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E01682: Greek inscription implausibly argued to have mentioned a feast of *Eudokia (martyr of Heliopolis-Baalbek, S00873). Found at Saraain El Faouqa near Heliopolis-Baalbek (west Phoenicia Libanensis). Dated 457/458.

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posted on 30.06.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
[τῇ] τῆς κυρᾶς <Εὐ>̣δ[ο]κ̣είας
ἔτους θξψ΄ ΧςΠςΓ̣α
̣Εὐάγριος Ἰοάνης

1. alternatively [ἐπὶ] τῆς κυρᾶς ̣Δ[ορ]κ̣είας Mouterde || Χ(ριστὸ)ς Π(ατρὸ)ς Γ(ένν)̣α Mouterde

'On the (day of the feast) of the Lady Eudokia (?). In the year 769. ΧΠΓ. Evagrios, Ioannes.'

Text: Mouterde 1951-1952, 64-69, lightly altered.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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History

Evidence ID

E01682

Saint Name

Eudokia, martyr of Heliopolis-Baalbek (Phoenicia Libanensis), ob. 107 : S00873

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

457

Evidence not after

458

Activity not before

457

Activity not after

458

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Saraain El Faouqa Heliopolis/Baalbek

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

Saraain El Faouqa Thabbora Thabbora Heliopolis/Baalbek Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Source

Inscription on a rock, near a tomb. Seen and copied by René Mouterde near the village of Saraain El Faouqa, to the southwest of Heliopolis-Baalbek.

Discussion

The meaning of this inscription is not clear. As it contains a date, the year 769 of the Seleucid era (= AD 457/458), it might commemorate the completion of an undertaking, for example the making of the nearby tomb. The editor, René Mouterde, was unsure, how to interpret and reconstruct line 1. According to his reading it certainly contains the word κῦρα/'lady' (alternatively, the female name Kyra). Mouterde's first idea was to consider this line as an element of the dating formula, referring to a certain woman of local importance: ἐπὶ τῆς κυρᾶς ̣Δ[ορ]κ̣είας/'Under the lady Dorkeia'. The other possibility, also examined by the editor, is that line 1 specifies the date as the day of the feast of a certain martyr Eudokia: [τῇ] τῆς κυρᾶς <Εὐ>̣δ[ο]κ̣είας / 'On the (day of the feast) of the Lady Eudokia'. A female martyr, bearing this name, was venerated in nearby Heliopolis-Baalbek. Her feast is attested by the Synaxarium Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae (1 March) and in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (EXXXXX). For a passion of the saint, see: BHG 604. François Halkin prudently comments that though this hypothesis is not entirely implausible, the inscription is too fragmentary to consider it as a certain attestation of the feast. Furthermore, the existence of the cult of Eudokia in the mid-5th c. is questionable. Mouterde speculated that the inscription might have been of Miaphysite character, as it was apparently carved soon after the council of Chalcedon, and contains the symbol ΧΠΓ, expanded by the editor as Χ(ριστὸ)ς Π(ατρὸ)ς Γ(ένν)α / 'Christ, the offspring of the Father' (allegedly stressing Christ's single divine nature). Such an explanation is, however, very dubious, as the actual meaning of this symbol is not unequivocally identified.

Bibliography

Edition: Mouterde, R., “Antiquités de l'Hermon et de la Beqâ”, Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph (Beyrouth, Lebanon) 29 (1951-1952), 64-69. Further reading: Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie. Supplément. Conclusion", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 333. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1953), 214, (1954), 27.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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