Saint NameSergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023
Bakchos, martyr in Barbalissos (Syria), ob. c. 303-311 : S00079
Saint Name in SourceΣαίργηος, Σάργηος
Image Caption 1Drawing by Bankes. From: IGLS 13/2, 9.
Image Caption 2Majuscule edition by Waddington. From: LBW, 472.
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before512
Evidence not after600
Activity not before512
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
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
SourceProbably a stone lintel, decorated with a carving of a Χ-shaped cross or flower in the middle of the inscribed face. There is no published description. Now lost.
The inscription was first recorded by William John Bankes, during his journeys in the Mediterranean between 1815 and 1820 (for his work in the Near East, see the comments in E02194). Bankes made a drawing but this remained unpublished until 2011, when it was included in the second part of the thirteenth volume of Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie by Maurice Sartre and Annie Sartre-Fauriat.
The stone was also seen in the 1860s by William Waddington, over a doorway of the cathedral church in Bostra. Waddington offers a slightly different transcription to that by Bankes and, sadly, says nothing about the shape of the slab. Maurice Sartre was unable to locate the stone during his surveys of Bostra in the 1970s.
DiscussionThe inscription almost certainly refers to the cathedral of Bostra, dedicated to two famous martyred soldiers: Sergios (venerated in Rusafa) and Bakchos (venerated in Barbalissos). For the full building inscription of this church, mentioning Sergios and Bakchos together with *Leontios (probably the martyr of Tripolis in Lebanon), see E02234.
Dating: as the cathedral church of Bostra, where the inscription was found, was constructed in 512/513, our text is likely to date from the early 6th c.
Sartre, M. (ed.), Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 13/1: Bostra: nos. 9001 à 9472 (BAH 13, Paris: Librairie orientaliste P. Geuthner, 1982), no. 9042.
Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 1921.
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, note 59.
Sartre, M., Sartre-Fauriat, A. (eds.), Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 13/2: Bostra (Supplément) et la plaine de la Nuqrah (BAH 194, Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, 2011), 9 (supplement).
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 61, 1480.