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E01821: Bronze rod of a balance scale, inscribed with the name of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023). Found at Daphne (modern Harbiye) near Antioch-on-the-Orontes (north Syria). Probably the 6th c.

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posted on 2016-08-28, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Bronze rod of a balance scale with three hooks. L. 0.46 m. The inscriptions are written on four sides of the cuboidal section of the rod.

Housed in the Hatay Archaeology Museum. Copied by Pierre Merlat and René Mouterde. First published by Mouterde in 1953.

Inscription A:

+ τοῦ ἁγίου Σεργίου εἰς τὴν τρίοδον +

'+ (Of the church/monastery) of Saint Sergios at the Crossroads of the Three Ways +'

Inscriptions B-D contain letters and signs corresponding to numbers and fractions, written from right to left. See the enclosed image.

The side with Inscription B begins with three dots, a sign denoting the fraction 1/2, followed by the letter A (= 1). The vertical bars stand for subsequent full numbers and dots for the fractions 1/2. The number 5 is expanded as Ε in the middle of the line.

Inscription C begins with the number 8 (Η) and has the numbers 20 (Κ) and probably 25 (Ε) expanded, respectively in the middle and at the left-hand end of the line.

Inscription D bears expanded numbers from 20 (Κ) to 70 (Ο) and the values 25, 35, 45, etc. (up to 75), marked as Ε.

Text: IGLS 3/2, no. 1074.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

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

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Antioch on the Orontes Daphne

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

Antioch on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Daphne Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects



Inscription A is the mark of the owner of this balance scale – a church or a monastery dedicated to Sergios, deriving its additional name from a local landmark: a Crossroads of the Three Ways. The use of officially approved scales and weights was considered extremely important already in very early periods of Antiquity, as it allowed for the prevention of fraud in commerce. The identification of these scales as the property (of the church) 'of Saint Sergios' was probably intended to give them a degree of authority, rather then just being a mark of ownership. Dating: the forms of letters point to the 6th c. For a marble weight of a church of *Mary, found in Caesarea Maritima in Palestine, see E02871, and for a large balance scale inscribed with invocations of Christ or the God of Saint *George, found at Dor (Tanturah) bay north of Caesarea, see Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae 2, no. 2143 (our E03496).


Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 3/2: Antioche (suite). Antiochène: nos. 989-1242 (BAH 51, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1953), no. 1074.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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