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E01422: Floor-mosaic with a fragmentary Greek inscription commemorating the construction of a martyr shrine (martyrion) by a member of the city council and his wife. Found near Hülümen/Tınazdere (close to ancient Zeugma, Commagene). Probably 4th-5th c.

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posted on 2016-05-31, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
[- - -]
[- - -]ΟΕ[- - -]
πολιτευ[όμενος σὺν τῇ]
συνβίῳ αὐ[τοῦ τοῦτο]
τὸ μαρτύ[ριον ἔκτισεν]

3-4. σὺν τῷ] | συνβίῳ αὐ[τῆς Candemir & Wagner, σὺν (or ἅμα) τῇ] | συνβίῳ αὐ[τοῦ Robert

'[- - - - -] member [of the] city [council with] his wife [built this] martyr shrine (martyrion).'

Text: Candemir 1978, 221 with completions by Louis Robert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

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

Hülümen/Tınazdere Zeugma

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

Hülümen/Tınazdere Thabbora Thabbora Zeugma Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Officials


Floor-mosaic consisting of at least nine panels. H. 33.25 m; W. 19.25 m (only partially unearthed). Made of white, grey, yellow, green, red, brown, violet, blue, and black tesserae. Decorated with geometric, floral, and animal motifs. Panel II contains a dedicatory inscription within a tabula ansata, transcribed above. The corners of the text field are decorated by leaves. Letter height 0.12 m. The mosaic floor was found in 1967 near the village of Hülümen/Tınazdere, among olive trees, to the south of the settlement. The shape of the floor suggests the existence of a three-aisled basilica, that can be identified as a martyr shrine (martyrion), on the basis of our inscription. The site was excavated by Süheyla Keskil, director of the Archaeological Museum of Antakya, and by Hasan Candemir, in the autumn of 1967. The excavations revealed the remnants of the foundations of the basilica. 145 m2 of the mosaic floor were taken to the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.


The inscription commemorates the construction of a martyr shrine. Unfortunately, it does not say, which martyr was venerated in the sanctuary. Louis Robert plausibly argued that lines 3-4, containing the reference to the founders of the basilica, should be completed as πολιτευ[όμενος σὺν τῇ] συνβίῳ αὐ[τοῦ]/'member [of the] city [council with] his wife'. The construction of this martyr shrine was, however, a private act, and not one of the official duties of this man. The excavators date the building to the late 4th-early 5th c. on the basis of one coin of Arcadius (383-405) found on the site, but in reality the dating of the building is very uncertain.


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), 221. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1979), 603 (improved reconstruction). Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 28, 1323.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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