Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcḤimṣ/Emesa
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Ḥimṣ/Emesa
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - unspecified
SourceBasalt lintel. Broken and lost at the right-hand end. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.22 m; W. 0.80 m. Decorated with a carving of a cross within a circle. The inscription is to the left and to the right of the cross. Letter height 0.07-0.09 m.
When recorded, the stone was reused in a house in the village of Belaḳsah sited c. 43 km to the northwest of Ḥimṣ/Emesa. First published by Majed Moussli and Joachim Ebert in 1990.
DiscussionThe editors suggest that the inscription records the beginning of the name of a saint: AE[- - -] (if so, also a building dedicated to the saint). This is possible, although it is not easy to find a matching Greek name (e.g. Αἐλιανός, a corrupted form of Αἰλιανός?). As we have no photograph, just a drawing, we cannot verify the reading. However, if the final Ε was confused with Γ, the inscription may also record the beginning of a prayer, for example: ἅγιος, ἅγ[ιος, ἅγιος ὁ θεός]/'Holy, holy, holy God!'
Moussli, M., Ebert, J., "Weitere Inschriften aus Emesa und seinen Nachbargebieten", Philologus. Zeitschrift für klassische Philologie 134 (1990), 101, no. 15.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 40, 1409.