Fragmentary stone (H. 0.18 m; original H. c. 0.40 m; W. 1.235 m), broken and lost on all sides, reused upside down as a lintel in a house situated to the west of the Great Church at Deir Nawa. On its face there was a carving of a cross within a square with the letters Α and Ω, but only the lower arm of the cross and the letters are preserved. To the left of the square there is an ornament and a low-relief inscription (letter height 0.125-0.145 m):
Saint NameKosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs in Syria, ob. 285/287 : S00385
Kosmas, martyr of the area of Sekizlar (north Syria), ob. 110/111 : S01005
Saint Name in SourceΚοσμᾶς
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after750
Activity not before400
Activity not after750
Place of Evidence - RegionSyria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Syria with Phoenicia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcApamea on the Orontes
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Apamea on the Orontes
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsConstruction of cult buildings
SourceFirst recorded by the Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Syria and published in 1922 by William Prentice, from a copy by Enno Littmann. Republished in 1955 by René Mouterde, based on the earlier edition.
DiscussionWilliam Prentice noted that this was 'doubtless' a lintel which could have come from a church or an oratory dedicated to *Kosmas and Damianos, martyrs and holy physicians (S00385), widely venerated in Syria (for example in the nearby cities of Apamea and Ḥamāh/Amathe, see: Peña 2000, 27). The shape of the stone and its characteristic decorations do suggest that this was once an element of a doorway, but the mentioned Kosmas is not necessarily the physician saint. We could have here the name of a donor or a founder of a building; and, even if the inscription does refer to a saint Kosmas, it is just possible that Kosmas, a local martyr of Sekizlar (near Manbij and al-Bab in north Syria) is the man referred to. This Kosmas apparently died under the emperor Trajan, and is attested by a single Syriac inscription (see: E01968). The very partial state of preservation of our text, however, does not allow for any certainty.
See also E04563.
Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, Cl., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 4: Laodicée, Apamène (BAH 61, Paris: Librairie orientalise Paul Geuthner, 1955), no. 1956.
Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Publications of the Princeton University of archaeological Expeditions to Syria in 1904-1905 and 1909, Division III: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Section B: Northern Syria (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 18, no. 844.
Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 27.