ბ. ბეთლემისა გზასა სამსა მილიონსა, კათეზმას, სატფური ეკლესიისაჲ, და მ(ა)რ(ია)მ მეგჳპტელისაჲ .::., და ამბაკუმ წ(ინაჲს)\წ(არმეტ)ყ(უე)ლისაჲ.
2 December. On the third mile on the road to Bethlehem, in Kathesma, dedication of the church and Mary of Egypt and Prophet Habakkuk.
Text: Garitte 1958, 107-113; Electronic text: Gippert 2017, http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcg/cauc/ageo/liturg/iozosca2/iozos.htm (26.12.17); Translation: N. Aleksidze.
Saint NameMary of Egypt : S00903
Habakkuk, the Old Testament prophet : S01268
Saint Name in Sourceმარიამ მეგჳპტელი
Type of EvidenceLiturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after900
Activity not before500
Activity not after900
Place of Evidence - RegionPalestine with Sinai
Palestine with Sinai
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcJerusalem
Mar Saba Monastery
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Jerusalem
Mar Saba Monastery
Major author/Major anonymous workCalendar of Ioane Zosime
Cult activities - Liturgical Activity
Cult activities - Festivals
SourceThe Calendar and its Author
The author of the Calendar is the 10th century Georgian monk Ioane Zosime. Zosime is mostly known as a scribe, with numerous autograph manuscripts written by him surviving on Mount Sinai. Ioane Zosime spent his life in Mar Saba Monastery near Jerusalem, but all his surviving manuscripts are currently preserved in St Catherine's Monastery of Sinai.
The Calendar is one of Zosime's most important achievements. Compiled at the Mar Saba Monastery in 956, it survives on Mount Sinai in a single 10th century Georgian manuscript in the author's own hand. The Calendar is part of a compendium called Iadgari (an early collection of chants) and is entitled as follows: 'Iadgari chants, where all feasts are described, both new and old, in fullness, and twelve months in fullness, in Georgian and Sabacminduri [according to the St Saba monastic tradition], and complete chronikon.' Ioane Zosime entitles the Calendar Synaxarion.
The importance of the Calendar rests in the fact that it is predominantly based on late antique calendars from the Holy Land, and thus provides us with invaluable information concerning the cult of saints, cultic practices, and the saint-related topography of late antique Jerusalem. The Calendar consists of feasts of the saints, and of other fixed feasts of the Church, from 1 January to 31 December. An unusual characteristic of the Calendar is that it starts the liturgical year on 1 January, instead of 25 December, as all other calendars do. It provides us with information that does not survive in the Greek-language tradition and is equally absent in other eastern traditions, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic.
Ioane Zosime provides a colophon in which he enumerates the sources of his calendar. These are:
1. 'The Canon': this is normally identified as the Lectionary of the Church of Jerusalem, which has survived in Georgian, and which is fully incorporated in our database. The 'Canon', according to Zosime, is the basis of his calendar, which he further augmented and amplified from three other sources (listed below).
2. Calendar of Jerusalem : This must refer to traditions and feasts local to the monasteries of Jerusalem and its environs.
3. Calendar of St Saba Monastery : This component is understandable as Zosime was a monk of Mar Saba. The liturgical typikon of Mar Saba was particularly prominent throughout the eastern Christian world in the 6th to 9th centuries.
4. Greek calendar : These feasts have been collected from Byzantine liturgical books and synaxaria, and in most cases have clearly been added to the manuscript by Ioane Zosime at a later date, and are thus easily identifiable. The Greek liturgical tradition was introduced into Palestine only from the 8th century onwards, so the feasts and commemorations Zosime derived from the 'Greek Calendar' constitute the latest material within his work and date primarily to the iconoclast period (just outside the primary focus of our database).
Therefore, as Garitte points out, the Calendar of Ioane Zosime is a unique document, in that it reflects the transitional era in the commemorative practices of the Holy Land, when the old Palestinian commemorations were augmented, but not yet replaced, by Byzantine ones.
The Calendar in our database:
The Calendar has been published twice, first by K. Kekelidze in 1957, and a year later by G. Garitte. Garitte's Le Calendrier Palestino-Géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 remains the most important and exhaustive study of the Calendar. Most of the identifications of saints given in our database are those suggested by Garitte, save those identifications that have been discovered, or corrected, through searching other material in the database. With a few changes, the database essentially follows Garitte's translation and interpretations.
The Georgian text is quoted from the TITUS electronic edition, based on Garitte's. In those rare instances where Kekelidze's and Garitte's readings differ, the Georgian text follows Garitte's edition, or, in cases where Garitte's reading is no more convincing than Kekelidze's, both variant readings are provided, since this could be important for identification purposes.
Note on translation and identification of the named saints:
The names of saints in the Calendar are normally in the genitive in the original Georgian, implying an omitted 'commemoration of'. However, they are here consistently translated into the nominative. The names of saints are corrected when the mistakes are very obvious; in other instances, a tentative identification is offered in square brackets. When a saint's name appears without further qualification, and it is impossible to know which saint of the same name is referred to, the evidence is tentatively linked to an homonymous saint with prominent cult.
Garitte, G. (ed.), Le Calendrier Palestino-Géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 (Xe siècle) (Subsidia Hagiographica 30; Brussels: Societé des Bollandistes, 1958).
Kekelidze, K. (ed.) იოანე ქართველის კალენდარი [The Calendar of Ioane the Georgian], in: Etiudebi 5, 248-294 (Tbilisi: Georgian Academy of Sciences, 1957).
Gippert, J. (ed.) იოანე ზოსიმეს კალენდარი. [The Calendar of Ioane Zosime]. On the basis of the edition in G. Garitte, Le Calendrier Palestino-Géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 (Xe siècle), electronically prepared by Sopio Papiashvili, Tbilisi 2017; TITUS version by Jost Gippert, Franfurt a/M, 24.9.2017.
Buchinger, H., "Das Jerusalemer Sanctorale: Zu Stand und Aufgaben der Forschung," in: M. Barnard, P. Post, and E. Rose (eds.), A Cloud of Witnesses: The Cult of Saints in Past and Present (Liturgia Condenda 18; Leuven: Peeters, 2005), 97-128 (GL on pp. 110-113).
Froyshov, S., “The Georgian Witness to the Jerusalem Liturgy: New Sources and Studies,” in: B. Groen, S. Hawkes-Teeples, and S. Alexopoulos (eds.), Inquiries into Eastern Christian Worship: Selected Papers of the Second International Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy Rome, 17-21 September 2008 (Leuven: Peeters, 2012), 227-69.
Galadza, D., Liturgy and Byzantinisation in Jerusalem (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Galadza, D., "The Jerusalem Lectionary and the Byzantine Rite," in: B. Groen, D. Galadza, N. Glibetic, and G. Radle (eds.) Rites and Rituals of the Christian East (Eastern Christian Studies 22; Leuven: Peeters, 2014), 181–199.
Garitte, G., Le Calendrier Palestino-Géorgien du Sinaiticus 34 (Xe siècle) (Brussels: Societé des Bollandistes, 1958).
Kekelidze, K. Иерусалимский Канонарь [The Canonbook of Jerusalem] (Tbilisi: Losaberidze, 1912).
Verhelst, S., "La liturgie de Jérusalem à l'époque byzantine. Genèse et structure de l'année liturgique." PhD Dissertation, Jerusalem, 1999.
Verhelst, S., "Les lieux de station du lectionnaire de Jérusalem. 1ère partie: Les villages et fondations," Proche-Orient chrétien 54 (2004), 13-70.
Verhelst, S., Les traditions judéo-chrétiennes dans la liturgie de Jérusalem, spécialement la Liturgie de saint Jacques Frère de Dieu (Leuven: Peeters, 2003).
Verhelst, S., "The Liturgy of Jerusalem in the Byzantine Period," in: O. Limor and G. Stroumsa (eds.), Christians and Christianity in the Holy Land: From the Origins to the Latin Kingdom (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006), 421-462.