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E01418: Floor-mosaic with Greek inscriptions, commemorating the construction of a martyr shrine (martyrion). Found near the village of Aşaği Çardak (near ancient Zeugma, Commagene). Probably 5th-6th c.

online resource
posted on 2016-05-30, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Inscription 1:

ἐπὶ Σαβίνου ἐπισκό-
που ἐκτείσθη τοῦ-
το τὸ μαρτύρειν ἐν Κ(υρί)<ῳ>

'This martyr shrine (martyrion) was built in the Lord under bishop Sabinos.'

Inscription 2:

[- - -]
[- - -]Υ
[- - - ἔκτισε]ν· Κ(ύρι)ε·
[μνησθήτει] αὐτοῦ

'[- - - built]. Lord, [remember] him!'

Inscription 3:

[- - -]
λημου [- -] νειου
ἔκτισεν· Κ(ύρι)ε· μηνσ-
θήτει αὐτοῦ

'[of - - -]lemos [of - - -]neios built. Lord, remember him!'

Text: Candemir & Wagner 1978, 210-211.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

Image Caption 1

Preserved fragments of the mosaic floor with inscriptions 2 and 3. From: Candemir & Wagner 1978, Textabbildung 2.

Image Caption 2

Inscriptions 2 and 3. From: Candemir & Wagner 1978, Textabbildung 2.

Image Caption 4

Inscription 1. From: Wagner 1976, plate 7.

Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Mesopotamia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Aşaği Çardak Zeugma

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

Aşaği Çardak Thabbora Thabbora Zeugma Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Other lay individuals/ people


A floor-mosaic made of white, yellow, green, red, blue, and black pebbles. Surface: c. 40 m2. When recorded, the mosaic lay 2 m under ground. By 1976 two large sections of the mosaic were unearthed, revealing three inscriptions and plant and animal decorations: a peacock, a dove, and a grapevine ornament. Inscription 1 is within a tabula ansata, in the upper left corner of the floor. H. 0.23 m; W. 0.73 m; letter height 0.055-0.058 m. The depiction of the peacock is placed below it. Inscriptions 2 and 3 are sited at the right-hand edge of the floor and accompanied by the grapevine ornament and the dove inside a lozenge. Letter height 0.055-0.058 m. The floor was found in 1971 by Hansgard Hellenkemper and Jörg Wagner near the village of Aşaği Çardak. Its existence implies that an extramural martyr shrine (martyrion) was once sited there. Hellenkemper and Wagner recorded only the remains of its foundations, and a cubic block, probably deriving from the structure.


The inscriptions commemorated the construction of the sanctuary, in which the mosaic was located. Inscription 1 says that the building was completed under bishop Sabinos, but his identity, and therefore, the date of the completion, escape us. The editors point out that bishops bearing this name are attested on council lists of the nearby cities: Ourima and Zeugma. Inscriptions 2 and 3 are only partially preserved, but their phrasing suggests that they contained the names of donors, who funded the construction or the embellishment of the shrine. Unfortunately none of these texts gives us the name of the martyr venerated here.


Edition: Candemir, H., Wagner, J., “Christliche Mosaiken in der nördlichen Euphratesia” [in:] Şahin, S., Schwertheim, E., Wagner, J. (eds.), Studien zur Religion und Kultur Kleinasiens: Festschrift für Friedrich Karl Dörner zum 65. Geburtstag am 28. Februar 1976, vol. 1 (Etudes préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l'Empire romain 66, Leiden: Brill, 1978), 210-211. Wagner, J., Seleukia am Euphrat-Zeugma (Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients. Reihe B, Geisteswissenschaften 10, Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1976), 111. Further reading: Aylward, W., "The rescue excavations at Zeugma in 2000", in: W. Aylward (ed.), Excavations at Zeugma, Conducted by Oxford University (Los Altos, California: The Packard Humanities Institute, 2013), 28 (mentioned). See Kennedy, D. L., The Twin Towns of Zeugma on the Euphrates. Rescue Work and Historical Studies (Portsmouth, RI : Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1998), 53, note 35 (mentioned). Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1979), 603. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 26, 1491-1493.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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