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E01820: Two fragmentary Greek inscriptions, just possibly referring to a martyr whose name is lost. Found at Antioch-on-the-Orontes (north Syria). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-08-25, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Fragment 1:

[- - - τὸ]ν μέγαν μ[άρτυρα (?) - - -]

τὸ]ν μέγαν μ[άρτυρα (?) Downey

'[- - - the] great [martyr (?) - - -]'

Text: IGLS 3/1, no. 805.

Fragment 2:

[- - -] κ(αὶ) μ̣ά[ρτυς (?)- - -]
[- - -]ντ̣ε[- - -]

κ(αὶ) μ̣ά[ρτυς (?) Downey

'[- - -] and [martyr (?) - - -]'

Text: IGLS 3/1. no. 806.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



Fragment 1: Grey marble fragment, broken and lost on all sides. H. 0.103 m; W. 0.15 m; Th. 0.033 m. Letter height 0.052-0.068 m. There are probably traces of letters below the preserved line. Fragment 2: Grey marble fragment of a cornice. Reused in another structure. H. 0.221 m; W. 0.130 m; max. Th. 0.09 m. Letter height 0.06 m. Both fragments were found in sector 15-M (near the so-called House of Aion) during the surveys of the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity (1937-1939). First published by Glanville Downey in 1941 in the reports of the Committee, after an examination of the stone. Republished by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1950, based on Downey's edition.


The reconstruction was suggested by Downey, the first editor of the text. Mouterde was sceptical about this completion. Actually, as just very small portions of the inscriptions are preserved, we cannot say whether they really referred to a martyr. Furthermore, the epithet μέγας/'great' was rarely given to martyrs in inscriptions. It is not certain, whether both fragments come from the same text (or at least from the same building), but given the fact that they were found in proximity to each other, we reproduce them together. Dating: there is no way to reliably date these inscriptions. The editors note that the forms of the letters resemble those of the 'Byzantine' period. The term 'Byzantine', as used in the early 20th c., was, however, very imprecise and could refer to both Late Antiquity and middle Byzantine times.


Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 3/1: Région de l’Amanus, Antioche (BAH 46, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1950), nos. 805-806. Downey, G., “Greek and Latin inscriptions”, in: R. Stillwell and others (eds.), Antioch-on-the-Orontes, vol. 3: The excavations 1937-1939 (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, 1941), 91, nos. 133 and 139 (photographs??). Further reading: R. Stillwell and others (eds.), Antioch-on-the-Orontes, vol. 3: The excavations 1937-1939 (Princeton: Princeton Univeristy Press, 1941), 11-12 (for a description of the find-spot).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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