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E03484: Two floor-mosaics with Greek inscriptions in the ecclesiastical complex of Serğilla in Jabal Zawiya, near Apamea on the Orontes (Roman province of Syria II), suggesting the existence of a shrine of *Theodore (probably the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480). Probably early 6th c.

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posted on 24.07.2017, 00:00 by Bryan
Inscription 1:

Mosaic panel from the nave of the south chapel:

ἔτο<υ>ς ̣η[.. μηνὸς Ξ]α̣ν-
θικοῦ ε΄ (καὶ) ἐ̣π[ὶ τοῦ εὐλα]-
β(εστάτου) πρεσβ(υτέρου) Ἰ̣ω[άννου (?) ἐτ]-
ηλιώθ̣η ̣τ[οῦτο τὸ εὐκ]-
τήριν [- - -]

'In the year ..8, on the 5th day of [the month of] Xanthikos, and under the most pious presbyter [Ioannes] (?) was completed this oratory (eukterion) [- - -]'

Inscription 2:

Mosaic panel in a chamber sited to the north of the apse:

[- - -]ΟΥ̣Α[- - -]
[- - -]ΛΟΥ
[- - - ἐ]τελιώ[θη]
[τὸ ἔργο]ν τοῦ [ψηφίου (?)]
[ - - -] Θεοδώρου ἐν μη̣νὶ
[- - - ἔτους - - -] τρια[κ]οστοῦ [..]
[- - - ἰνδι]κτιῶν[ος]

1-2. probably ἐπὶ τοῦ ἁγιωτ(άτου) ἐπισκόπου || 4-5. [τὸ ἔργο]ν τοῦ [ψηφίου (?) | τοῦ ἁγίου] Θεοδώρου ἐν μη̣νὶ or [τὸ μαρτύριο]ν τοῦ [ἁγίου | N καὶ] Θεοδώρου ἐν μη̣νὶ

'[- - -] was completed the work of the [floor mosaic (?) of - - -] of Theodore. In the month of [- - -, the year - - -] thirtieth [- - -] indiction [- - -].'

Text: P.-L. Gatier, in Tate and others 2013, 545-551.

History

Evidence ID

E03484

Saint Name

Theodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480

Saint Name in Source

Θεόδωρος

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

550

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

550

Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Serğilla Apamea on the Orontes

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

Serğilla Thabbora Thabbora Apamea on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Source

The inscriptions come from the ecclesiastical complex in Serǧilla, an exceptionally well preserved deserted village in the south sector of Jabal Zawiya (the Limestone Massif), in the territory of Apamea. The mosaics were first published by Pierre-Lois Gatier in 2013, in the report of the excavations conducted at the site by Georges Tate and his team on behalf of the Mission Archéologique Syro-française de la Syrie du Nord.

Discussion

Gatier supposes that Inscription 2 commemorates the paving of a martyr shrine dedicated to Saint Theodore, probably the soldier and martyr of Euchaita in Pontus. In his comments in the Bulletin épigraphique, Denis Feissel considers this supposition highly plausible. Dating: the dating formulas in both inscriptions are partially lost. For the date of the paving of the presumed shrine, of which the number '30' is clearly legible, Gatier reasonably expects a date around the year 830 of the Seleucid era, i.e. within the decade 518-528.

Bibliography

Edition: Gatier, P.-L. (ed.), in: G. Tate, M. Abdulkarim, G. Charpentier, C. Duvette, C. Piaton (eds.), Serǧilla, village d'Apamène, vol. 1: Une architecture de pierre (Beirut: Presses de l'IFPO, 2013), 545-551. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2014), 503. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 63, 1492-1493.

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