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E02619: Fragmentary Greek inscription possibly referring to a church (hagios oikos) dedicated to a saint whose name is lost. Found at Kfeir Abu Sarbut, near Madaba (Jordan/Roman province of Arabia). Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 2017-03-28, 00:00 authored by Bryan
[Κύριε ὁ θεὸ]ς βοή-
[θι τὸν δοῦλ]ον Κυρ-
[ιακὸν διάκο]νον ὡς
[- - - βοή(?)]θησεν
[τὸν ἅγιον οἶ]κον τοῦ
[ἁγίου - - -]ου

'[O Lord, God], help [(your) servant] Kyriakos (?), the deacon (?), who [- - -] supported (?) the church (hagios oikos?) of [Saint - - -].'

Text: I. Jordanie 2, no. 113.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744

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

Madaba Kfeir Abu Sarbut

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

Madaba Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Kfeir Abu Sarbut Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Fragmentary limestone block. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.59 m; W. 0.42 m; Th. 0.21 m. Broken and lost at the left-hand edge and in the upper left-hand corner. The inscription is framed (H. 0.31 m; W. 0.30 m) and poorly carved. Letter height 0.05 m. The last line is below the lower frame. The stone probably also bore a carving of a cross within a circle to the right of the inscribed field. First published by Pierre-Louis Gatier in 1986 with a photograph. Now in the Museum of Madaba.


The inscription is very poorly preserved. Gatier offers a tentative restoration as an invocation of God's help for a certain Kyriakos. The last two lines could possibly suggest that the supplicant made an offering to a church (hagios oikos?) dedicated to a saint whose name is lost. Whereas not entirely implausible, Gatier's restoration is still hypothetical. As the dossier of saints venerated in nearby Madaba is rich, we cannot restore the name of the presumed holy patron in line 5.


Edition: Gatier, P.-L., Inscriptions de la Jordanie, vol. 2: Région centrale (Amman, Hesban, Madaba, Main, Dhiban) (Paris: Librairie orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1986), no. 113. For a better photograph, see

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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