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E01945: Greek inscription from a boundary stone marking the asylum of a church dedicated to *Kyrikos (child martyr of Tarsus, S00007). Found at Salamiye (ancient Salamias), to the northeast of Ḥimṣ/Emesa (northwest Phoenicia). Probably 6th c.

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posted on 2016-10-19, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
ας τοῦ
ρο[ς] Κη-

'Boundaries of the asylum (of the church) of the holy martyr Kyrikos.'

Text: IGLS 5, no. 2513.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kyrikos, 3rd c. child martyr in Tarsus, son of *Julitta : S00007

Saint Name in Source


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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Ḥimṣ/Emesa Salamias

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

Ḥimṣ/Emesa Thabbora Thabbora Salamias Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Seeking asylum at church/shrine


Two fragments of a basalt block. Each fragment measures: H. 1.13 m; W. 0.15 m; Th. 0.25 m. When recorded the left-hand fragment was reused in a cistern, outside the town. The right-hand fragment was reused in the sill of a house situated in the northeast section of the town. Letter height 0.025 m. Recorded by the American Expedition to Syria and copied by Howard Butler. First published in 1908 by William Prentice from Butler's copy. Republished by René Mouterde in 1959, based on the earlier edition. Jean-Claude Decourt did not find it during his survey of the site in 2002.


The name of the saint was restored by Prentice as Kyrikos (here spellt Kerykos), based on the fact that the saint enjoyed great popularity in the East and was frequently mentioned in dedicatory and boundary inscriptions. Prentice, however, notes that the text allows also for other restorations, for example: Kerylos (= Kyrillos). In our opinion this option is implausible, as Saint Kyrikos is a much better candidate for the patron saint of a church than an obscure Kyrillos. Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors. Dating: dated boundary stone inscriptions of late antique churches were usually authorised by 6th c. emperors. Thus a 6th c. date is plausible.


Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Mondésert, C., Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 5: Émésène (BAH 66, Paris: P. Guethner, 1959), no. 2513. Prentice, W.K. (ed.), Greek and Latin Inscriptions (Publications of an American archaeological expedition to Syria in 1899-1900 3, New York: Century 1908), 241, no. 298 (from a copy by Howard Butler). Further reading: Decourt, J.-Cl., "Inscriptions grecques de Salamya/Salamias", in: P.-L. Gatier, B. Geyer, M.-O. Rousset (eds.), Entre nomades et sédentaires. Prospections en Syrie du Nord et en Jordanie du Sud (Travaux de la Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée 55; Conquête de la steppe 3, Lyon: Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée, 2010), 109-125. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2011), 600. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graceum 60, 1687.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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