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E02819: Bronze disk with a Greek dedicatory inscription to *Mary and Martha of Bethany (followers of Jesus and sisters of Lazarus, S01326). Found on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem (Roman province of Palaestina I). Late antique.

online resource
posted on 2017-05-18, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Bronze disk enclosing a cross with curling ends. Diameter of the disk: 0.13 m.

The object was found on the east slope of the Mount of Olives. First published by Joseph Germer-Durnad in 1892. Recently republished by Leah Di Segni in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae (2012). Now probably lost. Di Segni notes that it formerly belonged to the collection of the archimandrite Antonin.

Inscription 1 (on the inner cross):


'Light, Life.'

Inscription 2 (on the rim):

ἁγία Μαρία (καὶ) Μάρθα, προσδέξε τὴν καρποφορίαν ὧν Κ(ύριο)ς γινόσκι

'Saint Maria and Martha, accept the offering of those whose (names) the Lord knows!'

Text: CIIP 1/2, no. 1084. Translation: L. Di Segni.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Maria and Martha of Bethany, sisters of Lazarus : S01326

Saint Name in Source

Μαρία, Μάρθα

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Bethany Jerusalem

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

Bethany Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Crosses Ex-votos


The addressees of the dedication, asked to accept it, are Mary and Martha, certainly the friends of Jesus and sisters of Lazarus (see Luke 10.38:42; John 11.1:44). The biblical story places their house in Bethany, so very close to the Mount of Olives where the disk was found. Di Segni supposes that the disk was donated to one of 'two holy places in Bethany and its vicinity ... dedicated to the memory of Mary and Martha', but she does not name them. For an inscription from Izra/Zorava near Bostra (province of Arabia), supposedly mentioning Maria and Martha, see E02114. Dating: the formulae and the shape of letters point to a date in Late Antiquity, possibly in the 6th or 7th c.


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. 1084. Germer-Durnad, J., "Epigraphie chrétienne de Jérusalem", La Revue biblique 1 (1892), 587-588, no. 54.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity