Saint NameGeorge, soldier and martyr of Diospolis/Lydda, ob. c. 303 : S00259
Hilarion, anachorite in Palestine and Cyprus (ob. 371) : S00099
Saint Name in SourceΓεώργιος
Image Caption 1Lagrange's drawing. From: CIIP 3, 569.
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after600
Activity not before400
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Palestine with Sinai
Palestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcGaza
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Gaza
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - unspecified
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsBequests, donations, gifts and offerings
SourceStone lintel. H. 0.50 m; W. 1.50 m. Its original location is unknown. Marie-Joseph Lagrange recorded it before 1917, reused in a tomb at Khan Yunis, and published a transcription with a drawing. The stone was reportedly housed in the Musée de Notre Dame de France in Jerusalem, but is probably now lost. A new edition, based on the original drawing and Lagrange's transcription, is offered by Walter Ameling in the third volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae (2014).
DiscussionThe first inscription, positioned horizontally, clearly records an act of thanksgiving to Saint George. As such a text could be put over a doorway of a church or chapel dedicated to the saint, Ameling rejects Lagrange's idea that the inscription comes from a monumental tomb.
The vertical inscription probably begins with the name Hilarion. Based on the drawing, we cannot say if it is complete. Ameling considers the possibility that Saint Hilarion, the great ascetic of nearby Gaza, is invoked here, but in the end he finds it questionable.
Ameling, W., Ecker, A., Hoyland, R. (eds.), Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, vol. 3: South Coast, 2161-2648: A Multi-Lingual Corpus of the Inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad (Berlin - Boston, Massachusetts: De Gruyter, 2014), no. 2560.
Bagatti, B., Ancient Christian Villages of Judaea and the Negev (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 2002), 181, 187 [= Antichi villaggi cristiani della Giudea e del Neghev (Jerusalem: Franciscan Printing Press, 1983)].
Lagrange, M., "", La Revue biblique 26 (1917), 572-573.
Dauphin, C., La Palestine byzantine: peuplement et populations (Oxford: Archaeopress, 1998), 952, no. 25.
Meimaris, Y., Sacred names, saints, martyrs and church officials in the Greek inscriptions and papyri pertaining to the Christian Church of Palestine (Athens: National Hellenic Research Foundation, Center for Greek and Roman Antiquity, 1986), 127, no. 687 [who wrongly gives the edition as Saller, S.J., Bagatti, B., The Town of Nebo (Khirbet El-Mekhayyat): With a Brief Survey of Other Christian Monuments in Transjordan (Jerusalem: Franciscan Press, 1949), 140-141].