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E03169: Fragmentary (?) lintel with a Greek inscription mentioning thanksgiving to *George (soldier and martyr, S00259) and just possibly an invocation of *Hilarion (anchorite in Palestine and Cyprus, ob. 371, S00099). When recorded, it was reused at Khan Yunis in the northwest Negev desert, midway between Gaza and Rafah (Roman province of Palaestina I). Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 29.06.2017, 00:00 by pnowakowski
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vertical text: Ἱλαρίῳ or Ἱλαρίω[ν] Ameling

'+ Giving thanks to Saint George. Hilarion (?)'

Text: CIIP 3, no. 2560.

History

Evidence ID

E03169

Saint Name

George, soldier and martyr of Diospolis/Lydda, ob. c. 303 : S00259 Hilarion, anachorite in Palestine and Cyprus (ob. 371) : S00099

Saint Name in Source

Γεώργιος Ἱλαρίων

Image Caption 1

Lagrange's drawing. From: CIIP 3, 569.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

600

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

600

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Gaza Rafah Khan Yunis

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

Gaza Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Rafah Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Khan Yunis Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Source

Stone lintel. H. 0.50 m; W. 1.50 m. Its original location is unknown. Marie-Joseph Lagrange recorded it before 1917, reused in a tomb at Khan Yunis, and published a transcription with a drawing. The stone was reportedly housed in the Musée de Notre Dame de France in Jerusalem, but is probably now lost. A new edition, based on the original drawing and Lagrange's transcription, is offered by Walter Ameling in the third volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae (2014).

Discussion

The first inscription, positioned horizontally, clearly records an act of thanksgiving to Saint George. As such a text could be put over a doorway of a church or chapel dedicated to the saint, Ameling rejects Lagrange's idea that the inscription comes from a monumental tomb. The vertical inscription probably begins with the name Hilarion. Based on the drawing, we cannot say if it is complete. Ameling considers the possibility that Saint Hilarion, the great ascetic of nearby Gaza, is invoked here, but in the end he finds it questionable.

Bibliography

Edition: Ameling, W., Ecker, A., Hoyland, R. (eds.), Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, vol. 3: South Coast, 2161-2648: A Multi-Lingual Corpus of the Inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad (Berlin - Boston, Massachusetts: De Gruyter, 2014), no. 2560. Bagatti, B., Ancient Christian Villages of Judaea and the Negev (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 2002), 181, 187 [= Antichi villaggi cristiani della Giudea e del Neghev (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1983)]. Lagrange, M., "", La Revue biblique 26 (1917), 572-573. Further reading: Dauphin, C., La Palestine byzantine: peuplement et populations (Oxford: Archaeopress, 1998), 952, no. 25. Meimaris, Y., Sacred names, saints, martyrs and church officials in the Greek inscriptions and papyri pertaining to the Christian Church of Palestine (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, Center for Greek and Roman Antiquity, 1986), 127, no. 687 [who wrongly gives the edition as Saller, S.J., Bagatti, B., The Town of Nebo (Khirbet El-Mekhayyat): With a Brief Survey of Other Christian Monuments in Transjordan (Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1949), 140-141].

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