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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

Greek votive inscription on a marble altar table, now in the Louvre Museum, commemorating its offering to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Unknown provenance, possibly Syria, the territory of Palmyra (central Syria/Phoenicia Libanensis). Probably 6th c.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

+ ὑπερὶ εὐχῆς Ῥωμανὸς υἱὸς Δανιὴλ κὲ Ἀναστασίου προσφέρι τῇ Θε-
οτόκου Μαρίας ὁρμούμενος ἀπὸ κώμης
Ευαρεων Καδαμων +

'+ As a vow. Romanos, son of Daniel and Anastasios, from the village of Euareia Kadama (?), offers (it) to (the church? or monastery?) of the God-Bearer Mary. +'

Text: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people


A rectangular marble plaque (almost certainly an altar table), broken into 19 conjoining fragments, now in the Louvre. Dimensions of the plaque: W. 0.675 m; L. 1.05 m; Th. 0.012-0.032 m. Dimensions of the inscription: L. 0.40 m; letter height 0.012-0.02 m. The inscription is carved on three sides. The back face is decorated with a carving of a monogram, consisting of a cross, and several letters, certainly Π, Ρ, Ω, and probably Τ.

Acquired by the Museum in 1972, on the antiquities market in Paris. Probably of Syriac origin, the territory of Palmyra, exact provenance unknown. First published in 1996 by Noël Duval and Catherine Metzger with the assistance of Denis Feissel.


The inscription commemorates the offering of the altar table on which it was carved by a certain Romanos. His father's name is Daniel, and his mother's Anastasion - Denis Feissel points out that this is a rare case, when a woman bears a neuter name.

The beneficiary of the offering is a church dedicated to Mary as the God-Bearer. Interestingly, the name of the saint is in the genitive case, but is preceded by the article in the dative form, which apparently refers to the understood word 'church'/ἐκκλησία or 'monastery'/μονή.

The name of the village of the donor is otherwise unattested. Its nominative form is probably Euareia Kadama or Euareis Kadama. The editors recognised the Semitic roots in this Greek name:
hwr / 'white' and qdm / 'old', thus the name of the village might literally mean 'Euareia (the White Village) the old one'. A certain Hawarin/Euareia/Aueria was a bishopric in the territory of Palmyra, and the village of Akadama lay in the same area. Though none of them is likely to be identical with our village, the latter must have been situated in the region, where similar naming habits were used (central or north Syria).

Dating: the editors dated the object to the 6th c., based on the form of letters and contents of the text.


Duval, N., Metzger, C., Feissel, D., "Tables et reliquaires du Louvre", Zbornik Narodnog Muzeja u Beogradu 16 (1996), 311-314, no. 1.

Reference works:
Bulletin épigraphique (1997), 631.

Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 563.

Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 46, 2230; 55, 1929.


Drawing of the plaque; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.

Inscription; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.

Monogram; from: Duval, Metzger & Feissel 1996, no. 1.

Record Created By

Paweł Nowakowski

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristΜαρίαCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Paweł Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E01642 -