Saint NameAnonymous martyrs : S00060
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after750
Activity not before400
Activity not after750
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcChalkis
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Chalkis
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsConstruction of cult buildings
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
SourceTwo non-conjoining fragments. There is no published image.
Fragment A: H. 0.38 m; W. 0.36 m; Th. 0.36 m. Broken and lost at the right-hand end. The inscription is carved in three bands, possibly in low-relief. Letter height 0.06-0.065 m. Found to the north of the village of Rbē'a/Ar-Rbej, by the American Archaeological Expedition to Syria 1899-1900. Copied by Enno Littmann. First published from Littmann's copy by William Prentice in 1908.
Fragment B: H. 0.385 m; W. 0.60 m; Th. 0.30 m. Broken and lost at the left-hand end. The inscription is carved in low-relief in three bands. Letter height 0.075 m. Found at the village of Rbē'a/Ar-Rbej, in an unspecified location. First published by William Prentice in 1908 from his own copy.
Prentice suggested that the two fragments might have belonged to the same lintel, but as some of the dimensions differ, and he was unsure whether the letters on Fragment A were in low-relief, he admitted that this hypothesis might be erroneous. Both fragments were republished in 1939 by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert as probably from one lintel.
DiscussionWilliam Prentice believed that both fragments came from a building inscription for a martyr shrine, housing relics of a martyr, whose name is lost. Jalabert and Mouterde hypothesised that the saint could be actually called 'Martyrios', as the crucial passage in line 2-3 can be read τοῦ ἁγίου Μαρτυρ[ίου/'of Saint Martyrios' instead of τοῦ ἁγίου μάρτυρ[ος/'of the holy martyr ...'. Though possible, this hypothesis is not convincing, as the expression 'the holy martyr' was widely used in near eastern inscriptions with reference to saints.
Dating: Unfortunately, the remnants of the dating formula with the name of the month and the indiction year cannot be converted into a precise date. Therefore, we can only place the text in the 5th or 6th c., based on the contents.
Mouterde, R., Jalabert, L., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 2: Chalcidique et Antiochène: nos 257-698 (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1939), no. 334.
Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Greek and Latin inscriptions (Publications of an American archaeological expedition to Syria in 1899-1900 3, New York: Century 1908), 246, no. 307 and 247, no. 309.