Saint NameKyrikos, 3rd c. child martyr in Tarsus, son of *Julitta : S00007
Saint Name in SourceΚήρυκος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after750
Activity not before500
Activity not after750
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcḤimṣ/Emesa
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Ḥimṣ/Emesa
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsSeeking asylum at church/shrine
SourceTwo fragments of a basalt block. Each fragment measures: H. 1.13 m; W. 0.15 m; Th. 0.25 m. When recorded the left-hand fragment was reused in a cistern, outside the town. The right-hand fragment was reused in the sill of a house situated in the northeast section of the town. Letter height 0.025 m.
Recorded by the American Expedition to Syria and copied by Howard Butler. First published in 1908 by William Prentice from Butler's copy. Republished by René Mouterde in 1959, based on the earlier edition. Jean-Claude Decourt did not find it during his survey of the site in 2002.
DiscussionThe name of the saint was restored by Prentice as Kyrikos (here spellt Kerykos), based on the fact that the saint enjoyed great popularity in the East and was frequently mentioned in dedicatory and boundary inscriptions. Prentice, however, notes that the text allows also for other restorations, for example: Kerylos (= Kyrillos). In our opinion this option is implausible, as Saint Kyrikos is a much better candidate for the patron saint of a church than an obscure Kyrillos.
Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors.
Dating: dated boundary stone inscriptions of late antique churches were usually authorised by 6th c. emperors. Thus a 6th c. date is plausible.
Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, C., Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 5: Émésène (BAH 66, Paris: P. Guethner, 1959), no. 2513.
Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Greek and Latin Inscriptions (Publications of an American archaeological expedition to Syria in 1899-1900 3, New York: Century 1908), 241, no. 298 (from a copy by Howard Butler).
Decourt, J.-Cl., "Inscriptions grecques de Salamya/Salamias", in: P.-L. Gatier, B. Geyer, M.-O. Rousset (eds.), Entre nomades et sédentaires. Prospections en Syrie du Nord et en Jordanie du Sud (Travaux de la Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée 55; Conquête de la steppe 3, Lyon: Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, 2010), 109-125.
Bulletin épigraphique (2011), 600.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graceum 60, 1687.