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E01822: Inscribed metal medallion showing a depiction of *Symeon the Elder (stylite of Qal‘at Sim‘ān, ob. 459,S00343) or *Symeon the Younger (stylite near Antioch, ob. 592, S00860). Provenance unknown. Seen in Beirut (west Lebanon). Not earlier than later 5th c.

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posted on 28.08.2016, 00:00 by Bryan
A medallion, probably made of lead. Decorated with a depiction of a bearded monk, wearing a pointed hat (capuchon) and robe. There are globes to the right and to the left of the hat. The inscription is written in two columns, flanking the figure.

Photographed by Sébastien Ronzevalle in Beirut (presumably in a private collection, or on the antiquities market). First published by Jean Lassus in 1932, on the basis of a photograph (which has never been published). Republished by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1953.

Συ- με-
ών- ης

'Symeonis'

Text: IGLS 3/2, no. 1222.

History

Evidence ID

E01822

Saint Name

Symeon the Younger, stylite near Antioch, ob. 592. : S00860 Symeon the Elder, stylite of Qalat Siman, ob. 459 : S00343

Saint Name in Source

Συμεώνης Συμεώνης

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Images and objects - Representative images

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

459

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

459

Activity not after

800

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Berytos Qal'at Sem'an

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

Berytos Thabbora Thabbora Qal'at Sem'an Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Private ownership of an image

Cult Activities - Relics

Ampullae, eulogiai, tokens

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Ampullae, flasks, etc.

Discussion

Mouterde identifies the depicted monk as Symeon Stylites the Elder and compares the inscription with that from a basalt pillar, found at Jibrîn, to the southeast of Beroia/Aleppo in central Syria (see: E01785), which he believed to have shown the saint. However, either Symeon is possible, since both attracted considerable cult. The provenance of the object is unknown, but if the holy monk was correctly identified as Symeon Stylites the Elder (and not Symeon the Younger, venerated at the Wondrous Mountain), the object was probably produced as a pilgrim souvenir at Qal'at Sem'an, the sanctuary of this Symeon. The form of the name, put on the medallion, may be in Syriac transcribed into Greek. Dating: The object certainly postdates the death of Symeon the Elder in 459. If it refers to Symeon the Younger, it must be considerably later, postdating the foundation of the monastery of the Wondrous Mountain in 551, or even his death in 592.

Bibliography

Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 3/2: Antioche (suite). Antiochène: nos. 989-1242 (BAH 51, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1953), no. 1222. Lassus, J., "Images de stylites", Bulletin d'études orientales 2 (1932), 75, 79, plate XIX 9.

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