Saint NameAnastasius (unspecified) : S00658
Saint Name in SourceἈναστάσιος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)
Evidence not before450
Evidence not after700
Activity not before450
Activity not after700
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Palestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcJericho
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Jericho
Cult activities - PlacesHoly spring/well/river
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
SourceMosaic 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).
DiscussionThe 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!'
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.
Madden A.M., Corpus of Byzantine Church Mosaic Pavements in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Leuven - Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2014), 23, no. 20.