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E01804: Greek building inscription invoking *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), asked to help the founders and donors of her shrine (hagios oikos). Found at Dāna/Al-Dana, between Antioch-on-the-Orontes and Beroia/Aleppo (north Syria) in Jabal Halaqa. Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 10.08.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἁγία Μαρία πρόσδεξε τὴν δέησιν πονησάντ[ων καὶ καρπο]-
φορησάντων καὶ κτισάντων ἅγιον οἶκόν σου [- - - - - - -]
[- - - - - - - -]ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) Σεπτ[εμβρίου - - -].

'+ Holy Mary, accept the pleading of those who built, and made offerings, and founded your holy house (hagios oikos) [- - -] indiction, [on - - -] (of the month) of September.'

Text: IGLS 2, no. 494.

History

Evidence ID

E01804

Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source

Μαρία

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

431

Evidence not after

750

Activity not before

431

Activity not after

750

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Beroia Dāna/Al-Dana in Jebel Halaqa

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Beroia Thabbora Thabbora Dāna/Al-Dana in Jebel Halaqa Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

A stone lintel. H. 0.60 m; W. 1.70 m. When recorded, it was reused in a stable at Dāna. The last eight letters of line 1 were covered by a perpendicular wall. First published by Fyodor Uspensky in 1902, from a copy by Froment, a French officer stationed in Syria and mapping the Syrian interior. Republished by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1939.

Discussion

The inscription was probably originally displayed above a doorway of a sanctuary dedicated to Mary, here named 'the holy house'/ἅγιος οἶκος. The supplicants are described by three different participles, but probably they all refer to the founders and donors, and not the workmen hired for the construction of the church. As the names of the founders are not mentioned, we cannot say whether they belonged to one family or a local community, e.g. village. Dating: Unfortunately the dating formula in line 3 is almost completely lost. However, as the dedicatee is Mary, the inscription is unlikely to predate the mid-5th c., as her cult became popular only after the council of Ephesos 431.

Bibliography

Edition: Mouterde, R., Jalabert, L., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 2: Chalcidique et Antiochène: nos 257-698 (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1939), no. 494. Uspensky, F., “”, Izvestiya russkago arkheologicheskago instituta v Konstantinopole 7 (1902), 198.

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