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E04563: Stone capital with an image of a saint *Damianos (probably the physician and martyr of Syria, companion of *Kosmas, 00385), labelled in Greek. Found at Madba'a near Epiphaneia/Ḥamāh (central Syria). Probably 6th c.

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posted on 2018-01-08, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
In her study of the capitals of Qasr ibn Wardan (sited to the northeast of Ḥamāh) Christine Strube mentions a capital from Madba'a, another village in the territory of Epiphaneia/Ḥamāh.

The capital is decorated with the depiction of a standing man within a medallion. Its front face is damaged, and, therefore, the posture of the man, and his possible attributes are not recognisable. To the right and to the left of the figure, at the edges of the medallion, there is an inscription (scarcely visible in the photograph):

ἅγιος [Δα]μιανός

'Saint Damianos'

Strube suggests, very plausibly, that this is Damianos, the companion of Saint *Kosmas (S00385), and that the church of Madb'a must have been dedicated to Kosmas and Damianos, and could have housed their relics. She compares the present inscriptions with other instances of the occurrence of the two saints in the region E01896 (Kosmas at Deir Nawa), and E01926 (Kosmas and Damianos in Ḥamāh). See also: E01966 (Kosmas at Umm Hartayn). Strube notes that the capitals of Qasr ibn Wardan also show non-labelled depictions of two similar standing figures holding crosiers and probably orbs, possibly Archangels.

Dating: Strube dates the capital to the 6th c., on stylistical grounds.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Kosmas and Damianos, brothers, physician martyrs of Syria : S00385

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements Images and objects - Sculpture/reliefs


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Ḥamāh Madba'a

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

Ḥamāh Thabbora Thabbora Madba'a Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Public display of an image


Edition: Strube, Ch., "Die Kapitelle von Qasr ibn Wardan", Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 26 (1983), 73. Reference works: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 33, 1258.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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