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E01967: Greek building inscription just possibly for a church dedicated to a saint *Kosmas. Found at eṭ-Ṭayyibe to the east of Apamea on the Orontes and Ḥamāh/Amathe (central Syria). Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 2016-10-28, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
The inscription is written in the form of a framed cross-shaped monogram (H. 0.33 m; W. 0.28 m) on a lintel, at one of its ends. William Prentice suggested that the monogram should be expanded as Κοσμᾶ/'Of Kosmas.' This interpretation was accepted by René Mouterde. If so, our inscription could commemorate the construction of a church dedicated to Kosmas, a physician martyr of Syria and brother of *Damianos (S00385), but such a statement is, of course, disputable, as the figure is apparently not named ἅγιος/'saint'. Also Kosmas was usually venerated together with his brother and his individual cult seems unlikely.

Another possibility is that we have here the name of the donor or founder of a building.

If the inscription does refer to a saint Kosmas, it is possible that Kosmas, a local martyr of Sekizlar (near Manbij and al-Bab in north Syria) is referred to. This Kosmas apparently died under the emperor Trajan and is attested by a single Syriac inscription (see: $E01968).

See also $E04563.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kosmas 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 Source

Κοσμᾶς Κοσμᾶς

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 Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Apamea on the Orontes Ḥamāh eṭ-Ṭayyibe

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

Apamea on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Ḥamāh Thabbora Thabbora eṭ-Ṭayyibe Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings


Edition: 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. 1918. 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), 23, no. 861.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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