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E02272: Greek inscription invoking the help of the God of *George (soldier and martyr, S00259). Found at the 'monastic church' at Sammā' (to the southeast of Bostra, Roman province of Arabia). Probably c. 620s.

online resource
posted on 25.01.2017, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ Κ(ύρι)ε ὡ θ(εὸ)ς τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωρ-
γίου βωήθισον Γεωρ(γ)ίου καὶ
<Σελ>ομανης Σεργίου οἱὸς Μεγάλ[ου]

3. (Η)Γ[ΟΥ]Μ[Ε]Ν(ΟΥ)CΕΡΓΙΟΥ[ΕΤΕΙ]C Dussaud & Macler || ΓΕFΝΟΜΑΝΗC stone, <Σελ>ομανης Littmann || ΟΙΟC = ΥΙΟC Littmann || Μεγάλ[ου] Feissel, με(τ)' ἄλ[ων] Littmann || [ἔτει] σ..΄ Dussaud & Macler

'+ O Lord, God of Saint George, help Georgios and Selomane, daughter of Sergios, son of Megas.'

Text: I. Jordanie 5/1, no. 17.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

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 Sammā' (to the southeast of Bostra)

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

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Sammā' (to the southeast of Bostra) Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



Basalt lintel. H. 0.255-0.275 m; W. 1.40 m. Letter height 0.05-0.07 m. Broken at the left-hand end. Now lost. First seen and copied in 1901 by René Dussaud and Frédéric Macler during their survey in south Syria, and published by them in their report in 1902. They saw the stone in situ, in a large arched room of the so-called monastic church, at its northeast angle. The site was revisited by the Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Syria in 1904/1905 and the inscription was republished by Enno Littmann, based on a new transcription. The edition by Nabil Bader (2009) is based on earlier readings and Littmann's drawing.


The inscription is an invocation of the God of Saint George, by a namesake of the saint and his wife. Line 3 which contains the names of the supplicants was differently read by different editors, but the interpretation suggested by Littman and then modified by Feissel, which we follow here, is the most plausible. The first editors, Dussaud and Macler, read the first word in line 3 as ἡγούμενος/'superior of a monastery', but this reading cannot be accepted. The inscription is the sole basis for the identification of the complex, where it was found, as a monastery dedicated to George. Dating: Dussaud and Macler supposed that the last line contained remnants of a dating formula according to the era of the province of Arabia: [ἔτει] σ..΄/'[in the year] 2..' This reading is, however, obviously wrong. Littmann suggested that the inscription is contemporary to another dated lintel from the same room (I. Jordanie 5/1, no. 20; cf. Piccirillo 2011, 103), which commemorates the construction of the building and dates this event to the 519th year of the era of the province of Arabia = AD 624/625 (that is during the Persian occupation of the region).


Edition: Bader, N., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 21: Inscriptions de la Jordanie, part 5/1: La Jordanie du Nord-Est (Bibliothèque archéologique et historique 187, Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, 2009), no. 17. Littmann, E., Magie, D., Stuart, D.R., (eds.), Publications of the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-5 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section A: Southern Syria (Leiden: Brill, 1921), 44, no. 24. Dussaud, R., Macler, F., "Rapport sur une mission scientifique dans les régions désertiques de la Syrie moyenne", Nouvelles archives des missions scientifiques et littéraires 10 (1902), 691, no. 151. Further reading: Feissel, D., "Magnus, Mégas et les curateurs des <> de Justin II à Maurice", Travaux et mémoires de centre de recherche d histoire et civilisation de Byzance 9 (1985), 469-470. Michel, A., Les églises d'époque byzantine et umayyade de Jordanie (provinces d'Arabie et de Palestine), Ve-VIIIe siècle: typologie architecturale et aménagements liturgiques (avec catalogue des monuments; préface de Noël Duval; premessa di Michele Piccirillo) (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité tardive 2, Turnhout: Brepols, 2001), 186, no. 50. Piccirillo, M., Chiese e mosaici della Giordania settentrionale (Jerusalem: Franciscan Print. Press, 1981), Pl. 38a. Piccirillo, M., "The Province of Arabia during the Persian Invasion (613-629/630)", in: K.G. Holum, H. Lapin (eds.), Shaping the Middle East. Jews, Christians, and Muslims in an Age of Transition, 400-800 C.E. (Bethesda, MD: University Press of Maryland, 2011), 103. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 35, 1792.

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