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E03552: Floor-mosaic with a Greek inscription invoking the blessing of an unspecified saint *Anastasios (S00658). Found at 'Ein Auja, c. 10 km to the north of Jericho (Samaria, Roman province of Palaestina I). Probably late antique.

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posted on 08.08.2017, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
+ ἅγιέ μου Ἀνασ-
τάσι(ε) εὐλόγησον
τὴν πηγὴν ταύτην
κὲ δὸς ὑπομον(ὴν) Ἠλι +

4. possibly δὸς ὑπομονήν +, ὑπομον(ὴν) Ἠλι + Di Segni

'+ My Saint Anastasios, bless this spring and give endurance to Elias! +'

Text: Di Segni in SEG 60, 1719. Translation: A.M. Madden, lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E03552

Saint Name

Anastasius (unspecified) : S00658

Saint Name in Source

Ἀναστάσιος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Jericho 'Ein Auja

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

Jericho Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis 'Ein Auja Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Holy spring/well/river

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

Mosaic panel. Set in the floor at the west end of the nave of a church excavated in 1997 by Hananya Hizmi, Staff Officer for Archaeology in Judea and Samaria. The rest of the carpet mosaic is decorated with images of crosses and birds. First published in a photograph in 2010 by Izchak Magen. A transcription was offered by Leah Di Segni in the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum. Now in the Good Samaritan Museum (sited by the highway connecting Jerusalem to the Dead Sea).

Discussion

The first part of the inscription invokes the blessing of a certain saint Anastasios for a source/πηγή. This may sound strange, but the editor notes that the church was build close to an actual spring. Alternatively, it is possible that the term 'source' is used here as a metaphor for a church or altar, as they were sometimes named 'the source of life' by early Christians. In the second part the saint is asked to give 'endurance' or 'patience' to one Ἠλι, which, according to Di Segni, is probably an abbreviated form of the name Elias. Yet another explanation is that the inscription was carelessly executed by the mosaicist and that ΗΛΙ is actually ΗΝ, the presumably abbreviated ending of the noun ὑπομονή in Di Segni's reading: ΥΠΟΜΟΝΗΝ instead of ΥΠΟΜΟΝ ΗΛΙ. If so, the inscription would read: + ἅγιέ μου Ἀναστάσι(ε) εὐλόγησον τὴν πηγὴν ταύτην κὲ δὸς ὑπομονήν/'My Saint Anastasios, bless this spring and give (it) endurance!'

Bibliography

Edition: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 60, 1719. Magen, Y., The Good Samaritan Museum (Judea and Samaria Publications 23, Jerusalem: Staff Officer of Archaeology - Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, Israel Antiquities Authority, 2010), 218-219. Further reading: Madden A.M., Corpus of Byzantine Church Mosaic Pavements in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Leuven - Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2014), 23, no. 20.

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