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E02668: Greek building inscription for a church dedicated to *George (soldier and martyr, S00259), asking the saint to accept it as an offering and to intercede for the donors. Found at Sahwet el-Khodr near Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Probably 6th-7th c.

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posted on 07.04.2017, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἅγιε Γεώργιε, πρόσδεξαι, καὶ Σχο-
λαστίκιον τὸν προσενεγκόντα
εὐχαῖς σου διατήρησον, καὶ Κόμητι ἀδε-
λφῷ ἀνάπαυσιν αἴτησον

'+ O Saint George, accept (the offering), and protect through your intercessions Scholastikios, the donor, and ask (God) for the repose for Komes, (his) brother!'

Text: Waddington 1870, no. 1981. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, soldier and martyr of Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)



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 Sahwet el-Khodr

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

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Sahwet el-Khodr Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Stone 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.


The 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.


Edition: 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. Further reading: 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.

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