Saint NameTheodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480
Saint Name in SourceΘεόδωρος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before480
Evidence not after800
Activity not before480
Activity not after800
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 - Places Named after Saint
- Hospital and other charitable institutions
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
SourceThe inscription was carved on a reportedly well preserved slab, reused in a house, to the west of the mosque. There is no published description or photograph.
Seen and copied by William Waddington in the 1860s, and published by him in 1870.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the construction of a hostel (xeneon) named after Saint Theodore, or belonging to a church dedicated to Saint Theodore. The hostel was built under bishop Petros whom Waddington believed to have been a bishop of the place where the inscription was found (modern Suweidā), and which, based on this assumption, he identified as ancient Dionysias.
For another hostel (xeneon) named after Theodore, see a fragmentary inscription from Umm el-Khalakhil, to the east of Apamea on the Orontes (central Syria, E01875). The actual meaning of the term xeneon has been disputed. Normally it is believed to be an abbreviated form of xenodocheion, a hostel for pilgrims or itinerant clergy (for a similar inscription naming a hostel of *George, see E01928; for general remarks, see Mazzoleni 1999, 307-309). However, the xeneon of Umm el-Khalakhil is sometimes also included on lists of Syriac μητᾶτα (metata, military transit camps) named after saints. For these institutions, see: E01834, also E01632, and E00807.
Theodore, the holy patron of our xeneon, is probably the martyr venerated in Euchaita in Helenopontus (northeast Asia Minor), whose cult spread rapidly in the East in the late 5th and 6th century. Unfortunately, our inscription lacks a dating formula. It is, however, unlikely that an institution named after Theodore would have appeared in Arabia before the late 5th c.
Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 2327.
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), 307, note 82.
For the term xeneon, see:
Mazzoleni, D., "Iscrizioni nei luoghi di pellegrinaggio", in: E. Dassmann, J. Engemann (eds.), Akten des XII. Internationalen Kongresses für christliche Archäologie, Bonn, 22.-28. September 1991, vol. 1, (Studi di antichità cristiana 52, Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum. Ergänzungsband 20,1, Münster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1995), 307-309.