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E02868: Greek inscription commemorating the restoration of the Hadrianeum (possibly a shrine of the emperor Hadrian) in Caesarea Maritima (Roman province of Palaestina I) in mid-5th - early 6th c., once wrongly believed to refer to a martyr shrine of *Hadrianos (martyr of Caesarea, S00166).

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posted on 2017-05-31, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
{ἐπὶ Φλ(αουίου)}
ἐπὶ Φλ(αουίου)
Εὐελπιδίου τοῦ
κόμ(ητος) καὶ Ἡλίου,
λαμπρο(τάτου) πατρὸς
τῆς πόλεως
καὶ ἡ βασιλικὴ
μετὰ καὶ τῆς
καὶ τῆς ψηφώσεως
καὶ τῶν βαθμῶν
τοῦ Ἁδριανίου
γέγοναν ἐν ἰνδ(ικτιῶνι) α΄.

'Under Flavios Euelpidios, count (comes) of megaloprepestatos/magnificentissimus rank, and Helios, father of the city (pater tes poleos) of lamprotatos/clarissimus rank, the basilica along with the marble revetment and the mosaic pavement, and the steps of the Hadrianeum were constructed in the 1st indiction. With good fortune!'

Text: CIIP 2, no. 1262. Translation: W. Ameling, adapted.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Adrianos and Euboulos, martyrs in Palestine, ob. 310 : S00166

Image Caption 1

Photograph by Walter Ameling. From: CIIP 2, 210.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements


  • 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 - unspecified

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Renovation and embellishment of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Aristocrats Officials


Grey marble pier with a half-column, probably superimposed by a Corinthian capital which was found next to it. H. 2. 30 m; W. 0.53 x 0.54 m on top; 0.63 x 0.63 m on bottom. Radius of the half-column: 0.26 - 0.30 m. Dimensions of the inscribed field: H. 1.25 m; W. 0.58 m. Letter height 4.5 - 0.1 m (normally 5.5 - 7.5 m). Fine carving except for line 1. First recorded by Joseph Germer-Durand and published by him in 1895. Germer-Durand found it in a pit, to the east of the eastern gate of the crusader city, close to the Byzantine Esplanade. However, Walter Ameling stresses that it need not be the original location of the stone, and therefore also not the site of the shrine commemorated. It is highly probable that the stone was reused with other spolia in a late antique or medieval building. After 1895 the stone was seen by a number of surveyors and reported to have been moved to another location. Now in the Kibbutz Sdot Yam Museum. Revisited and photographed by Walter Ameling in March 2010. For a complete list of editions and different readings, see CIIP 2, no. 1262.


The inscription commemorates the restoration of a public or ecclesial building under one Euelpidios and Helios. The exact date is not specified, but the fact that the latter official is termed 'father of the city' gives the presumption of a date in the later 5th or 6th c. The appearance of Flavios Euelpidios, count (comes) of megaloprepestatos rank, in the dating formula does not help, as that man is otherwise unknown and his actual function is not clear (Ameling, probably rightly, argues that he was a governor of the province, but, for example, Martindale was unsure about his actual status, see PLRE 2, s.v. Euelpidius). To us the most important detail is in line 13, which says that the restoration included 'the steps of the Hadrianeum'. Given the late antique date of the inscription, its first editor, Joseph Germer-Durand, and then Henri Leclercq, argued that it must have been a shrine of the martyr Hadrianos of Batanaea, the companion of Euboulos, condemned to death in the circus and eventually beheaded under the governor Firmilianus in 310 (see: E00305). This identification was refuted, for example by Kenneth Holum and Clayton Lehmann in 2000 in their corpus of inscriptions of Caesarea, and later again by Walter Ameling in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae. Ameling states that 'without any definite proof and without analogies for this kind of word applied to Christian saints (is there an Eusebeion or Pamphileion or Johanneion vel sim.?), it is far more secure to believe that Hadrianeion refers to a former temple or precinct dedicated to the emperor Hadrian, which retained its name in Christian times'. Admittedly, there are no parallels for martyrs' shrines whose designations would have incorporated their personal names, even though such terms as Apostoleion (e.g. E01133; E02597; E02729 and comments to E00716) or Michaelion (e.g. E01624) were in circulation. It is, therefore, indeed more plausible that the inscription refers to a refurbishment of a building somehow connected to a (former?) imperial sanctuary. The location of that Hadrianeum is still not identified and it appears that it is not mentioned by other sources. For a Tiberieum, formerly considered a shrine of the emperor Tiberius but rather a lighthouse named after the emperor and sited in Caesarea, see CIIP 2, no. 1277, and for a Druseum, also a lighthouse in Caesarea, built by Herod, see Flavius Josephus, Bellum Iudaicum 1,412, and Antiquitates Iudaicae 15,336.


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. 1262 (with further bibliography). Lehmann, C.M., and Holum, K.G., The Greek and Latin Inscriptions of Caesarea Maritima (The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima Excavation Reports 5; Boston, Mass.: The American Schools of Oriental Research, 2000), no. 58. Leclercq, H., "", in: Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et liturgie, vol. 6 (Paris: Librarie Letouzey et Ané, 1926), coll. 1962-1963. Germer-Durand, J., "", La Revue biblique 4 (1895), 75-76. Further reading: Di Segni, L., "The involvement of local, municipal and provincial authorities in urban building in late antique Palestine and Arabia", in: The Roman and Byzantine Near East: Some Recent Archaeological Research (Journal of Roman Archaeology. Supplementary Series 14, Ann Arbor, MI: Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1995), 312-313. Eck, W., "[Review:] C. M. Lehmann und Κ. G. Holum, The Greek and Latin Inscriptions of Caesarea Maritima, 2000", Topoi 10 (2000), 542. Haensch, R., "Review of Clayton Miles Lehmann and Kenneth G. Holum, The Greek and Latin Inscriptions of Caesarea Maritima", Scripta Classica Israelica 21 (2002), 325. Holum, K. and others, King Herod's Dream: Caesarea on the Sea (New York, London: Norton, 1988), 179. Levine, L.I., Caesarea under Roman Rule (Leiden: Brill, 1975) 21-22. Sivan, H., Palestine in Late Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 309-310. Turnheim, Y., Ovadiah, A., Art in the Public and Private Spheres in Roman Caesarea: Temples, Architectural Decoration and Tesserae (Rome: G. Bretschneider, 2002), 17. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 714. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 61, 1423.

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