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E02014: Greek inscription commemorating the construction of a church (naos) with porches, dedicated to *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023), and the setting up of a lintel. Found at Jizeh, midway between Bostra and Adraha (north Arabia). Dated 590.

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posted on 18.11.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
ναοῦ ἁγίου καὶ ἐνδό- ξου μάρτυρος Σεργί[ου - - -]
καὶ οἰκοδομήθησαν οἱ ἔνβολοι ἐπὶ τῆς η[- -]
καὶ ὑπερ<ετέ>θη τὸ ὑπερ- θυρον μη(νὶ) Λώου ε΄ χρ(όνοις) η΄ [ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) τοῦ]
ἔτους υπε΄, Κ(ύρι)ε ὁ θ(εὸ)ς τελίωσον τὸν ναόν σου. ἀμή[ν].

'Of the church (naos) of the holy and glorious martyr Sergios [- - -] and the porticos were constructed under the [- - -] and the lintel of the doorway was set up on the 5th (day) of the month of Loos, 8th indiction, in the 485th year. O Lord, God, complete your shrine (naos). Amen.'

Text: IGLS 13/2, no. 9715. The edition we follow is by Maurice Sartre who managed to establish an intelligible and plausible text, compared with the defective copies of his predecessors. As their readings are almost certainly wrong, we do not reproduce them here.

History

Evidence ID

E02014

Saint Name

Sergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023

Saint Name in Source

Σέργιος

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

590

Evidence not after

590

Activity not before

590

Activity not after

590

Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Jizeh Adraha Bosra

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

Jizeh Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Adraha Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Anniversary of church/altar dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Source

A large stone lintel. H. 0.38 m; W. 2.50 m. Decorated with a carving of a cross within a circle between two columns of text. The inscription was first recorded by René Dussaud, reportedly in the village of eṭ-Ṭayyibe near Jizeh, and published with a drawing in 1902/1903. However, Raphaël Savignac and Félix-Marie Abel rediscovered it somewhat later actually on the western outskirts of Jizeh. The stone has never been seen again. Recently republished, as from Jizeh, by Maurice Sartre and Annie Sartre-Fauriat in Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 13/2, based on the earlier editions.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the construction of a church dedicated to Sergios, almost certainly the widely venerated martyr of Rusafa. The date is computed here according to the era of the province of Arabia. Its year 485 falls in AD 590/591. The mention of the 5th day of the month of Loos and the highly probable reference to the eighth indiction year (brilliantly restored by Dussaud in line 3 as χρ(όνοις) η΄ [ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος), instead of the senseless Χρ(ιστοῦ) μ(αρτ)υρ(οῦντος) of Savignac and Abel) allows us to narrow the date to 24 July 590. The day was probably celebrated in later years as the anniversary of the dedication of the shrine. For another inscription referring to the cult of Sergios in Jizeh, see: E02020.

Bibliography

Edition: Sartre, M., Sartre-Fauriat, A. (eds.), Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 13/2: Bostra (Supplément) et la plaine de la Nuqrah (BAH 194, Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, 2011), no. 9715. Savignac, R., Abel, F.-M., "Glanures épigraphiques", Revue biblique 14 (1905), 598-599, no. 6. Dussaud, R., Macler, F., Rapport sur une Mission Scientifique dans les régions désertiques de la Syrie Moyenne (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1903), 693, no. 155. Further reading: Clermont-Ganneau, Ch., “Inscriptions grecques de Syrie”, Recueil d'archéologie orientale 4 (1901), 161; 7 (1906), 179. Sartre-Fauriat, A., "Georges, Serge, Élie et quelques autres saints connus et inédits de la province d'Arabie", in: Fr. Prévot (ed.), Romanité et cité chrétienne. Permances et mutations. Intégration et exclusion du Ier au VIe siècle. Mélanges en l'honneur d'Yvette Duval (Paris: De Boccard, 2000), 300. Schumacher, G., "Das südliche Basan", Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins 20 (1897), 133-136.

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