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E01968: Syriac inscription referring to *Kosmas (S01005), a local martyr of the area of Sekizlar (near Hierapolis-Bambyke/Manbij and al-Bab in north Syria). Found at Sekizlar. Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-10-28, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski

ܕܣܗܕ ܒܫܢܬ
ܬ ܒ ܡ

'Remembered be Kosmas who was martyred in the year 442 (?).'

Text: Jarry 1967, no. 32. Translation: S. Minov.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kosmas, martyr of the area of Sekizlar (north Syria), ob. 110/111 : S01005

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)


  • Syriac

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

Sekizlar Hierapolis Euphratensis

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

Sekizlar Thabbora Thabbora Hierapolis Euphratensis Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings


A stone stele. H. 0.32 m; W. 0.66 m; Th. 0.42 m. Letter height 0.04-0.07 m. When recorded it was reused as the base of a pillar in a stable. Seen and copied by Jacques Jarry in 1963 (while he was a member of the 1963 expedition led by Georges Tchalenko), and published in 1967.


The inscription mentions an otherwise unattested martyr Kosmas. His martyrdom is dated according to the Seleucid era. Its year, read by Jarry as 442 (for his comments on the legibility of each sign of this number, see: his p. 158), corresponds to AD 110/111, therefore the reign of the emperor Trajan. A reference to the exact date of the martyrdom of a saint is an uncommon feature in inscriptions. Though the inscription reads literally that it was erected 'in memory' of Kosmas, it is very unlikely to be an epitaph for this martyr. Jarry notes that this Syriac formula might be used in the sense of 'for the glory' of the saint, as a Syriac inscription from Dahes (Jarry 1967, no. 19) records the construction of a church 'in memory of Christ' (i.e. 'for the glory of Christ'). Our inscription is therefore also likely to celebrate the completion of a similar undertaking. Dating: The date given in line 4 almost certainly does not refer to the carving of the inscription. According to Jarry the letter forms suggest that the text is contemporary to the Syriac inscription from Dahes mentioned above, which means that it probably dates to the late antique period.


Edition: Jarry, J., “Inscriptions arabes, syriaques et grecques du massif du Bélus en Syrie du nord”, Annales islamologiques 7 (1967), 157, no. 32. Further reading: Peña, I., Lieux de pèlerinage en Syrie (Milan: Franciscan Printing Press, 2000), 27.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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