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E02701: Floor mosaic with a Greek inscription commemorating the construction of a church of unnamed martyrs. Found at Khirbat Majed near Shajarah, Irbid, and Kapitolias/Beit Ras, to the southeast of the Sea of Galilee (Jordan/Roman province of Palaestina II or Roman province of Arabia). Probably 6th-7th c.

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posted on 2017-04-13, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
In 1992 Michele Piccirillo published a short note on a small church excavated at the village of Khirbat Majed to the north of Wadi Shalleh in 1987, which he believed was attached to a monastery. The excavators found there floor mosaics with inscriptions reportedly mentioning Sobbeon, son of Domintios, of Silona, and his brother Domentis as founders. A mosaic panel, published by Piccirillo as a photograph together with the note, contains a reference to 'Holy Martyrs', which became the basis for the identification of the church as dedicated to unnamed martyrs.

In 2001 Anne Michel offered an imperfect transcription of the panel, read from the published photograph: τῶν κ(αὶ) τις | οντα τῶν | ἁγίον μαρτύρον/'(? ... des saints martyrs)'. We suggest that the inscription reads τὼν κτίσ|οντα τῶν | ἁγίον μαρ|τύρων/'(e.g. Protect) the founder (of the shrine) of the Holy Martyrs!' or, alternatively, τὼν κτίσ|οντα τὼν | ἅγιον μαρ|τύρ<ι>ων/'(e.g. Protect) the founder of the holy martyrion!', and that it is the end of an invocation which began in another, adjacent medallion.

Michel points out that the church must have belonged to the bishopric of Adraha or Kapitolias (that is to the metropolitan see of Bostra in the province of Arabia) or to the bishopric of Skythopolis, the metropolitan see of the province of Palaestina II.

As far as we know the mosaics from this church are still unpublished.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060

Saint Name in Source

ἅγιοι μάρτυρες

Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai Arabia Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Khirbat Majed Kapitolias Arbela Shajarah Skythopolis

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

Khirbat Majed Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Kapitolias Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Arbela Sakkaia / Maximianopolis Σακκαια Sakkaia Saccaea Eaccaea Maximianopolis Shaqqa Schaqqa Shakka Shajarah Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Skythopolis Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


Edition: Piccirillo, M., The Mosaics of Jordan (Amman, Jordan: American Center of Oriental Research, 1992 [2008, 3rd ed.]), 341, no. 751. 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), 419.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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