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E02681: Greek inscription with a poem commemorating the reconstruction, extension, and embellishment of a monastic church (oikos, neos) of *Sergios (soldier and martyr of Rusafa, S00023). Found at Deir al-Qadi near Dionysias/modern Suweidā, to the north of Bostra (Roman province of Arabia). Probably 6th-7th c.

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posted on 2017-04-10, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Four hexameter verses:

μείζονα τοῦ προτέροιο σὺν ἀσφαλέεσσι θεμέθλοις
εἰς ἔδαφος νεύοντα Γεώργιος οἶκον ἔγειρεν,
Ἀντιπάτρου γενετῆρος ἀμείνονα κόσμον ἀνύσ<σ>ας,
μάρτυρι Σεργίῳ περικαλλέα νηὸν ὀπάσ<σ>ας +

'Greater than its predecessor, that was already leaning towards the ground, Georgios erected this church (oikos), with stable foundations, (and) embellished it with better decoration than did his begetter Antipatros. (He) offered a splendid shrine (neos) to the martyr Sergios. +'

Text: SGO 4, no. 22/36/04. Translation: P. Nowakowski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

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

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Literary - Poems 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

Bosra Dionysias Deir al-Qadi

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

Bosra Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Dionysias Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Deir al-Qadi Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Stone lintel. Seen above a gateway of an abandoned monastery by William Waddington in the 1860s. First published by him in 1870. The inscription, based on Waddington's edition, was in 1878 reprinted in Kaibel's collection of epigrams, and in 2002 by Merkelbach and Stauber. The inscription is scheduled for re-edition in the sixteenth volume of Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, under no. 357. There is no published description.


The inscription commemorates a major refurbishment of a monastic church of Saint Sergios. The reader learns that the church was beautifully restored by one Georgios, son of Antipatros, who claims that he has surpassed the work of his father. The inscription is thus a rare example of the continued devotion of a family to a specific saint. Dating: there is no reliable way to date the text, but in this region dedications to Sergios are characteristic of the 6th and 7th centuries.


Edition: IGLS 16, no. 357 (forthcoming). Merkelbach, R., Stauber, J., Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten, vol. 4 (Stuttgart: Teubner, 2002), no. 22/36/04. Kaibel, G., Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus conlecta (Berolini: G. Reimer, 1878), no. 1065. Waddington, W.H., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (Paris: Firmin Didot Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1870), no. 2412. Further reading: Key Fowden, E., The Barbarian Plain: St. Sergius between Rome and Iran (Berkeley, Calif.; London: University of California Press, 1999), 108.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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