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E01970: Syriac inscription with an invocation of *Thekla (almost certainly the follower of the Apostle Paul, S00092). Found at Qirsali (near Hierapolis-Bambyke/Manbij and al-Bab in north Syria). Probably late antique.

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posted on 29.10.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski

ܩܕܝ]ܫܬܐ ܡܪܬܝ ܬܩܠܐ
ܕܘܟ]ܪܢܗ ܠܒܘܪܟܬܐ
'The holy Lady Thekla, blessed be her memory!'

Text: Jarry 1967, no. 31. Translation: S. Minov.

History

Evidence ID

E01970

Saint Name

Thekla, follower of Apostle Paul : S00092

Saint Name in Source

ܬܩܠܐ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

750

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

750

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hierapolis Euphratensis Qirsali

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

Hierapolis Euphratensis Thabbora Thabbora Qirsali Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

The inscription is carved on a column, at mid-height. Dimensions of the column: H. 1.75 m; diameter: 0.42 m. Letter height 0.03-0.06 m. Seen and copied (photograph, transcription) by Jacques Jarry in 1963 (while he was a member of the 1963 expedition led by Georges Tchalenko), and published in 1967.

Discussion

The editor does not comment on the purpose of this inscription but it seems to be a common invocation of the saint. It is possible that the church, where the column was placed, could have been dedicated to this Thekla, and the inscription could commemorate the offering of the column to the sanctuary (cf. E00926: an offering of a column to a church of *Mannis). The identity of our Thekla is not specified, but she is almost certainly Thekla of Ikonion/Iconium, the follower of the Apostle Paul. The principal sanctuary of this Thekla was situated at Seleukeia/Seleucia in southeast Asia Minor, a region belonging to the Diocese of Orient and connected with north Syria by important trade routes. For monasteries dedicated to Thekla in Syria, see: Peña 2000, 30, 244-245.

Bibliography

Edition: Jarry, J., “Inscriptions arabes, syriaques et grecques du massif du Bélus en Syrie du nord”, Annales islamologiques 7 (1967), 157, no. 31. Further reading: Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 30, 244-245.

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