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E04557: Scarcely legible Greek inscription on a stone reliquary, possibly invoking the help of *Phokas (if so, probably the martyr of Antioch, S00413). Found at Karm Saddeh near Tripolis (Lebanon/Roman province of Phoenicia). Probably 5th or 6th c.

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posted on 04.01.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
In his commentary on works discussing the reliquaries of Apamea (see E01829; E01832), René Mouterde mentions the inscribed lid of a stone reliquary from the village of Karm Saddeh, kept in a modern church. According to Mouterde's description, the lid comes from a reliquary shaped as a sarcophagus, is fitted with acroteria, and measures c. 0.40 m. There is no published image.

On the two narrow, gable sides there are busts of respectively: a male figure with nimbus (Christ or a saint), and another unidentified person.

One of the wide sloping sides bears a carving of a cross and three holes, possibly for pouring in oil or inserting a rod. The other side is decorated with a carving of a cross within a circle, flanked by ornaments.

The inscription runs on band at the bottom of the lid, where it once conjoined the chest of the reliquary. Letter height c. 0.015 m.


This is interpreted by Mouterde as:

ἅγ(ιε) Φω[κ]ᾶ, β(οήθει) Γεωργ(ίῳ) [κ]αὶ β(οήθει) Δομητ[ίῳ]

'O Saint Phokas, help Georgios, and help Dometios!'

Mouterde points out that Phokas was also venerated near Tripolis in Orthosia, where his relics were discovered together with those of a certain Loukas and Romanos ($EXXXX, Life of Peter the Iberian).

Dating: Based on the shapes of letters, Mouterde tentatively dates the inscription to the 6th c.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Phokas, martyr of Antioch : S00413

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Archaeological and architectural - Extant reliquaries and related fixtures Inscriptions - Inscribed objects



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Tripolis Karm Saddeh

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

Tripolis Thabbora Thabbora Karm Saddeh Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Relics

Reliquary – institutionally owned Contact relic - oil Making contact relics


Edition: Mouterde, R., "[Review: F. Mayence, La quartième campagne de fouilles à Apamée...; H. Delehaye, Saints et reliquaires d'Apamée...", Mélanges de l'Université Saint-Joseph 19 (1935), 130-132.

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