Saint NameSergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023
Saint Name in SourceΣέργιος
Image Caption 1Photograph. From: I. Jordanie 5/1, 63.
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)
Evidence not before489
Evidence not after600
Activity not before489
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionArabia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcBosra
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Bosra
Sakkaia / Maximianopolis
Sakkaia / Maximianopolis
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceStone block. Broken and lost at the top and left-hand end. H. 0.22 m; W. 0.955 m. Letter height 0.08-0.09 m.
Found above a doorway in the west sector of the courtyard in front of the main church of the village (presumed to be dedicated to Saints Sergios and Bakchos and discussed in E02079). A preliminary transcription was published in 2000 by Annie Sartre-Fauriat. The proper first edition, by Nabil Bader, followed in 2009, based on an examination of the stone and a photograph.
DiscussionThe inscription certainly contains an invocation of mercy. As the name Sergios is in the genitive case, we can assume that the saint was not invoked directly, but that the request was addressed to 'the God of Saint Sergios'.
The editor, probably rightly, supposes that the church where the inscription was found was dedicated to Saints Sergios and Bakchos, as a lintel with a relevant dedicatory inscription was found over the main doorway of the building (see E02079). It seems, however, that in our inscription Sergios was mentioned without his companion.
The contents of the preserved line 2 are not clear. As for the date, we can suggest the late 5th or 6th c., as the lintel inscription mentioned above commemorates the construction of the church in AD 489. This was also the time when the cult of Sergios was rapidly spreading in the East, as evidenced by other building inscriptions.
Bader, N. (ed.), Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 21: Inscriptions de la Jordanie, part 5: La Jordanie du Nord-Est, fasc. 1 (Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, 2009), no. 62.
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), 303-304, note 60.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 50, 1518; 50, 1545.