Saint NamePaul, the Apostle : S00008
Peter the Apostle : S00036
Saint Name in SourceΠαῦλος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcAntioch on the Orontes
Apamea on the Orontes
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Antioch on the Orontes
Apamea on the Orontes
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceMoulded 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).
DiscussionRichard 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.
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.
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: http://vrc.princeton.edu/archives/items/show/10075 and the following items.
For other photographs from the site, see:
Emma Loosley, “Ruweiha C5th church,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 18, 2016, http://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/231
Emma Loosley, “Ruweiha Church of Bizzos,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 18, 2016, http://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/236