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E01816: Greek inscription on a lintel, invoking the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), probably to protect a house. Found at Rouweiha between Antioch-on-the-Orontes and Apamea on the Orontes. Probably the 5th-6th c.

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posted on 2016-08-18, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Πέτρος Παῦλος

'Peter. Paul.'

Text: IGLS 2, no. 682.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source

Παῦλος Πέτρος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Apamea on the Orontes Rouweiha

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Apamea on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Rouweiha Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



Moulded stone lintel of an arched doorway in a vestibule of a building in the southwest part of Rouweiha in Jabal Zawiya, identified as a 'villa' by Prentice and, implausibly, as a church by Pococke. The lintel was probably painted red, traces of the paint were still visible in the early 20th c. The inscription is within a tabula ansata engraved in low-relief. The two words are written to the right and to the left of a disc containing a christogram and the letters Α and Ω. William Prentice noted that the disc also contained other markings, which he was unable to decipher. Dimensions of the frame: H. 0.32 m; W. 1.54 m. Letter height 0.035-0.04 m. First recorded by Richard Pococke, an English prelate and anthropologist, while on his tour across the Near East (1737-1741) and published by him as a drawing in the reports of his journeys in 1745 (but cf. the remarks of Mouterde in IGLS 4, no. 1581, claiming that the inscription of Pococke could actually be our E01873). Revisited by the American Expedition to Syria 1899-1900 (copy by William Prentice; photograph of the doorway by Howard Butler) and republished by Prentice in 1908. The site was later the object of studies by numerous scholars, including Georges Tchalenko, Christine Strube, and Ignazio Peña, but their research focused mostly on the architectural elements of the two well-preserved churches of Rouweiha, especially the so-called 'church of Bizzos', one of the greatest churches in ancient Syria, comparable to the Church of Ioulianos in Brad (see: E01687; E01688).


Richard Pococke believed that the inscription was set above the entrance to a church, and that the names mentioned, Paul and Peter, were of the Apostles, to whom the sanctuary was dedicated. Having examined the building, William Prentice and Howard Butler considered it rather a 'villa' (a rich aristocratic dwelling) and this identification was later accepted by René Mouterde. It is possible that the Apostles were invoked to protect the inhabitants and guests of this house. Remarkably, the lintel bears no figural depictions, e.g. bust of the saints, which one might expect next to such labels. The reference to the saints is only by means of the text. For a similar text, but with the names given in inverted order, see the inscription from Ḥarāke: E01873.


Edition: Mouterde, R., Jalabert, L., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 2: Chalcidique et Antiochène: nos 257-698 (Paris: P. Geuthner, 1939), no. 682. Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Greek and Latin Inscriptions (Publications of an American archaeological expedition to Syria in 1899-1900 3, New York: Century 1908), 227, no. 270. Pococke, R., A description of the East, and some other countries , vol. 2, part 1: Observations on Palaestine or the Holy Land, Syria, Mesopotamia, Cyprus, and Candia (London: W. Bowyer, 1745), 148. Further reading: Loosley, E., The Architecture and Liturgy of the Bema in Fourth- to-Sixth-Century Syrian Churches (Boston: Brill, 2012), 257-263 (description and photographs of churches from the site). Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 173-175 (with further bibliography on the site and a description and plan of the church of Bizzos). Scheck, F.R., Odenthal, J., Syrien - Hochkulturen zwischen Mittelmeer und Arabischer Wüste (Köln: DuMont Reiseverlag, 1998), 314. Trombley, F.R., Hellenic Religion and Christianization c. 370-529, vol. 2 (Leiden, New York, Cologne: Brill, 1994), 282. For Butler's photographs from Rouweiha, see: and the following items. For other photographs from the site, see: Emma Loosley, “Ruweiha C5th church,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 18, 2016, Emma Loosley, “Ruweiha Church of Bizzos,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 18, 2016,

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