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E01973: Fragmentary Syriac graffito, mentioning a martyr (whose name is lost), and possibly the construction of a church dedicated to him. Found at Burdaqli in Jabal Ḥalqa, to the west of Beroia/Aleppo (central Syria). Probably late antique.

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posted on 2016-10-29, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski

... ܣܐܗܕܐ
... ܠܐ ܩܕܡ
... ܒܫܡܝܐ
... ܒܢܐ
'Martyr [- - -] not before [- - -] in heaven [- - -] built [- - -].'

Text: Jarry 1967, no. 9. Translation: S. Minov.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anonymous martyrs : S00060

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti


  • 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

Beroia Burdaqli

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

Beroia Thabbora Thabbora Burdaqli Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings


A graffito on the north wall of a church (the editor does not specify which of two possible churches is in question). Dimensions of the inscribed field: H. 0.46 m; W. 0.70 m. Letter height 0.05-0.10 m. Seen and copied (transcription, photograph, squeeze) by Jacques Jarry in 1963 (while he was a member of the 1963 expedition led by Georges Tchalenko), and published in 1967.


As reported by the editor, the inscription is not a proper building inscription, but rather a graffito. Its poor state of preservation allows for only conjectural interpretation, but it is plausible that the text referred to a martyr who enjoyed in Heaven the reward for his suffering. It is also possible that the church on which the text was written was dedicated to this saint.


Edition: Jarry, J., “Inscriptions arabes, syriaques et grecques du massif du Bélus en Syrie du nord”, Annales islamologiques 7 (1967), 145, no. 9. Further reading: For a description of the site and the two late antique churches, see: Butler, H.C., Smith E.B., Early churches in Syria: fourth to seventh centuries (Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1969), 129. Milson, W.D., Art and architecture of the synagogue in late antique Palestine: in the shadow of the church (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2007), 254-256.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity