Saint NameMary, Mother of Christ : S00033
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Images and objects - Sculpture/reliefs
Evidence not before431
Evidence not after750
Activity not before431
Activity not after750
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcAntioch on the Orontes
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Antioch on the Orontes
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceA stone lintel in a house with a portico, situated in the southwest sector of the town of Refāde, near a tower. There is no published image. For a description of the site, see: Butler 1920, 257-258 and figs. 271-272.
Seen and copied by William Prentice. First published by Prentice in 1922. Republished by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1939. Prentice says that 'the inscription is incised upon the outer rim of a disk of unusual form'. Letter height 0.04-0.05 m. The initial cross is described as being at the top of the disk, with the preserved part of the inscription occupying the upper right-hand quarter. Within the disk, is a ring with a rope or braid pattern, and within it a hole, 0.36 m in diameter, that almost certainly once contained a sculpted bust of the saint. It is possible that the sculpture was deliberately destroyed.
DiscussionThe inscription probably labelled a depiction of a female saint, whose name possibly began with Μ. If so, Mary is the most probable candidate - for a similar (painted) depiction of Mary within a circle, see: E01761. Prentice, however, noted that he was sure only about the first three letters, and admitted that his suggested reconstruction might be erroneous.
Dating: The inscription probably dates to Late Antiquity, probably to the pre-Iconoclastic period.
Mouterde, R., Jalabert, L., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 2: Chalcidique et Antiochène: nos 257-698 (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1939), no. 429.
Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 165, no. 1149.
For a description of the site, see:
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), 257-258, figs. 271-272.