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E07510: Latin inscriptions commemorating the deposition of the relics of martyrs *Menas (S00073) and *Sebastianus (S00400). Henchir Fallous (Africa Proconsularis, North Africa), AD 550-698.

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posted on 05.04.2019, 00:00 by sadamiak
Me(n)sa m[arturum]

Ic benerande relyquie beat(orum) mart(y)r(u)m Moen[ae?]
et Sebastiani, d(e)p(o)s(i)t(e) in pace sub die III id(uum)
n[ovem]brium ind(i)ct(ione) III (or: IIII?) per manus b(ea)t(i)s(si)mi
Reb (or d) .... ant[is]titis. Iulian[us presb(yter)?]
et Victor mon(a)c(u)s b[ot]um D(e)o bo[verunt?]

'The table of the martyrs'

'Here are the venerable relics of the blessed martyrs Menas (?) and Sebastian, deposited in peace on the 3rd day before the Ides of November [11 November], on the 3rd (or 4th?) indiction, by the hand of the most blessed priest Reb (?).
Presbyter (?) Julian and Monk Victor promised this vow to God'.

Text: Y. Duval 1982: no. 21. Translation: Stanisław Adamiak.

History

Evidence ID

E07510

Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena : S00073 Sebastianus, martyr of Rome : S00400

Saint Name in Source

Moena Sebastianus

Evidence not before

550

Evidence not after

698

Activity not before

550

Activity not after

698

Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Henchir Fallous

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

Henchir Fallous Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Feasting (eating, drinking, dancing, singing, bathing)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Vow

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries Transfer, translation and deposition of relics

Source

A marble slab, 75 x 40,5 x 8,5 cm. It was reconstructed from one big and seventeen smaller fragments found in 1896 in Henchir Fallous. Currently in the Museum of Louvre in Paris (no. 3338). "Mensa marturym" is written on the edge of the slab, the second inscription on its superior part. The inscriptions are not contemporary to themselves, they are not of the same hand.

Discussion

The first inscription marks the table used for the oblations near the tombs or relics of the saints. The second one commemorates the deposition of the relics in the Byzantine times (proven by the use of the indiction in the date). The saints in question are imported to Africa. Menas is the famous Egyptian saint, 11 November is his usual feast day. The inscription is the unique trace of the cult of Sebastian in Africa.

Bibliography

Duval, Y., Loca sanctorum Africae: Le culte des martyrs en Afrique du IVe au VIIe siècle (Rome: École Francaise de Rome, 1982), vol. 1, 44-48, no. 21.

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