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E01838: Greek building inscription for an oratory (eukterion) of unnamed *Archangels. Found at Fa'loūl , near Androna, to the east of Apamea on the Orontes and Ḥamāh/Amathe (central Syria). Dated 526/527.

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posted on 09.09.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
θ(εο)ῦ χάρις. ὐκτήριον τ- ῶν ἀρχαγγέλων, κτισ-
θέντα παρὰ τοῦ λαμπ- (christogram) ροτάτου Διογένους

         ἔτους ηλωʹ, ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) εʹ. +

'(christogram) Grace of God! (This) oratory (eukterion) of the Archangels was built by the clarissimus (lamprotatos) Diogenes. In the year 838, the 5th indiction.+'

Text: IGLS 4, no. 1570.

History

Evidence ID

E01838

Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191 Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192 Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

ἀρχάγγελοι

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

526

Evidence not after

527

Activity not before

526

Activity not after

527

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Fa‘loūl Androna Apamea on the Orontes Ḥamāh

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

Fa‘loūl Thabbora Thabbora Androna Thabbora Thabbora Apamea on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Ḥamāh Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Aristocrats Officials

Source

Basalt lintel. H. 0.78 m; W. 3.10 m. Decorated in the middle with a low-relief carving of a cross with eight arms within a circle. Two lines of the inscription are engraved in low-relief at the top of the circle, on bands. The last line, also on a band, is below the circle. Letter height: lines 1-2: 0.09-0.10 m; line 3: 0.04-0.06 m. Found to the east of the so-called circular church at Fa'loūl by the Princeton expedition to Syria. When recorded, the stone was half-buried in the ground. First published with a drawing in 1922 by William Prentice from a copy by Enno Littmann. Republished by René Mouterde in 1955, after the edition by Prentice.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the construction of an oratory (eukterion) dedicated to unspecified Archangels, apparently the building next to which it was found, as Prentice noted that no other significant structure was recorded at the site. It seems that one of these Archangels could be Gabriel, as he is invoked in another inscription from Fa'loūl (see: E01839). This is one of the longest lintels with dedicatory inscriptions, found in north Syria. Dating: the date, given in line 3, is computed according to the Seleucid era. Its year 838 corresponds to AD 526/527.

Bibliography

Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), no. 1570. Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 108, no. 1050. Further reading: 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), 95 (description of the find-spot). Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 19, 26. Trombley, F.R., Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529, vol. 2 (Leiden, New York, Cologne: Brill, 1994), 301.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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