The new complex of Greek inscriptions from Machkhomeri fortress is a unique evidence of the Christianization of Lazica in the 6th c. Along with the inscriptions from Sepieti and Vashnari (now in the Ozurgeti Museum) churches, these are the first monuments of lapidary epigraphy from Lazica and the only complex of inscriptions known there. Three lapidary inscriptions have different characters: one is an invocative and building inscription, the second is invocative and prohibitive, and the third is probably prohibitive. All three of these inscriptions are executed according to the epigraphic style of the mid-6th ‒ mid-7th c., but by different carvers; especially the form of epsilon is different: drop-shaped (incl. with a gap at the top), rectangular and diamond-shaped, that indicates Lazica’s acquaintance with different varieties of the Greek epigraphic ductus. The graffiti inscriptions on the slab, possibly of school character, should also be considered as evidence of the spread of Greek alphabet in Lazica; but also here the form of alpha varies between one with a broken crossbar (like on the lapidary inscriptions of Machkhomeri) and the other with a loop. One should also pay attention to the names of the ktetors: Gorgonios and Theonas, who, as in the case of Sepieti (Philoktistos), are not of local, but of Greek and Christian origin. Probably, the builder of the martyrium basilica, Gorgonios, dedicated it to the holy Forty martyrs of Sebasteia, bearing himself the name of one of them. Also important are the parallels to the formulas of Machkhomeri inscriptions found in the epigraphic traditions of Asia Minor and the East (Arabia and Syria), which may suggest the origin of the ktetors or carvers.
The paper publishes Greek Christian inscriptions from the Crimea either re-found or newly discovered mostly in 2015–2016, which are missing in the IOSPE3 V. These finds allowed us to get photographs of IOSPE3 V 165, 307 and to correct the reading of IOSPE3 V 126, 222, and 246. The new finds comprise slabs from Bermana Ravine in vicinity of Sevastopol (add. 1, 2), a commemorative inscription from 1365/6 AD from a small church above Verkhorech’e (Biia-Sala) (add. 3), graffiti from a roadside altarless church near Il’ka Mountain in vicinity of Mangup (add. 5) and Eski-Kermen (add. 6), tombstones from Staryi Krym (Solkhat) from 1361/2 (add. 7), Tyritake from ca. 900 (add. 8), Kerch from the sixth (add. 10) and eleventh (add. 9) centuries, and Bogatyr’ from 1509, and also building inscription from a cave church at Zagaitanskaia Cliff in Inkerman from 1303 (add. 4). The latter mentions that the church was dedicated to St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia and the name of John Skleros, a previously unknown Metropolitan Bishop of Cherson, and also the kellion of monk Helias, which revives the question of the status of minor cave monasteries in the Mountainous Crimea.