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E02146: Greek building inscription for a church (oikos) dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) as the God-Bearer (Theotokos). Found at Sakkaia/Maximianopolis near Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Probably late 5th or 6th c.

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posted on 19.12.2016, 00:00 by pnowakowski
οἶκος τῆς ἁγ[ί]ας ἐ[ν]δόξου [Θε]-
οτόκου Μαρίας ἐκ προσ[φ]ορ[ᾶ]-
ς Ἀμέ[ρ]ου Κάρσου Μάνου ἐκ[τί]-
[σθη ἐ]π[ὶ τ]οῦ ὡσιοτ(άτου) Θεοδώ[ρ]ου
ἐν μ(ηνὶ) Ὀκτοβ[ρίῳ, ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ..], ἔτου[ς ...]

3. Κάρσου Μάνου Waddington, Καρσουμάνου Kirchhoff Burckhardt. We ommit other, obviously wrong, completions by Burckhardt.

'Church (oikos) of the holy and glorious God-Bearer (Theotokos) Mary was founded from the offering of Ameros, son of Karsos, grandson of Manos (?), under the most pious Theodoros, in the month of October, [- - - indiction], the year [- - -].'

Text: Waddington 1870, no. 2160a. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis

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

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

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Other lay individuals/ people


Probably a stone slab. Found by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1810 in Shaqqa (Sakkaia/Maximianopolis near Bostra, Arabia) 'in the courtyard of a peasant's house.' First published by Burckhardt in 1822 with no comments and no translation. His transcription is full of incorrect completions. Corrected and republished by Adolf Kirchhoff in Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, based on the earlier edition. When Waddington revisited Sakkaia in the 1860s, he was unable to find the inscription, so his edition follows that of Kirchhoff. A new edition will be offered in the sixteenth volume of Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie.


The inscription commemorates the construction of a church dedicated to Mary as the Theotokos. The church was apparently constructed from the offering of one man. Burckhardt and Kirchhoff read his name as Ameros, son of Karsoumanos, but Waddington, probably rightly, pointed out that we can have here a reference to the father and grandfather of the founder, and not only to his father. Hence his reading: Ameros, son of Karsos, grandson of Manos. Unfortunately, the dating formula of our inscription is almost completely lost. Other inscription from the city, commemorating the construction of churches dedicated to saints, date to the mid-6th c. and later periods: E00839 (549-567); E02133 (596 or 611). Thus, a date in the mid-6th c. is probable. Strangely, the function of Theodoros, the ecclesiastic mentioned in the dating formula, is not specified. Waddington plausibly suggests that he was bishop of Sakkaia.


Edition: Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 16/2, no. 518 (forthcoming). Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 2160a. Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum IV, no. 8821. Burckhardt, J.L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1822), 75. Further reading: Devreesse, R., Le patriarcat d'Antioche depuis la paix de l'Église jusqu'à la conquête arabe (Paris: J. Gabalda et cie, 1945), 235, note 10 (wrong citation). 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), 308, note 88. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 50, 1518.

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