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E04403: Greek inscription invoking the help of the God of a certain Saint *Eglon/Aiglon (possibly the abbot *Aeglon of Sketis, S01514). Found in the apse of the church at Geziret Faraoun/Gezira al-Fir‘aun in the Sinai desert, the Gulf of 'Aqaba (Roman province of Palaestina III). Probably 6th c. or later.

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posted on 2017-11-23, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
Κ(ύρι)ε ὁ θ(εὸ)ς τοῦ ἁγ(ίου) Ἔγλονος,
βοήθεσον τὸν δοῦλόν σου
Νῖλος Μουσέου κ(αὶ) Κάϊκος ̣Μ[- - -]
κ(αὶ) Ἀναστάσ̣ι[ο]̣ς κ(αὶ) παρθένας
σõσον εἰαγ(- - -)· ἀμέν

5. possibly: εἰαγ(εῖς) = εὐαγεῖς, εἰαγ(ούσας) = ἰαχούσας Carrez-Maratray & Wagner

'O Lord, God of Saint Eglon, help your servant Neilos, son of Moses, and Kaikos, son of M[- - -], and Anastasios, and virgins, save, the pious (?) ones! Amen.'

Text: SEG 44, 1365, lightly adapted.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Aeglon, unidentified anchorite and hegumen. : S01514

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

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


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

'Aila/'Aqaba Geziret Faraoun/Gezira al-Fir‘aun

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

'Aila/'Aqaba Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis Geziret Faraoun/Gezira al-Fir‘aun Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Other lay individuals/ people


The inscription is carved into the plaster in the apse of the church at Geziret Faraoun/Gezira al-Fir‘aun. The carved letters are also picked out in paint. Found during the excavations of the church between 1988 and 1990, and first published by Jean-Yves Carrez-Maratray and Guy Wagner in 1994.


It is not clear who this saint Eglon was. The editors point out that this Semitic name occurs in the Septuagint in the form Ἐγλώμ/Eglom, and later is used in the form Ἔγλων/Eglon, and Αἴγλων/Aiglon (probably under the influence of a homophone Greek name). Among prominent Christians, the name was borne, for example, by a pre-Constantinian bishop of Kynopolis in Egypt, and, more importantly, by Saint 'Aiglon of Sketis', an abbot commemorated in the seventh-century Georgian version of the Lectionary of Jerusalem on 14 August (E03349: in the village of Beth Horon), in the Church Calendar of Ioane Zosime on 13 August (E03831) and 14 August (E03832), and in the Synaxarion of the Church of Constantinople (on 16 August, and 17 August). That person is sometimes wrongly identified with Aiglon, a 6th c. abbot of the monastery at Khirbet el-Makhrum near Bethlehem, mentioned in a votive inscription on a floor-mosaic (see SEG 37, 1498: the inscription, however, does not record any cultic activities, and commemorates an offering to God for this Aiglon's and his convent's salvation). The editors suggest that Aiglon of Sketis also appears in the present invocation. Although not implausible, this is, of course still a supposition. Dating: the church, where the inscription was found, was dated by the excavators to the 6th c.


Edition: Carrez-Maratray, J.-Y., Wagner, G. (eds.), in: "On the Church at the Gezira al Fir‘aun in Sinai", Cahiers de recherches de l'Institut de papyrologie et d'égyptologie de Lille 16 (1994), 87-92, no. 1. Further reading: Milik, J.T., "Notes d'épigraphie et de topographie palestiniennes", Revue biblique 67 (1960), 573-574. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1996), 506. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 826. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 44, 1365. For Aiglon of Khirbet el-Makhrum, see also: Corbo, V., Gli scavi di Kh. Siyar el-Ghanam (Campo dei pastori) e i monasteri dei dintorni (Gerusalemme: Tip. dei PP. Francescani, 1955), 152-153. Bulletin épigraphique (1959), 477. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 826. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 37, 1498.

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