Saint NameJob, Old Testament Patriarch : S01191
Saint Name in SourceἸώβ
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after800
Activity not before400
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
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsConstruction of cult buildings
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
SourceStone block, probably elongated and decorated with carvings of three sunken circles. Hence possibly a lintel. Dimensions unknown. There is no published description. Now lost.
The inscription was first published (an incomplete transcription) in 1895 by Wright and Souter from a copy by William Ewing. According Ewing's note the stone lay 'near an altar', outside the citywalls.
An independent copy was taken much earlier by William John Bankes, during his journeys in the Mediterranean between 1815 and 1820 (for his work, see the comments in E02194), but that copy remained unpublished until 2011 when it was edited by Maurice Sartre and Annie Sartre-Fauriat. Bankes' copy allows one to correct one word in line 4 of Ewing's transcription, but its overall quality is worse.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the completion of a church dedicated to Job, Old Testament Patriarch and the protagonist of the Book of Job. The church is termed naos, and therefore it is not clear whether one can identify it with the 'oratorial house' (eukterios oikos) constructed in Bostra from a donation by Justinian and Theodora, and hence datable to 527/548 (E02237), or with a charitable institution (ptocheion) restored in the city by the same emperor (see: Procopius, Buildings V 9, EXXXX). The latter possibility is, however, less plausible.
For the cult of Job in Bostra, see the comments in E02237. In that text the name of Job is spelt differently: Ἰώβι, while here he is called simply Ἰώβ, the most frequent Greek form of his name. In the former inscription he also bears the epithet ἀθλοφόρος/'prize-bearer' and thus is shown as a martyr, while in the present inscription his epithets, ἅγιος καὶ δίκαιος/'holy and righteous', are in accordance with his image as shown by the biblical story.
Dating: Unfortunately, our inscription lacks an era year date and the timeframe of the episcopacy of archbishop Iordanes is unknown. The text either comes from the same period as the other dedication to Job, i.e. from the 6th c., or it might refer to an earlier sanctuary of Job that was superseded by the Justinianic building.
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. 9138.
Wright A.G., Souter, A., "Greek and other inscriptions collected in the Hauran", Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement (1895), 350, no. 175 (from a copy by W. Ewing).
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), 16, 18 (supplement).