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E01839: Greek inscription with an invocation of *Gabriel (the Archangel, S00192). Found at Fa'loūl, near Androna, to the east of Apamea on the Orontes and Ḥamāh/Amathe (central Syria). Probably 6th c.

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posted on 09.09.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἀρχάγγελε Γαβρι-
ήλ, βοήθησον. +

'+ O Archangel Gabriel, help! +'

Text: IGLS 4, no. 1572.

History

Evidence ID

E01839

Saint Name

Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192

Saint Name in Source

Γαβριήλ

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

750

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

470

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

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

Basalt corbel. Decorated with a carving of a cross in low-relief on the under side. The upper surface has a circular socket, possibly for a small post. The inscription is on the right-hand side. Line 1: length 0.785 m; letter height 0.045-0.05 m. Line 2: length 0.64 m; letter height 0.045-0.05 m. Found in a courtyard, in the eastern outskirts of the settlement by the Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Syria. First published with a drawing by William Prentice in 1922. Republished by René Mouterde in 1955, after the edition by Prentice.

Discussion

The inscription contains an invocation of Gabriel the Archangel. Howard Butler and William Prentice hypothetically suggested that the corbel, on which it was written, might have supported a pulpit, possibly in the local oratory of the Archangels (see: E01838), from where it could have been brought to the courtyard. This possibility was later considered certain by Mouterde. Dating: The inscription is not dated, but this kind of short invocation was especially popular from the late 5th c. The oratory dedicated to Archangels was built in Fa'loūl at 526/527, so there is a good chance that our inscription also belongs to the 6th c.

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. 1572. 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), 109, no. 1052. 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), 99-100 (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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