Dedicatory inscriptions on Middle Byzantine reliquaries have been analyzed for their documentary information, including prosopography, provenance, and date. Relying solely on this data limits our understanding of these objects. The methodology in this paper recontextualizes Byzantine reliquaries and their dedicatory inscriptions by reassessing the meaning and function of the Greek text through its relationship with the form of the object and its relics. The focus of this essay is on one case study—the Limburg Staurotheke, a reliquary of the True Cross now in the cathedral treasury of Limburg an der Lahn, Germany. Three levels of analysis will be applied to the staurotheke and its inscription. First, the dedication functions as a record of patronage—the identification of names, titles, and gifts. Second, it is a typological comparison of the patrons and Christ as expressed in the precise terminology chosen for the dedication. Third, the placement of specific words is significant when viewed in relation to the form of the object and the precious stones and pearls that embellish it. These approaches together reveal the multivalent messages
conveyed through the reliquary’s complex interrelationship of text, form, and relic.