Saint NameMary, Mother of Christ : S00033
Saint Name in SourceΜαρία
Image Caption 1Drawing of the plaque; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.
Image Caption 2Inscription; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.
Image Caption 3Monogram; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after600
Activity not before500
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcPalmyra
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Palmyra
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsBequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesWomen
Other lay individuals/ people
SourceA rectangular marble plaque (almost certainly an altar table), broken into 19 conjoining fragments, now in the Louvre. Dimensions of the plaque: W. 0.675 m; L. 1.05 m; Th. 0.012-0.032 m. Dimensions of the inscription: L. 0.40 m; letter height 0.012-0.02 m. The inscription is carved on three sides. The back face is decorated with a carving of a monogram, consisting of a cross, and several letters, certainly Π, Ρ, Ω, and probably Τ.
Acquired by the Museum in 1972, on the antiquities market in Paris. Probably of Syriac origin, the territory of Palmyra, exact provenance unknown. First published in 1996 by Noël Duval and Catherine Metzger with the assistance of Denis Feissel.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the offering of the altar table on which it was carved by a certain Romanos. His father's name is Daniel, and his mother's Anastasion - Denis Feissel points out that this is a rare case, when a woman bears a neuter name.
The beneficiary of the offering is a church dedicated to Mary as the God-Bearer. Interestingly, the name of the saint is in the genitive case, but is preceded by the article in the dative form, which apparently refers to the understood word 'church'/ἐκκλησία or 'monastery'/μονή.
The name of the village of the donor is otherwise unattested. Its nominative form is probably Euareia Kadama or Euareis Kadama. The editors recognised the Semitic roots in this Greek name: hwr / 'white' and qdm / 'old', thus the name of the village might literally mean 'Euareia (the White Village) the old one'. A certain Hawarin/Euareia/Aueria was a bishopric in the territory of Palmyra, and the village of Akadama lay in the same area. Though none of them is likely to be identical with our village, the latter must have been situated in the region, where similar naming habits were used (central or north Syria).
Dating: the editors dated the object to the 6th c., based on the form of letters and contents of the text.
Duval, N., Metzger, C., Feissel, D., "Tables et reliquaires du Louvre", Zbornik Narodnog Muzeja u Beogradu 16 (1996), 311-314, no. 1.
Bulletin épigraphique (1997), 631.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 563.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 46, 2230; 55, 1929.