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E02243: Greek building inscription for a church of the Archangels *Michael (S00181) and *Gabriel (S00192). Found at al-Ghāriyyeh al-Gharbiyyeh, to the northwest of Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Dated 598/599.

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posted on 2017-01-11, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ ὁ ἅγιος Μι- + ἐκτίσθη
χαὴλ (καὶ) Γαβ- ἐν ἔτους υϙγ΄

1-2. Μι|χαὴλ Sartre, Μι|[κ]αὴλ Dussaud || 2. υϙγ΄ Sartre, ΥϘC stone, corrected to υϙ[ε]΄by Dussaud

'+ Saint Michael and Gabriel. + (It) was built in the year 493.'

Text: IGLS 13/2, no. 9740.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192 Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ Γαβριήλ

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

al-Ghāriyyeh al-Gharbiyyeh Bosra

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

al-Ghāriyyeh al-Gharbiyyeh Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings


Stone lintel. H. 0.32 m; W. 1.65 m; Th. 0.50 m. Letter height 0.085 m. Broken and lost in the lower left-hand corner. Decorated with a carving of a large circle containing a cross in the middle of the inscribed face. Seen and copied by René Dussaud and Frédéric Macler during their survey in south Syria, and published by them in 1901 with a drawing. The surveyors probably saw the stone still in situ, over a doorway. The stone was revisited and photographed by Maurice Sartre in 1982, and republished by Maurice Sartre and Annie Sartre-Fauriat in 2011. By the time of Sartre's visit the stone was reused in a wall, to the west of the village. The building (probably a church) where it was originally displayed, was destroyed only recently, during the construction of a road.


The inscription commemorates the construction of a church dedicated to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The Sartres stress the fact that attestations of the cult of archangels are not frequent in the Hauran (see E02614). Dating: the inscription is dated according to the era of the province of Arabia. Its year 493 corresponds to AD 598/599. Dussaud read the date incorrectly (as the year 495), and hence dated the inscription to AD 600.


Edition: Sartre, M., Sartre-Fauriat, A. (eds.), Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 13/2: Bostra (Supplément) et la plaine de la Nuqrah (BAH 194, Beirut: Institut français du Proche-Orient, 2011), no. 9740. Dussaud, R., Macler, F., Voyage archéologique au Safâ et dans le Djebel-ed-Drûz (Paris: , 1901), 206, no. 99.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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