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E02708: Fragmentary Greek inscription with a list of relics probably deposited by the empress Eudocia at the church of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) in Jerusalem, to the north of the north city gate. Found in Jerusalem (Roman province of Palaestina I). Possibly 460.

online resource
posted on 2017-04-15, 00:00 authored by Bryan
[+ τά]δ' ὀστ[ᾶ τὰ τίμια]
[ἃ ἦ]̣γεν τό[δε ἡ σεμνὴ]
[Ε]ὐδοκία Σ[εβαστὴ]
τῶν ἐνδο[ξοτάτων]
μαρτύρων [- - -]
Καλλινίκου [- - -]
Δομνίνου, ̣Τ[- - -]
Θέκλης, κ(αὶ) [τῶν σὺν]
+ αὐτοῖς ἁγί[ων]

2-3. [- - -] ἐντο[λῆς (?) τῆς (?) - - - | Ε]ὐδοκίας Thomsen || 5. or 6. perhaps [Μελετίου] Di Segni || 7. perhaps Τ[ιμοθέου] Di Segni || 8-9. κ[αὶ - - -]. | + αὐτοῖς ἁγί[οις δόξα] Di Segni, Θεκλῆς κ(αὶ) [τῶν σὺν] | αὐτοῖς ἁγί[ων] Flusin (preferred by Aliquot), Θεκλῆς κ[αὶ τῶν ἄλλων] Thomsen. We reproduce here only the most important readings and completions.

'[These precious] bones [which the venerable] Eudocia [Augusta] brought here (are those) of the most glorious martyrs [- - -] Kallinikos, [- - -] Domninos, T[- - -], Thekla, and the saints who are with them.'

Text: CIIP 1/2, no. 816, with altered lines 8-9 according to Aliquot 2014. Translation: L. Di Segni, lightly adapted.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030 Thekla from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, ob. ca. 306 : S00189 Timotheos from Gaza, martyr in Palestine, ob. 305 : S00122 Domninos, martyr in Palestine, ob. 308 : S00190 Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060 Kal

Saint Name in Source

Θέκλα Δομνῖνος Καλλινίκος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Documentary texts - List Documentary texts - Relic label


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Anniversary of church/altar dedication

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

Women Monarchs and their family

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - bones and teeth Collections of multiple relics Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


Fragment of a white marble plaque. Broken and lost in the upper left-hand corner and on the right-hand side. Preserved dimensions: H. 0.27 m; W. max. 0.245 m; Th. 0.025 m. Letter height 0.02-0.03 m. Found during the construction of a mosque, close to Eudocia's church of Stephen the First Martyr (sited north of the north city gate/nowadays the Damascus Gate), at the present-day Dominican Convent of St. Stephen. The original location of the inscription is unknown. Now in the Museum of the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem. First published by H. Hänsler in 1908. Since then the inscription has been re-published several times with different restorations, notably by Peter Thomsen in his corpus of inscriptions from Jerusalem in 1922, by Marie-Joseph Lagrange in 1926 in Abel and Vincent's volume on the history of Jerusalem, and by Yiannis Meimaris in 1983. Comments on the restoration of the last two lines were also offered by Bernard Flusin in 1993. Here we follow the most recent edition (2012) by Leah Di Segni in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestine except for the restoration of lines 8-9. In 2014 Julien Aliquot, in his review of the CIIP 1/2 rightly argued that the restoration by Flusin much better fits this passage in the light of a very similar phrase used in an inscription from Sakkaia/Maximianopolis (our E00839). Di Segni re-publishes the inscription with a new photograph by Nili and Abraham Graicer, and with a drawing by Marie-Joseph Lagrange.


The inscription, carved on a thin marble plaque, used to be considered by early editors as the plaque from an altar of the Eudocian church of Saint Stephen in Jerusalem, in which the relics of the listed martyrs were kept. The term 'mensa martyrum', usually associated with plaques inscribed with names of martyrs in North Africa, has also been used for our plaque (e.g. Thomsen 1941, 209: 'Reliquiar-Inschrift' or 'mensa martyrum'; Halkin 1951, 69: 'mensa martyrum'). In fact we do not know the original use of our stone: whether it was displayed vertically, e.g. fixed on a wall; or horizontally, as the top of a table/altar, or as a floor panel. Di Segni rightly suspends judgment on this problem. The name Eudocia, appearing in line 3, together with the findspot of the inscription, close to the site of the empress Eudocia's foundation, allowed for the identification of the text as a list of relics offered by Eudocia to her new sanctuary. Eudocia's church and monastery of Stephen were originally completed on 15 May 439 (see EXXXXX; Life of Peter the Iberian), and then, after Eudocia's exile from the imperial court in 443, must have been further fostered by her, since Jerusalem became her main place of residence. After her death on 20 October 460, Eudocia was buried here. Di Segni argues that the inscription commemorates a deposition of relics in the church, at a dedication, or re-dedication, of the shrine on 15 June 460 recorded by Cyril of Scythopolis (EXXXX). Consequently, she says, the plaque must have been engraved shortly before that date. The list preserves three complete names of martyrs: Kallinikos, Domninos, and Thekla. Their identity has been differently described by previous scholars. For example Thomsen associated Kallinikos with the martyr whose name appears on a stone reliquary from Apamea in Syria (see E01832), Domninos with the martyr of Caesarea in Palestine, known to Eusebius (see S00190 and E00377), and Thekla with the famous martyr of Seleukeia/Seleucia in Isauria (S00092) or an unspecified Thekla whose relics were kept in the church at Bethphage on the Mount of Olives (EXXXX; Jerome, Ep. 22 ad Eustochium (PL 22, 424); Theodosius, De situ Terrae Sanctae 21????). Halkin also favoured the latter identification, over the possibility that she was *Thekla of Gaza, martyred in Caesarea (S00189, see also E00376) or Thekla of Seleukeia/Seleucia. Di Segni probably rightly notes that the key to an understanding of the list is the Georgian version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem, as it lists all the names of martyrs mentioned here and allows for possible restorations. *Kallinikos, a martyr of Gabala is commemorated there on 19 December (SXXXXX; EXXXXX), together with a certain *Meletios (SXXXXX), and Di Segni hypothetically restores his name in line 5 or 6: respectively before or after the name of Kallinikos. Domninos, martyr of Caesarea in Palestine (S00190), is commemorated on 6 November (E03421), while a saint Thekla is mentioned on 19 June (E03200). Di Segni presumes that she is Thekla of Gaza (S00189), a fellow martyr of *Agapios (S00188) and Timotheos (S00122). Since the lacuna in line seven begins after the letter Τ, Di Segni suggests that the name of Timotheos can plausibly be restored there. One Timotheos is mentioned on 14 March (E03054), and Di Segni suggests that this might be Timotheos of Gaza (S00122), the companion of Agapios and Thekla. As the three did not suffer martyrdom on the same day, it is explicable that they were commemorated on different days in the calendar. We must remember that, although attractive and plausible, Di Segni's identification of the listed martyrs is still hypothetical. Similarly, it is not clear whether the inscription is the original plaque carved in 460, during the re-dedication of the shrine, or a later label informing the reader which relics were kept in the church. It contains no dating formula and no expression that would refer precisely to the rite of deposition, e.g. ἐγένετο ἡ κατάθεσις τῶν λειψάνων/'the deposition of relics took place, etc.' which one could expect in a commemorative text (cf. E00989). Therefore, we believe that the inscription served as a label of relics, referring to the tradition of Eudocia's donation, rather than being a contemporary mid-5th c. account of their deposition.


Edition: Cotton, H.M., Di Segni, L., Eck, W., Isaac, B., Kushnir-Stein, A., Misgav, H., Price, J.J., Yardeni, A. and others (eds.), Corpus inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae: A Multi-Lingual Corpus of the Inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad, vol. 1, part 2: Jerusalem, nos. 705-1120 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2012), no. 816 (with further bibliography). Bieberstein, K., Bloedhorn, H., Grundzüge der Baugeschichte vom Chalkolithikum bis zur Frühzeit der osmanischen Herrschaft (TAVO Beiheft B 100, 1-3; Wiesbaden 1994), vol. 2, 146-147. Flusin, B., "Vie de Pierre l'Ibère", École pratique des hautes études. Section des sciences religieuses 101 (1992-1993), 300. Meimaris, Y., "Δύο επιγραφές της Αυγούστης Ευδοκίας (423 - 460 μ.Χ.) από την Εμμάθα παρά τα Γάδαρα και από τα Ιεροσόλυμα", ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΕΠΙΣΤΕΜΟΝΙΚΟΝ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΙΚΟΝ ΕΚΔΙΔΟΜΕΝΟΝ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΡΙΜΗΝΙΑΝ 54/1 (1983), 394-398. Thomsen, P., "Die lateinischen und griechischen Inschriften der Stadt Jerusalem und ihrer nächsten Umgebung. 1. Nachtrag", Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins 64 (1941), 209-210, no. 18. Kopp, Cl., Grabungen und Forschungen im Heiligen Land 1867-1938 (Cologne: J.P. Bachem, 1939), 135. Vincent, L.H., Abel, F.M. (eds.), Jérusalem: recherches de topographie, d'archéologie et d'histoire, vol. 2: Jérusalem nouvelle, part 4: Sainte-Anne et les sanctuaires hors de la ville (Paris: J. Gabalda, 1926) 743-804 and fig. 343. Thomsen, P., Die lateinischen und griechischen Inschriften der Stadt Jerusalem und ihrer nächsten Umgebung (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1922) 30, no. 18. Hänsler, H., "", Das heilige Land 52 (1908), 200-201. Further reading: Abel, F.M., "", DACL 2358f. Aliquot, J., "Inscriptions de Jérusalem romaine et Byzantine. Àpropos d'un corpus récent", Syria 91 (2014), 427. Garitte, G. (ed.), Le calendrier palestino-géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 (Xe siècle) (Subsidia hagiographica, 30, Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1958). Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie. IV La Palestine", Analecta Bollandiana 69 (1951), 69-70. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1952), 173; (1994), 648; (2015), 711. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 741. Supplementum Epigraphicum Gracecum 8, 192; 43, 1061.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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