Ampulum, Transilvania, Romula, etc); with cross at the bottom (Iliuşa, Mercheşa, Apulum, Ulpia Traiana, etc.) with various Christian symbols (Romula, etc); with birds on the plate(discus)Romula);g)Silver Eucharistic spoons(Transilvania, Deleni, Dierna).
4.Various other Christian objects
a) Symbolic statuettes (Porolissum); b) vessels with fish images (Micia, Micăsasa); c) amphorae (Tg.Secuiesc); d) vessels with Christian symbols put on them when manufactured (Cristeşti, Micăsasa); e) inscriptions (Romula).
5.Christian discoveries (churches)(Porolissum, Slăveni);
6.Moulds for the metal Christian items (Sânmiclăuş);
7.Objects and discoveries in the late Roman and early Byzantine settlements and forts on the left bank of the Danube (from mouth of the Tisa to the mouth of the Olt).
Nicolae Gudea made-up his table based mainly on analogies, and on the knowledge of the Christian ritual and cult inventory. In the late Roman period Tomis becomes the capital of the Scythia provinces founded by Diocletian Emperor by tearing of part from the territory of the exprovinces, “Moesia Inferior”. Here was the residence of the governor of the province, the place where the Christianity spread even in the I st cAD and where was born the first episcopate office from Scythia.
Beside the Christian ritual in provinces ruled over temporary by Roman Empire, Dacia Province and Dobrogea between 106-271AD developed simultaneously with the other religious cults brought here by the members of the Roman legions for example: mani god cult, dead people cult, Dis Manibus. In the free Dacians territory there were autochthonous groups that keep, preserve by directly transmitting of the Zalmoxian cult, ritual. We can give more examples of religious syncretism by some inscriptions from the work of the historian Emilian Popescu “Greek and Latin Inscriptions from IV-XIIIc.AD in Romania”* : A marble plate discovered in Constantza, Dobrogea, Romania and dated 284AD or 284-305 period in which: A) It is glorified the Emperor Gaius Valerius Dioclitianus loved by gods. The Council and Assembly of the people build the monument. B) At Constantza there is an invocation of the Sun God as a protection for the health of the Emperor Caius Valerius Diocletian and Marcus Aurelius Maximian. C) Funerary stela (39-40 page.) dated at the end of IIIc and the beginning of IV c AD, the epitaph begins with to MansGods (Dis Manibus D·M).
Respecting somehow the chronological order may we remind Silviu Sanie with”Roman Civilization to East from Carpathians and the Roman World in the Territory of Moldavia II-III c AD* who at the p. 215-217 presents the Barboşi Roman Camp (near Galaţi) I-III c AD where there were discovered religious tokens, representation of the sun (sol), of the snake, of the bull as symbol of the force and the fertility. The symbol of the sun was discovered in the Thraco Getic treasures but also from the classical Dacian epoch I-III c AD. Also, at Barboşi there were discovered the representations of the oriental gods as: Jupiter, Dolichenus, Meri, Mithras, but also of the Danubian Knight and Thrac Knight.
In the context mentioned above there is an inscription from Turnu Severin presented by Viorica Enchiuc-Mihai in: “The Point of View According to Dacian Writing” in History Annals1/1979, 104 p.:
,, Ares our god!
Twenty years lived in Drobeta
This leader of the Macedonica alae
From Amutirum citadel to Caron leaves for”.
Coming back to Silviu Sanie`s work at page 219 we can see another Christian representation. There were 5 objects of old Christian type at Barboşi (p. 220 .):
1.A cross of nacre with height of 1,7cm.
2.A ceramic fragment in which there are carved the letters MT PM that would mean MAGNA MATER. The 36 drawing, Figure 10. -The inscription is from II-IIIc AD.
3.A pendant cross from nacre with height 2cm.dated from the first half of IIIcAD. The 23 drawing, Fig.3;
4.Honorific inscription altar BΠ P;
5. Middle dimensions amphora found into a tomb. On it there is painted with red dye the letters BΠ P.
From the work of Emilian Popescu “Greek and Latin inscriptions IV-XIIIcAD” we mention:
Transilvania: Potaisa Turda, Cluj County-there is found a gemstone of onyx no.435 at 391 page, IIIc-beginning IVcAD in Greek language and at 391 page- the translation is presented: “Jesus Christ the sun of God, Saviour”; Moldova –III-IV c AD it is discovered at Poeneşti, Vaslui County, a neck of amphora with a piece of inscription with red dye X(p ίσтός).
Because the space isn`t permitted to bring examples from each group of the table, however the drawings attached to the work give us the possibility to present in detail,
“The Christian votive inscription from the Biertan” situated on the little table of a subassembly of bronze, probably a part from a Chandelier. Biertan is in the south of Dumbrăveni, Târnava Mare county, then in the heart of Transilvania. “The votive little table was found by Kurt Hordet after it stayed much time in the cupboards of the Bruckenthal Museum (as the historian C.C Giurescu said to us in The Romanians` History, 1943, 98 page). Kurt Horedt makes-up a study of this discovery strengthening the great meaning of this object. The inscription is in Latin and contents: Ego Zenovius votum posui( Me, Zenoviu put this offering) and it refers to a Christian monogram from bronze given by author of the inscription. The form of letters and the form of monogram Show the IV c AD . The dating of the inscription is after the retreat of the legions from Dacia, reason that strengthens the problem of the continuity of Daco-Roman population in Transilvania and of the Christian cult.
There are in the same drawings annexed a few lamps with cross put in evidence. At the same page 99 from “The Romanians` History”,C.C Giurescu presents a lamp of bronze with cross. The lamp was found in the Luciu commune, Ialomotza county, Muntenia. It is dated V-VI c AD.
The historian Dumitru Tudor in “Roman Oltenia”* presents us at the 90-91 pages a few lamps with Christian signs from II-VI c AD found at Sucidava, Orlea, Romula. The pages present further a few Gnostic signs: a gemstone with abrasax inscription on a face and a star with seven arms on the other face. There is a Christian lamp from Romula from IV c AD at the 469 page.In the middle this lamp presents a cross and on its edge a yellow-greenish glaze which shows the importation that Sucidava made from Dobrogea or Near Orient, because this was the manner or workshops from those place in that time. But so the author shows this kind of lamps found at Romula, too, some of fragments dating from V-VI c AD.
Also in the book of Dumitru Tudor we can meet some specifications about the “amphora with ribs”, marked with inscriptions painted (tituli picti). They are remarked at Sucidava, ones being of import but ones local. The inscriptions are performed on the neck of these amphorae with red dye, some of them being written by the priest of the garrison of Sucidava. Here is some invocations: ”Help me Lord”; “Too Bright God”; “Mother of God”; “Too Saint God”; ”Mother Gave Birth to Christ”; The Light of God. On some of the amphorae there were found the signature of the producers with apocaliptic letters round the crossshapes onograms. Round the cross there were letres and monograms as well: A and Ω ; XMΓ; MΘ; ΘΥ;ΘΦ; AΩ etc.
So we see above in the table made by Nicolae Gudea there are mentioned the discoveries of churches at Slăveni and Porolissum, but we can speak also about the “Christian Basilica” discovered by the diggings made at Sucidava in 1946-47 years, about which Dumitru Tudor writes that: “It remains the first and unique monuments of this kind in according to the beginnings of the spread of Christianity at the North of the Danube. By the coins and other traces picked-up from its debris this “basilica” dates from VI c AD” The church is in the N.W.of the citadel.It presents an apsis orientated to east. It had a length of 20,90m and width of 10,20m. It was built from bricks and stone. The “daconicon” was made from two little rooms on the left wing,part and in the center of the nave it was a pulpit. The floor was with bricks in nave and with concret at apsis. Both inside of the church and its walls, there were made inhumations in coffins made of Byzantine type bricks. One of the brick was decorated with a cross. Some of the coins found in the ruins of the church were from the period of Mauriciu Tiberiu(596-597), time when the Avars set on fire not only the church but all the citadel. Also at the garbage pit near the monument there was further found a piece from a little bathtub made from terra-cotta marked by an “interdotted cross and the superior part of an amphora which it was marked the name of the local priest Lukonochos son of Lykatios. The author of the book “Roman Oltenia” makes a connection between the building of the church in Sucidava and the activity delivered through “Novela XI”by Justinian the Emperor for development of the Christianity at the north of the Danube. “Novela XI” was given on 14th April 535 by his archibishop from the Iustiniana Prima Diocese Church. In this circular letter there are mentioned the other centers as: Litterata (Palanca Nouă) in Banat and Recidiva, toponimic that would be Sicibida-Sucidava locality, an important economic, military and church cener in the period of Iustinian. There is a Latin Christian inscription found in Ulmetum belonging also to Iustinian`s period mentioning as follows as: ”a detachment of young lancers”(“pedatura militium LanciarumJuniorum”)
The IVth century AD is the period of more numerous discoveries, when there were Christianezed much more objects of cult. We shall give examples using the documentation: “Greek and Latin Inscriptions from IV-XIII c AD discovered in Romania” by Emilian Popescu who presents numerous monuments, even churches in wich many martyrs were inhumated: There is a marble plate discovered in Tomis from IV-V c AD: “Here reposing martyr of Christ and bishop….”
There were martyrs in the IVth century and also after the recognition of Christianity, after Constantin the Greatest in 325 AD. The Barbarians who rushed the Christian territories provoked victims among the Christian people, but especially among those who were making missionary. About the missionary activity delivered by the bishops of Schythia and the perils, which they had meet, at 58 page a relating of Sozomenus is in his Ecclesiastic History, book 7, 26 rows 6-9: with regarding bishop Theotimus I and Arcadius, martyrs in Dobrogea attested by the inscriptions no.194-267 (205 page). On a limestone plate discovered in the Coemetricalis church mines in the north citadel in III-IV c AD there is the text:“(To Martyrs) Chiril, Chindias and Dasius commend their soul Eufrasius. The lack of cross from the monument shows us the prudence of the Christians in period of Dioclitian, 267 AD. The author presents the crypt of a church from IV-V c AD in which there were discovered the wood coffins dated IV c Ad with four beheaded martyrs. In a church from Niculiţel, Tulcea county, Dobrogea, România, there were discovered three inscriptions from IV c AD which mentioned: a) martyrs for Christ; b) martyrs-Zotikos, Attalos, Kamasis, Philipos”; c)inscription is X(ristos).
These martyrs are mentioned in martirdom as well: Martirologium Hieronymianum on date of 4 th June which contents the first three and the fourth is met in Martyrologium Syriacum, at the same date. The four martyrs, probably died with others twenty five comrads entered for the same lists. Another fragment of marble of a sarcophgus lid discovered in Tomis from IV-Vth c AD contents an inscription. Its translation is: May God have mercy upon those without body! Here reposing Alexandru soon converted (65 page).
The Christian people called neophytes those who were initiated in Christianity and they were to receive the Christianity and as though exemplified by the 32 inscription (68 page) carved in the left corner on the stella of a marble descovered in Tomis, from IV-Vth c AD. The translation is: Here reposing Maru, of two years, 10 months and 14 days daughter of Ioan, administrator of St. Ioan Church. The insription of the 6th row “Ioan” is spelled “Ioannou”, the name being of Judaic origin, Christianized.In the 8throw it is spelled Aghiou Io(annou). Also there is 35 inscription from V-VIth c AD from a fragment of a leg of marble table which is finished in a shape of lion head where are some names of people who worship. Every name has a cross: “To fulfill the worship of Sabina, Leontina, Venera and Eufemia”. At Constantza 53 inscription discovered now at lhe British Museum, London. 53 Inscription is on the gemstone of cornaline dated IV-V c AD. Translation: “Jesus Christ, sun of God, Saviour (at 90 page); 54 Inscription is on the lamp of ceramics discovered at Constanza dated in IVth c.AD. Translation: “My peace I give you (Pacem meam do vobis)”. 55 Inscription on a lamp of bronze discovered at Tomis, IVth c. AD.It has on a face Xr(istos) in Greek language and the other face †.It was discovered 208 Inscription(218-219 page) at Ulmetum Pantelimonul de Sus commune, Constantza county, Dobrogea, România, IIIrd-IVth c AD . It was preserved into the wall of inside of Roman camp. Transaltion: ”Be healthy, those left in life and esteeem Mani with incense because also you come to us” Aurelius Sisinicus, villager lived more 70 years and those left in life and to wife…” We notice that the element of incense for dead people appeared, old, Christian custom of Getas from Dobrogea. It was found at Slăveni, Gostavăţ commune, Olt county, 399 Inscription on a chip from a limestone plate dated IV-Vth c AD. It is printed a monogramatic cross showing that the Christianity was at Slăveni Roman camp still IVth c AD with Greek inscription. Xp(ίσтός).
If we discussed till now about the birth of Cristianity in Dacian provinces that belonged to Roman Empire, archelogical evidences move us in Daco-Carpic territories.At Chitila, on a clogged hill, in 2001 year, the researcher Vasile Boroneanţ* with his team discovered much more archeological objects from IInd-Vth c.AD that belonged to Carps from Getas people. The most important item is a bronze club-shaped sceptre in shape of a bishop`s mitre. Such as the author says that the item according to its shape and ornament, its origins lies in the tradition of prehistoric sceptres in the Carpatho-Danubian area. The sceptre has a globular form with two orifices. There is a cross which splits its surface in four lobs. Each lobe has an oval opening where a gem must have been embeded.A cross must have been been set in the superior orifice. The sceptre discovered is a newly invented shape, instead of the item figuring some divinity, the local craftsman imagined the sceptre shaped as an imperial crown, and set a cross in the upper orifice between the four fir-tree leaves. The new invented shape functioned in parallel with the globe and cross, after the IVth c AD after the edict of Mediolanum.
If the stones assumed the historic true by inscriptions which announce and strengthen the continuity of the Christian religious cult in the territory of the provinces of Dacia, the writings of the patristic authors mentioned, too as faithful, loyal of primary Christianity tradition and authentic from point of historic view in evolution of the Church. Hyppolyt Romanul (c.170-236) in his work “About the Twelve Apostles” asserts us: “Andrei announced the Word of Gospel To Schyths and Thracians.In this way the Romanian Ortodox Church is called everywhere by Christian people Church of Saint Apostle Andrei”.
Dumitru Tudor in his article Philippopolis, 580page, of “Enciclopedy of Roman Civilization” speaks us about the preach of the Saint Apostle Pavel at Philippopolis, Getic county, that here it is realized “ a human and liturgical nucleus of the European Christianity, as though Bartolomeu Anania called it in “New Testament” 338-339 pages, in this way Geto-Dacians were practicing Christianity before Rome or other European countries.
Walfridus Strabo de Reichenau 808/809-849 introduces in “Poemata” a composition dedicated to Saint Apostle Filip in Item de Sancto Apostolo Philipo Christi when asserts that Saint Apostle who worked “by clean grace” received from Jesus Christ taught the barbarian people from Schythia the Saint dogmas in order to believe in “Christ The Saviour of the World”.
Ado(Adonis) de Viennewho made a copy of the text “Martyrologicum Adonis” wrote about Fillip: who after converted Schythia at belief in Christ and named there deacons, priests and bishops” demonstrated in this way the old of church organization at our ancestors some inscriptions from the tombs speak us about numerous martyrs who died for Christianity. This historic fact led to create o new literary species “martyr act”, being a passing stage from the heathen antiquity to Christian era. The principal quality of the martyr act is the authenticity. Martyr acts, historical acts became numerously till IVth c.AD owing to the repeated violences of persecution. It seems this kind of acts won`t compose after 313AD owing to the religious liberty manifested by Emperor Constantine I the Greatest (307-337) at edict from Mediolanum. This martyr acts are imitated in a new literary structure ”lives of the Saints”.
The Christian life in Dacian territories are manifested continuously such as the historian Epiphanios Pentaglotos de Salamina (c 315-403) says us in his work Panarion (Against all heresies, LXX, 14-15) that Audius from Mesopotamia founded on the left of the Lower Danube, monasteries because there were communities well-organized.
The Literary School from Tomis and The School from the Lower Danube By religious writings either in Latin or in Greek, translations, are as a crown of all Dacian.
Religious culture risen by Te Deum Laudamus by Dacian bishop Niceta of Remesiana, the poet and composer.
-Vasile Pârvan, Epigrphic Contributions at the Daco-Roman Christianity, Bucharest, Socec, 1911
-Emilian Popescu, Greek and Latin Inscriptions IV-XIIIth c AD discovered in Romania, RSR Academia Publisher, Bucharest 1976
-Grigore Tocilescu, Epigraphic and Sculptural Monuments of the Antiquities National Museum in Bucharest, 1881
-Constantin Daicoviciu, Contributions at Religious Syncretism in Sarmizegetuza, Cluj Cartea Românească, 1930
-Dumitru Tudor, New Romanian Inscription from Oltenia and Dobrogea, Academia Publisher Bucharest,1956
-Dumitru Tudor, Roman Oltenia, RSR Academia Publisher, Bucharest,1968
-Nicolae Gudea, From Romanian Christianity History .Archeological Proves,
-Nicolae Cojocaru,Christian Cult Traditions :from the beginnings till today. Ortodox Christianity.
-Constantin C Giurescu, Romanian History, Cugetaarea Publisher, 1943.
-Histoire des religionesII* sous la direction d`Henri-Charles Puech, Galimard, 1972
-Mihail Diaconescu,Daco-Roman Literature History, Alcor Edimpex Publisher
-Vasile Boroneanţ, The Archeological Researches from Chitila, Ferm Chitila in 2001previous data and stratigraphy. History and
Museography Materials, vol. XVI, Bucharest.
Fr Constantin Alecse
Blog-ul in Romaneste