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E01971: Syriac inscription on the gateway of a monastery, recording the dedication of its church to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033), as the God-Bearer. Found at Qaṣr ed-Deir in Jabal al-Ala to the west of Beroia/Aleppo (central Syria). Probably late antique.

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posted on 29.10.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski

ܥ]ܕܬܐ]
ܡܘܕܝܐ
ܕܝܠܕܬ
ܠܐܠܗܐ
ܐܡܬܗ
ܒܪܬܐ
ܗܕܝܪܬܐ
ܒܬܘܠܬܐ
ܩܕܝܫܬܐ

'The church confesses that she gave birth to God, his Mother, the honourable Maiden, the holy Virgin.'

Text: Jarry 1967, no. 29. Translation: S. Minov.

History

Evidence ID

E01971

Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Syriac

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

750

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

750

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Beroia Qaṣr ed-Deir

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

Beroia Thabbora Thabbora Qaṣr ed-Deir Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Source

A stone block from a gateway of the local monastery. H. 0.60 m; W. 0.31 m. Letter height 0.03-0.08 m. Seen and copied (transcription, squeeze) 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 meaning of this inscription but it almost certainly refers to the dedication of the monastic church where it was found. The circumlocutive phrase 'This church attests that God was born by his Mother' must mean that the sanctuary was named after Mary Theotokos (Θεοτόκος), i.e. the God-Bearer. It is possible that the official names of this church also included other epithets of Mary: ἁγία παρθένος/'the Holy Virgin' and ἔνδοξος/'glorious'.

Bibliography

Edition: Jarry, J., “Inscriptions arabes, syriaques et grecques du massif du Bélus en Syrie du nord”, Annales islamologiques 7 (1967), 156, no. 29.

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