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E02840: Clay bread-stamp with Greek inscription invoking the blessing of *Paul (probably the Apostle, S00008), or of one of two martyrs of Caesarea (Paulos, S00164, or Paulos from Yamnia, a companion of *Pamphilos, S00140). Found in Caesarea Maritima (Roman province of Palaestina I), at the site of the presumed 'chapel of St. Paul'. Probably 5th-6th c.

online resource
posted on 2017-05-23, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Round bread-stamp of pinkish-red clay with a pyramidal handle. Diameter 0.104 m; Th. 0.01 m. Width of the handle 0.035 m; thickness of the handle 0.03 m. Broken and lost in the lower left-hand quarter (the photograph shows the object restored). Decorated, before hardening, with a cross with split arms under an arch interpreted by the editors as resting on colonnettes. Below the cross are probably two circles (only one survives) containing similar smaller crosses. The arch is surrounded by a row of dots. The outer sector of the surface is occupied by two bands. The inscription runs on the inner band. Letter height 0.005-0.007 m.

Found in Warehouse I , Area KK 17, locus 12, in a hall at the site of the so-called 'chapel of Paul' within the praetorium at Caesarea Maritima (for a description of this building, see: $E02853). Now in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

First published by Leah Di Segni in 2000. Since then re-published several times by Joseph Patrich, and by Walter Ameling (2011).


εὐλογία Κ(υρίο)υ ἐνφ' ἡμᾶ[ς καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου Π]αύλο(υ)

ΕΝΦ Ameling, ΕΠΦ = ἐ{π}φ Di Segni

'(May the) blessing of the Lord (be) upon us, [and (the blessing) of Saint] Paul.'

Text: CIIP 2, no. 1163. Translation: W. Ameling.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Paulos, martyr in Palestine, ob. 309 : S00164 Pamphilos, martyr of Caesarea, and his companions (including Paolos of Yamnia and Oualēs of Jerusalem) : S00140

Saint Name in Source

Παῦλος Παῦλος Παῦλος

Image Caption 1

From: CIIP 2, 87.

Image Caption 2

Drawing of the hinter side with the handle. From: Di Segni 2000, 397.

Image Caption 3

Plan of the site. From: CIIP 2, 78.

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

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Caesarea Maritima

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

Caesarea Maritima Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Production and selling of eulogiai, tokens

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Distribution of alms

Cult Activities - Relics

Making contact relics Ampullae, eulogiai, tokens Contact relic - other

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Crosses Other


The inscription is a bread-stamp used for the production of eulogiae: small breads distributed to pilgrims, the poor, and other people attending mass (after the completion of the rite). The potter apparently intended to use the common formula εὐλογία Κ(υρίο)υ ἐφ' ἡμᾶς, but for unknown reasons confused the letters in the preposition ('no phonological justification for ἐφ΄ = ἐνφ΄ can be found', says Ameling). Importantly, the formula on the stamp contains a reference to one Paul. He can either be the Apostle (according to Acts 21,15-27,1 imprisoned in the city, in the praetorium, where the stamp was also found), or one of two martyrs of Caesarea (a confessor beheaded on 25 July 309, S00164, or Paulos of Yamnia, a companion of Pamphilos, S01333; cf. E00391). The stamp can possibly be connected with a baking oven, installed in the building at a late date, see CIIP 2, 77. Dating: there is no reliable way to date the object. Based on the shape of the cross Ameling argues for a date after the mid-5th c.


Edition: Ameling, W., Cotton, H.M., Eck, W., and others, Corpus inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae: A Multi-Lingual Corpus of the Inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad, vol. 2: Caesarea and the Middle Coast 1121-2160 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2011), no. 1163 (with further bibliography). Patrich, J., "A Chapel of St. Paul at Caesarea Maritima?", Liber Annuus 50 (2000), 370-371, and Pl. 27,2. Patrich, J., "Warehouses and granaries in Caesarea Maritima", in Raban, A., Holum, K.G., Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after Two Millenia (Leiden – New York: Brill, 1996), 170-172 and Fig. 25. Di Segni, L., "A Chapel of St. Paul at Caesarea Maritima? The Inscriptions", Liber Annuus 50 (2000), 397-399. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1954), 252. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 716. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 50, 1475; 61, 1423.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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