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E02041: Greek inscription commemorating the construction of an unspecified martyr shrine (martyrion). Found at Riḥāb, between Bostra and Gerasa/Jerash (Jordan/the Roman province of Arabia). Dated 457/458.

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posted on 23.11.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
ἐκτίσθη
τὸ μαρ-
τύρει-
ον ἔτο-
υς τνβ΄

'The martyr shrine (martyrion) was founded in the year 352.'

Text: Gatier 1998, 394, no. 86.

History

Evidence ID

E02041

Saint Name

Anonymous martyrs : S00060

Image Caption 1

Drawing. From: Khirbet es-Samra 1, 394.

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

457

Evidence not after

458

Activity not before

457

Activity not after

458

Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Gerasa/Jerash Riḥāb Bosra

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

Gerasa/Jerash Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Riḥāb Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Source

Limestone block. When recorded it was reused in the north enclosure wall of a mosque. H. 0.40 m; W. 0.34 m. Letter height 0.04-0.05 m. Reportedly seen at Riḥāb. Published in 1998 by Pierre-Louis Gatier from a drawing.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the construction of a martyr shrine where some unspecified martyrs (or a martyr) were venerated. It is not clear whether this was an independent building or just a chapel. Gatier hypothesised that this could be the martyr shrine of a martyr *Basilios, whose construction (or rather, he says, restoration) in AD 594 is attested by a mosaic (see: E02045). The date is probably computed according to the era of the province of Arabia. If so, its year 352 corresponds to AD 457/458. Gatier notes that, given this date, we can consider our inscription as one of the earliest Christian monuments in the region.

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), 390-394, no. 86. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 864. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 48, 1925.

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