ICG - Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae

Ancient inscription

A database of early Christian inscriptions from Asia Minor and Greece

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The ICG database has been UPDATED and TRANSFERRED to the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in KIEL. The current site http://www.epigraph.topoi.org has now been closed. We recommend that you use the new, updated version in Kiel at https://icg.uni-kiel.de.

Researchers can request fuller access to the figures in the database by contacting cilliers.breytenbach@hu-berlin.de. Please abide by the 'Conditions of Use' detailed below.

Database Publication and Citation

The full bibliographical reference of this database is as follows:

C. Breytenbach and C. Zimmermann, eds., Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae (ICG): A Digital Collection of Greek Early Christian Inscriptions from Asia Minor and Greece. http://icg.uni-kiel.de.

The database should be abbreviated as ICG, and inscriptions referenced as follows, e.g., ICG 811.

An earlier, more basic version of the database has been published as repository in open-access mode in edition|topoi at http://repository.edition-topoi.org/collection/ICG.

Project Members

Project Directors: Cilliers Breytenbach (Berlin), Christiane Zimmermann (Kiel)

Advisory Board: Klaus Hallof (IG), Stephen Mitchell (BIAA)

Digital Editors: Ulrich Huttner (2008-2014), Julien Ogereau (2014-2017), Marina Veksina (2014-2018), Maya Prodanova (2019), Patrick Hommel (2020-2023)

Technical Development: Sebastian Kruse, Markus Konrad, Daniel Werning




Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae (ICG) is a digital collection of Greek early Christian inscriptions from Asia Minor and Greece dating from ca. II–VI CE. In continuation of a respository published with edition|topoi, the primary objective of the ICG database is to collect systematically all such inscriptions that have been published so far and organise them regionally. This digital collection does not constitute a digital epigraphic corpus per se, nor is it intended to replace printed critical editions of the original texts. Rather, it is a repertory whose primary purpose is to record early Greek Christian epigraphic documents, and to assist researchers with the analysis and interpretation of material to write historical accounts on the rise and expansion of Early Christianity in Asia Minor and Greece in the series ECAM and ECG.

The database contains so far more than 4,200 inscriptions from central Anatolia (Lycaonia, Psidia, Phrygia, Galatia, parts of Cappadocia) and from mainland Greece (Attica, Corinthia, Central Greece, Macedonia, and the Peloponnese), the northern Balkans (e.g. Thracia), and some Aegean islands. Inscriptions from the northern, western, and southern coastal regions of Asia Minor (e.g., Asia, Caria, Ionia, Bithynia, Pontus, Pamphylia, and Cilicia) and the remaining Agean islands, will also be processed and included in the database in the coming few years.

Each ICG entry features the original Greek text, a German or English translation, a concise critical apparatus and commentary, images (whenever available), as well as all the relevant information pertaining to dating, ancient and modern provenances, current location, and circumstances of discovery (whenever such information is known).

 The photos of squeezes made from inscriptions in Greek cities are used by courtesy of IG (BBAW). The database allows simple searches of single terms, be they letter combinations or words, in the original (normalized) Greek (and sometimes Latin) texts and in the German or English translations and commentaries.

Selection Criteria

As Christian is considered any inscription that: (1) was set up by or for someone who identifies him/herself as Christian (e.g., χρι/ηστιανός); (2) and/or presents easily recognisable Christian symbols (e.g., Greek/Latin crosses, Christograms, staurograms, nomina sacra, or signa such as ΙΧΘΥΣ or ΧΜΓ); (3) and/or contains specific Christian titles, offices or epithets (e.g., ἐπίσκοπος, πρεσβύτερος, διάκονος/διακόνισσα, δοῦλος/δούλη τοῦ Θεοῦ/Χριστοῦ), biblical citations or allusions, as well as words (e.g., κοιμητήριον, ἀνάστασις), formulae or acclamations (e.g., μνήμης +άριν for μ. χάριν, ζήσῃς ἐν θεῷ), maledictory formulae (e.g., πρὸς τὸν θεόν/ Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, δώσει λόγον τῷ θεῷ) that are typically used by Christians; (4) features names that are frequently (though not solely) attributed to Christians (e.g., Παῦλος, Κυριακός, Θέκλα, Κεφᾶς, Πέτρος, Ἀναστασία/ιος); (5) was set up in a Christian building (e.g., votives, acclamations, or building dedications). While some of the above-mentioned clues may not always represent conclusive evidence when found on their own, a combination of several of these increases the likelihood that the inscription is indeed Christian.

The editors intentionally adopted a more inclusive (rather than exclusive) approach in selecting and collecting the material. The database thus includes a number of documents that cannot be identified with certainty as Christian, or that were once thought to be Christian by earlier editors but which may no longer be so considered—in such cases, a concise discussion is generally included in the ‘Comments’ section, leaving the final decision to the user.

Development Status and Publications

The database contains so far over 4,200 entries. All of the Christian material from Lycaonia and Phrygia (ca.1,500 inscriptions) has already been entered. To date, about 2,000 inscriptions from Attica, Corinthia, Macedonia, the Peloponnese, and Thessalia have also been added to the database. Inscriptions from north and south Galatia, Thracia, Pisidia, Caria, Lydia, Ionia, and the Aegean islands are currently being processed. The entries are regularly corrected, supplemented, and updated, as required.

In addition, a number of publications based on the database are in preparation for the ECAM (https://brill.com/display/serial/ECAM?language=en) and ECG (https://brill.com/display/serial/ECGB) series with Brill.

Search Function

As an improvement on the edition|topoi respository, the database allows simple searches of single terms, be they letter combinations or words, in the original (normalized) Greek (and sometimes Latin) texts and in the German or English translations and commentaries. The database also allows for more complex searches by combining various filters (‘Dating’, ‘Region’, etc.). For more information, please read the detailed instructions under the search tool bar on the inscription list page by clicking on the question mark sign (?).

(Please note that the same inscription may be included in several sub-folders. For example, an inscription approximately dated between 200-500 will be included in three folders: 3. century, 4. century, and 5. century.)

Conditions of Use

The database is intended solely for scientific, non-commercial, and research purposes and adheres strictly to the German copyrights legislation.

Please abide by the 'Licence' and 'Conditions of Use' for using or reproducing photographic material.


Below is a succinct list of other helpful epigraphic databases or collections.