Saint NameGeorge, soldier and martyr of Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259
Saint Name in SourceΓεώργιος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after700
Activity not before500
Activity not after700
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 - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOther lay individuals/ people
SourceStone lintel above the doorway of a domed chapel/small church dedicated to Saint George in modern times. In the second half of the 19th c. the stone was still very well preserved.
First recorded by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1810, and published by him in 1822. Burckhardt's edition was used by Adolf Kirchhoff who republished the inscription in the fourth volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum. Later seen in situ and copied by William Waddington who published it again in 1870. In 1901, during their survey in south Syria, René Dussaud and Frédéric Macler revisited the village, but they only note the presence of the inscription and do not reproduce the text. The inscription is scheduled for re-edition in the sixteenth volume of Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie under no. 460.
DiscussionThe inscription commemorates the dedication of the church to Saint George. The saint is asked to accept the gift and intercede for the well-being of the donor, a certain Scholastikios. The benefactor also invokes the intercession of George for the repose of his deceased brother, Komes.
Both Burckhard and Waddington, who saw the site in the 19th c., noted the existence of a contemporary lively cult of George in the village. The site was a pilgrimage destination and the saint was then venerated by both Christians and Muslims under the name Khuder/Khodor (which is preserved in the modern name of the settlement) or Abd Maaz. Burckhardt commented that 'the Turks also pay great veneration to this Saint, so much that a few goat-hair mats, worth five or six piasters, which are left on the floor of the sanctuary of the church, are safe from the robbers'. Waddington added that lambs were sacrificed to the Saint on the threshold of the shrine.
IGLS 16, no. 460 (forthcoming).
Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 1981.
Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, no. 8901.
Burckhardt, J.L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1822), 95.
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), 296.
See also Dussaud, R., Macler, F., Voyage archéologique au Safâ et dans le Djebel-ed-Drûz (Paris: , 1901), 163-164.