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E02587: Bronze candelabrum with a Greek inscription invoking the help of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023). Found at Umm er-Rasas/Kastron Mefaa, to the southeast of Madaba (Roman province of Arabia/Jordan). Probably late 6th or 7th c.

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posted on 2017-03-21, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
The candelabrum was found in the south chamber flanking the apse of the so-called 'Church of the Rivers', that is the northern basilica of the double church of the fort (castrum) of Umm er-Rasas. It is made of bronze and bears the following engraving around the external border of the disc:

ἅγιε Σέργι, βοήθι Θωμᾷ. ἀμίν

'Saint Sergios, help Thomas! Amen.'

Text: Rey 1992, 10.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Sergios, martyr in Syria, ob. 303-311 : S00023

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens


  • 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

Madaba Umm er-Rasas/Kastron Mefaa

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

Madaba Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Umm er-Rasas/Kastron Mefaa Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Oil lamps/candles Precious material objects


The inscription invokes the help of Saint Sergios for one Thomas, probably the donor of the object. Dating: the inscription contains no dating formula. This kind of invocation, as well as the cult of Sergios, became especially popular in the 6th and 7th centuries. The church is believed to have been constructed in the first half of the 6th c.


Edition: Rey, A.-L., "", in: J. Bujard, Fr. Schweizer (eds.), Entre Byzance et l'Islam: Umm er-Rasas et Umm el-Walid. Fouilles Genevoises en Jordanie (Genève: Musée d'art et d'histoire, 1992), 10 and fig. 5-6. Further reading: For a description of the church, see: Michel, A., Les églises d'époque byzantine et umayyade de Jordanie (provinces d'Arabie et de Palestine), Ve-VIIIe siècle: typologie architecturale et aménagements liturgiques (avec catalogue des monuments; préface de Noël Duval; premessa di Michele Piccirillo) (Bibliothèque de l'Antiquité tardive 2, Turnhout: Brepols, 2001), 411-415, no. 150a (with the candelabra described on p. 415). Piccirillo M., Alliata E., Umm al-Rasas – Mayfa’ah I: Gli scavi del complesso di Santo Stefano (Jerusalem: Studium Biblicum Franciscum, 1994), 462 note 13. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1993), 646. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 909. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 42, 1494.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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