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E02654: Floor-mosaic with a fragmentary Greek inscription commemorating the paving of a church (naos) probably dedicated to a saint whose name is lost. Found at Riḥāb, between Bostra and Gerasa/Jerash (Jordan/the Roman province of Arabia). Probably 7th c.

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posted on 2017-04-03, 00:00 authored by Bryan
[- - - ἐψ]ηφόθη ὁ ναὸς τοῦ [- - -]
[- - -]λου ἐκ σπουδῆς καὶ [καμάτου]
[- - -]του πιστοῦ καὶ Αὐξονί[ου - - - ]
[- - -] πρεσβ(υτέρου) τῆς ἐκλησ[ίας - - -]
[καὶ ἐκ προσφ]ορᾶς τῆς κώμη[ς - - -]

3. ]του Πίστου SEG || 4. πρεσβ(υτέρων) SEG || 5. ]ΟΡΑC τῆς κώμ̣η[ς SEG

'[- - -] was paved the church (naos) of the [- - -]los by the zeal and [toil] of [- - -] the faithful and Auxonios [- - -] the presbyter of the church (ekklesia) [- - - and from the] offering of the village [- - -].'

Text: SEG 51, 2044 with corrected readings in BE (2005), 544 by D. Feissel and P.-L. Gatier.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Archangels (unspecified) : S00191

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Arabia Arabia Arabia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Riḥāb Gerasa/Jerash Bosra

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

Riḥāb Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Gerasa/Jerash 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

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Other lay individuals/ people Peasants


Fragmentary framed mosaic panel from an unspecified church in Riḥāb. There is no published description. Lost at both ends. The panel was published as a photograph, together with a number of other new epigraphic finds from Riḥāb, with little or no descriptions, by Abdel-kader Al-Hissan in the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan in 2001, and again in 2002 as a drawing. Based on the photograph, preliminary comments were offered by Denis Feissel in the Bulletin épigraphique and tentative transcription by the editors of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum. In 2005 Pierre-Louis Gatier and Denis Feissel published a corrected transcription which was accepted in the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 53, 1885.


The inscription commemorates the paving of a church termed naos. We are told that the undertaking was financed by a certain person whose name is lost, and by the offerings of a whole village (probably Riḥāb itself). The role of one Auxonios, mentioned in line 3, is not clear. Was he a supervisor of the paving or one of contributors? One also cannot say whether the title 'presbyter' in line 4 refers to Auxonios, and whether the church (ekklesia) mentioned there is our sanctuary. It is very probable that our church was identified by the name of its patron saint, now lost, but originally appearing at the break of lines 1 and 2. If the first letters of line 2 are the remnants of that name, the Apostle *Paul is possible, who was venerated in Riḥāb (see: E02053; AD 596), or an *Archangel. The phrasing of the inscription resembles that of the commemorative mosaic from the nearby church of the martyr *Philemon, dated 663 (E02653), so a date in the mid-7th c. is plausible.


Edition: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 51, 2044, corrected in BE (2005), 544 and accepted in SEG 53, 1885. Al-Hissan, A., "The new archaeological discoveries of the al-Fudayn and Rahāb - al-Mafraq excavation projects", Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 46 (2002), 90 (Arabic Section). Al-Hissan, A., "", Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 45 (2001), 12 (Arabic Section). Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2002), 481.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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