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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek dedicatory inscription with probably an invocation of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found at Šeiḥ Sleimān/Shekh Slēmân in the Limestone Massif (north Syria, between Antioch-on-the-Orontes and Beroia/Aleppo). Dated 519/520.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

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

ἔτους ηξφ΄ μή(τηρ) θε(οῦ) σόσον

'In the year 568. O Mother of God, save (me/us)!'

Text: Jarry 1967, no. 88.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings
Construction of cult buildings


A stone block. H. 0.3 m; W. 0.74 m; Th. 0.18 m; letter height 0.06 m. Found by Georges Tchalenko in 1963 (copy, photograph, squeeze). First published by Jacques Jarry in 1967, with permission of the Institut français de Beyrouth.


If Jarry's reading is correct, this might be the dedicatory inscription of an unnamed structure, rather than simply a dated invocation. It is possible that the stone was once a lintel of this building.

Dating: Jacques Jarry supposes that the date, the year 568, was calculated according to the era of Antioch (= the Caesarian era), which corresponds to AD 519/520.


Jarry, J., "Inscriptions arabes, syriaques et grecques du massif du Bélus en Syrie du nord [avec 42 planches]", Annales islamologiques 7 (1967), no. 88.

For photographs from the site, see:
Emma Loosley, “Sheikh Sulaiman C5th church,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 12, 2016,

Emma Loosley, “Sheikh Sulaiman C6th church,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 12, 2016,

Emma Loosley, “Sheikh Sulaiman church dated 602,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed August 12, 2016,

Record Created By

Paweł Nowakowski

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Paweł Nowakowski, Cult of Saints, E01671 -