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E02039: Floor-mosaic with a Greek inscription commemorating the laying of the mosaic in 'Church 78' in Khirbet es-Samra to the southeast of Gerasa/Jerash (Jordan/the Roman province of Arabia), dedicated to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036). Probably earlier 7th c.

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posted on 23.11.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἐπὶ τοῦ ὁσιωτ(άτου) (καὶ) μακαριoτά-
του Θεωδώρου ἀρχηεπισσκού-
που ἠψεφόθε τοῦ ἁγίου Πέτρου
σπουδῖ Ἠστήρις διακ(όνου) ἠ(ν) μηνὶ Ἰού-
νιν· φύλαξον, θ(εό)ς, Σέργις Κονιτις· ἀμὶν, Κ(ύρι)ε

'+ Under the most holy and most blessed archbishop Theodoros (the shrine?) of Saint Peter was paved with a mosaic, by the efforts of the deacon Asterios, in the month of June. O Lord, protect Sergis, (son of?) Komitis (?)! Amen, Lord!'

Text: Gatier 1998, 385, no. 72.

History

Evidence ID

E02039

Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source

Πέτρος

Image Caption 1

Plan of the site with churches. From: Khirbet es-Samra 1, 47.

Image Caption 2

Reconstruction of Church 78. From: Khirbet es-Samra 1, 52.

Image Caption 3

Photograph of the mosaic panel. From: Khirbet es-Samra 1, 385.

Image Caption 4

Photograph. From: Michel 2001, 203.

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

620

Evidence not after

680

Activity not before

620

Activity not after

680

Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Gerasa/Jerash Khirbet es-Samra

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

Gerasa/Jerash Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Khirbet es-Samra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Other lay individuals/ people

Source

A rectangular mosaic panel, framed by a tabula ansata (the frame is not visible in the detailed photograph). H. 0.72 m; W. 1.54 m. Red letters on a white background. Letter height 0.11 m. Situated in the mosaic floor of the nave of Church 78, in front of the choir. First published by Pierre-Louis Gatier in 1998, from a photograph, taken probably in 1985 (when Church 78 was excavated). The photograph had been twice published before, in 1986 and in 1989, in the catalogue of an exhibition and in a report on the excavations, but without transcription. Reprinted by Annie Sartre-Fauriat in 2000, based on the earlier edition. Church 78 is one of eight shrines excavated at the site by 1998. It is a small and very narrow basilica (16.50 x 8 m) located in the southwest sector of the town, to the south of Church 81.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the paving of the church with a mosaic. The work was done under a certain archbishop Theodoros, presumed to be Theodoros, archbishop of nearby Bostra, who appeared in a dated inscription from Riḥāb (529 of the province of Arabia = AD 635, see: E02044). If so, our inscription is likely to date to the earlier 7th c. The saint to whom the church was dedicated is called Peter. Pierre-Louis Gatier does not comment on his identity, while Annie Sartre-Fauriat suggests that he might be the Apostle, as a church was dedicated to the Apostle Peter in nearby Riḥāb in 623 (see: E02054). Peter the Apostle is indeed much the most likely dedicatee of our church. Sergis, son of Komitis, who appears in line 5 is probably the donor who contributed to the paving.

Bibliography

Edition: Gatier, P.-L., "Les inscriptions grecques et latines de Samra et Rihab", Humbert, J.-B., Desreumaux, A., Bauzou, Th. (eds.), Fouilles de Khirbet es-Samra en Jordanie, vol. 1: La voie romaine, le cimetière, les documents épigraphiques (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998), 384-385, no. 72. Further reading: Desreumaux, A., Humbert, J.-B., Thébault, G., Bauzou, Th., "Des Romains, des Araméens et des Arabes dans le Balqa' jordanien : les cas de Hadeitha - Khirbet es Samra", in: A. Borrut, M. Debié, A. Papaconstantinou, D. Pieri, J.-P. Sodini (eds.), Le Proche-Orient de Justinien aux Abassides : peuplement et dynamiques spatiales : actes du colloque "Continuités de l'occupation entre les périodes byzantine et abbasside au Proche-Orient, VIIe-IXe siècles," Paris, 18-20 octobre 2007 (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité tardive 19, Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), 285-304. Gatier, P.-L., "Les inscriptions grecques et latines de Samra et Rihab", Humbert, J.-B., Desreumaux, A., Bauzou, Th. (eds.), Fouilles de Khirbet es-Samra en Jordanie, vol. 1: La voie romaine, le cimetière, les documents épigraphiques (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998), 51-52 (description of the find-spot). Michel, A., Les églises d'époque byzantine et umayyade de Jordanie (provinces d'Arabie et de Palestine), Ve-VIIIe siècle: typologie architecturale et aménagements liturgiques (avec catalogue des monuments; préface de Noël Duval; premessa di Michele Piccirillo) (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité tardive 2, Turnhout: Brepols, 2001), 202-205, no. 67. 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), 310. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 864. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 48, 1929; 50, 1518.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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