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E01636: Greek dedicatory inscriptions from the so-called double church in Androna (modern al-Andarin), to the east of Apamea on the Orontes (central Syria), dedicated to one or more unnamed Archangels, also mentioning a refuge/asylum zone. Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 17.06.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
The double church in Androna, surveyed by the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions in the early 20th c., consists of two buildings: the north one is usually denoted as Church 4, and the east one as Church 5. Both were dedicated by a certain Dometios, son of Mareas, and his wife Synkletike. Based on the contents of inscriptions found at the site it was assumed that Church 4 was dedicated to Michael the Archangel, and Church 5 to Gabriel the Archangel, but actually the inscriptions mention only one unspecified Archangel, as the patron saint of Church 5 (see Inscriptions 3 and 4 below, and: Mundell Mango 2005, 334-335; Peña 2000, 18-19).

For a description of the churches, see: Butler 1920, 57-58.

Inscription 1:

Stone lintel from the west door of Church 4. H. 0.58 m; W. c. 2 m. Decorated with a carved circle (diameter 0.58 m), containing a cross, flanked by the letters Α and Ω. The inscription is on the upper part of the lintel. Seen and copied by Oestrup, von Oppenheim, and Littmann.

ὑπὲρ εὐχῆς (καὶ) σωτηρίας Δομετίου
Μ<α>ρέα (καὶ) Συνκλητικ(ῆς) τῆς αὐτοῦ γαμέτης

'As a vow and for the salvation of Dometios, son of Mareas and his wife Synkletike.'

Text: IGLS IV, no. 1691.

The object of this vow was certainly the construction of Church 4.

Inscription 2:

Stone lintel from the southwest door of Church 4. Broken and lost at both ends. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.77 m; W. 2 m; letter height 0.11 m. Seen and copied by von Oppenheim, and Prentice.

[+ εὐφρά]νθιν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἠρικούσιν μοι· εἰς οἶκον Κυρίου πορευ[σόμεθα]

'[+ I was glad] when they said unto me: [Let us] go into the house of the Lord!'

Text: IGLS IV, no. 1692.

The inscription is a quotation of verse 1 of Psalm 122.

Inscription 3:

Stone lintel from the west door of Church 5. Broken into two conjoining fragments. H. 0.96 m; W. respectively 0.76 m and 2.38 m. Several words in line 2 are separated by markings: ' < '. Seen and copied by Littmann.

αὕτη ἡ πύλη τοῦ Κυρίου· δίκαιοι ε<ἰ>σελεύσονται ἐν αὐτῇ. τὰ σα ἐκ τῶν σõν
σοι προσφέρο < ὀ͂ θ(εό)ς, διὰ τοῦ < ἀρχαγγέλου < ὑπὲρ < ἀφέσεος ἁμαρ(τιῶν) (christogram) Δομετίου Μαρέα

'This gate is of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter. Unto Thee, < O God, Thine own from Thine own I offer, through the < Archangel, < as a vow for < the remission of sins (christogram) of Dometios, son of Mareas.'

Text: IGLS IV, no. 1693.

The inscription begins with a quotation of verse 20 of Psalm 118, which is followed by a popular dedicatory formula, echoing the Liturgy of John Chrysostom and the Alexandrian Liturgy (see the comments in: E00565, E00898). In line 2 we find the statement that the offering, i.e. the construction and dedication of Church 5, is completed though the intercessions of an unnamed Archangel.

Inscription 4:

Stone lintel from the south door of Church 5. Broken into three conjoining fragments. H. 0.75 m; W. respectively 0.57 m; 1.26 m; 0.73 m; letter height 0.12-0.13 m. Decorated with a carving of a cross within a circle, flanked by a vine and grapes. Seen and copied by von Oppenheim and Littmann.

+ τοῦτο τὸ καταφύγιον τοῦ ἀρχαγγέλου: δίκαιοι εἰσελεύσοντε <ἐ>ν αὐτο͂ͅ

'+ This is the refuge of the Archangel, into which the righteous shall enter.'

Text: IGLS IV, no. 1694.

Unless kataphygion is a generic reference to spiritual refuge, the inscription announces that the church enjoyed the privilege of asylum, probably awarded by an imperial rescript. The final phrase is a quotation of verse 20 of Psalm 118.

It is not clear, whether the patron saint of this church is Gabriel, as suggested by earlier editors, and whether the privilege extended also to the twin north church, dedicated supposedly to Michael.

History

Evidence ID

E01636

Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191 Michael, the Archangel : S00181 Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192

Image Caption 1

Inscription 1: Prentice 1922, 50, no. 922.

Image Caption 2

Inscription 2: Prentice 1922, 52, no. 923.

Image Caption 3

Inscription 3: Prentice 1922, 50, no. 920.

Image Caption 4

Inscription 4: Prentice 1922, 51, no. 921.

Image Caption 5

Butler 1920, 58: the so-called double church of the Archangel(s)

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Androna

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Androna Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Vow

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Other lay individuals/ people

Bibliography

Edition: Inscription 1: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), nos. 1691 (with further bibliography). Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expedictions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 51, no. 922. Inscription 2: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), nos. 1692 (with further bibliography). Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expedictions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 52, no. 923. Inscription 3: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), nos. 1693 (with further bibliography). Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expedictions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 50, no. 920. Inscription 4: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), nos. 1694 (with further bibliography). Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expedictions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 51, no. 921. Further reading: Butler, H.C. (ed.), Syria, Publications of the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, division II: Ancient Architecture in Syria, part B: North Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1920), 57-58. Mundell Mango, M., “A new stylite at Androna in Syria” [in:] Mélanges Jean-Pierre Sodini. Special issue of Travaux et mémoires 15 (2005) (Paris: Association des Amis du Centre d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance, 2005), 334-335. Mundell Mango, M., "Byzantine settlement expansion in north central Syria: the case of Androna/Andarin", in: A. Borrut, M. Debié, A. Papaconstantinou, D. Pieri, J.-P. Sodini (eds.), Le Proche-Orient de Justinien aux Abassides : peuplement et dynamiques spatiales : actes du colloque "Continuités de l'occupation entre les périodes byzantine et abbasside au Proche-Orient, VIIe-IXe siècles," Paris, 18-20 octobre 2007 (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité tardive 19, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 93-122. Mundell Mango, M., "Androna and the late antique cities of Oriens" in: E. Rizos (ed.), New Cities in Late Antiquity. Documents and Archaeology (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité Tardive 35, Turnhout: Brepols, 2017), 189-204. Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 18-19. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 55, 1621.

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