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E02133: Greek building inscription for a martyr shrine (martyrion) of *Theodore (probably the soldier and martyr of Amaseia and Euchaita, S00480). Found at Sakkaia/Maximianopolis near Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Dated probably 596 or 611.

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posted on 2016-12-16, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ Ἠλίας Κασσισέου Τιζάλου διάκ(ονος) ἐξ ἰδί-
ων ἔκτισεν τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ ἁγίου Θεοδώρου
τῷ κοινῷ τῆς πόλεως ὑπὲρ ἀφήσεος ἁμαρτιῶν,
ἐν μηνὶ Ἀπριλίου, ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ιδ΄, ἔτους τῆς πόλ(εως) τι΄ +

4. τι΄ + Waddington, τιγ΄ CIG Burckhardt

In the apparatus we do not reproduce lacunas marked by Burckhardt, the first editor, as the inscription was later read in full by Waddington.

'+ Elias, son of Kassiseos, grandson of Tizalos, deacon, founded the martyr shrine (martyrion) of Saint Theodore from his own (funds) for the community (koinon) of the city (polis), as a vow for the remission of sins. In the month of April, 14th indiction, the year 310 (of the era) of the city. +'

Text: Waddington 1870, no. 2159. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Theodore Tiro, martyr of Amaseia (Helenopontus, north-eastern Asia Minor), ob. 306 : S00480

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

Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis

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

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Miracles

Miraculous protection - of communities, towns, armies

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Probably a stone slab. Reportedly well preserved. There is no published description or photograph. Found by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1810 in Shaqqa (Sakkaia/Maximianopolis near Bostra, Arabia) in a wall of a house, in front of the ruins where he found the inscription commemorating the construction of a church of *George: E00839. Burckhardt published his transcription in 1822 and it was later re-published by Adolf Kirchhoff in Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum. The stone was seen again in the 1860s by William Waddington in the same spot. Published by Waddington from his own copy in 1870. Later editions are based on that of Waddington.


The inscription commemorates the construction of a martyr shrine of Saint Theodore by a deacon. This Theodore is probably the soldier and martyr Theodore of Amaseia, venerated in Euchaita in Helenopontus (northeast Asia Minor), whose cult was rapidly spreading in the East in the late 5th and 6th c. Dating: The date was originally read by Burckhardt as τιγ΄ = 313th year of a local era. Kirchhoff preemptively identified this era as that of the province of Arabia, and computed the date of our inscription as AD 437. Having examined the stone, Waddington noted that the date should actually be read as τι΄ = 310 followed by a cross. He also questioned the belief that the era of the province of Arabia was used in Sakkaia/Maximinaopolis in Late Antiquity, as in several dated inscriptions indiction year dates were never coherent with era years when the latter were computed according to that era. Waddington suggested that the local era could have started either in AD 91/92 (the death of King Agrippa II), or in AD 61/62 ('an unknown turning point in his career' sic!). In 1909 Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow and Alfred von Domaszewski included our inscription in their chronological tables for the province of Arabia, and placed it implausibly in AD 401, following Waddington's calculations (for their comments, see: p. 305). A detailed discussion of the calendar of Sakkaia/Maximianopolis is offered by Yannis Meimaris and his colleagues in Chronological Systems in Roman-Byzantine Palestine and Arabia. The Evidence of the Dated Greek Inscriptions. These scholars argue that the most probable beginning of the local era would be connected to the settlement's elevation to city rank, which could have taken place under one of the Tetrarchs, the best candidate being Maximianus, the partner of Diocletian, and thus the starting point of the era must fall before his abdication in AD 305. Indiction dates given in inscriptions from Sakkaia indicate that only two years from the period of his reign are acceptable: AD 287 and AD 302. Therefore, our inscription is likely to date to April AD 596 or 611.


Edition: Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie 16/2, no. 517 (forthcoming). Meimaris, Y.E., Kritikakou, K., Bougia, P., Chronological Systems in Roman-Byzantine Palestine and Arabia. The Evidence of the Dated Greek Inscriptions (Meletēmata 17, Athens : Kentron Hellēnikēs kai Rōmaikēs Archaiotētos, Ethnikon Hydryma Ereunōn, 1992), 327, no. 7. Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 2159. Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, no. 8616. Burckhardt, J.L., Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1822), 75. Further reading: Brünnow, R.E., von Domaszewski, A., Die Provincia Arabia: auf Grund zweier in den Jahren 1897 und 1898 unternommenen Reisen und der Berichte früherer Reisender, vol. 3 (Strassburg: Trübner, 1909), 305, 343. Sartre-Fauriat, A., "Georges, Serge, Élie et quelques autres saints connus et inédits de la province d'Arabie", in: Fr. Prévot (ed.), Romanité et cité chrétienne. Permances et mutations. Intégration et exclusion du Ier au VIe siècle. Mélanges en l'honneur d'Yvette Duval (Paris: De Boccard, 2000), 307, note 82.

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