University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E01423: Floor-mosaic with a fragmentary Greek inscription commemorating the construction of a martyr shrine (martyrion) of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023). Found in Yukarı Söğütlü (near ancient Zeugma, Commagene). Dated 431.

online resource
posted on 2016-05-31, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ἔτους γμψ' ἐκτί[σθη]
τοῦτο{ν} μαρτύρ[ιον]
τοῦ ἁγίου Σεργ[ίου]

'This martyr shrine (martyrion) of Saint Sergios was built in the year 743.'

Text: Candemir & Wagner 1978, 230-231.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023

Saint Name in Source


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

Mesopotamia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Zeugma Yukarı Söğütlü

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

Zeugma Edessa Edessa Ἔδεσσα Edessa Yukarı Söğütlü Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings


A fragmentary mosaic floor, made of white, grey, red, and black pebbles. Size of the uncovered section: H. 3,08 m; W. 2,8 m; letter height 0.1 m. A geometric pattern runs around the panel with the inscription. The ornaments have the form of octagons and lozenges. The mosaic was found by Jörg Wagner in the lobby of the city hall in Yukarı Söğütlü, under the modern floor. Only a part of the mosaic was uncovered, as it probably stretches also under two nearby houses (the lost, right-hand part of the inscription is under the present wall of the building). Remarkably, the walls of houses at the site contain five column bases and a capital. Hasan Candemir suggested that these were all remains of the martyr shrine of Sergios, mentioned by our inscription.


The inscription commemorates the construction of a martyr shrine of Sergios at the site where the mosaic was found. Its most important feature is the date, the year 743, occurring in line 1. If the era is correctly identified as the Seleucid era, which is the usual chronological system of this region, this corresponds to AD 431. Candemir rightly stresses that such an early sanctuary of Sergios deserves special attention, as most of the near Eastern martyr shrines of Sergios date to the 6th c. It might be that our shrine was built soon after the completion of the most famous martyrion of Sergios, in nearby Rusafa by Alexander, bishop of Hierapolis in Syria, before 433 (for the cult of Sergios in Rusafa, see: E01440; E01460). Alexander opened the tomb of Sergios located outside the city walls of Rusafa and moved the body to the new sanctuary. It is possible that some relics of Sergios were then harvested and distributed in the region. Some of the could have been housed in our martyr shrine.


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), 231. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1979), 603. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 28, 1325.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager