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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

Greek inscription on a boundary stone of a church dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found at ar-Raqqah (ancient Kallinikon; Osroene). Dated 590-602.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

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

+ ὥρος ἀσουλία-
ς ἐφιλοτιμη-
σετον τῆς ἁγ-
ίας Μαρίας
ἀκ τῶν εὐσεβε-
στ{υ}ά<τ>ον δεσπ-
ωτõν Μαυρικί(ου)
καὶ Θιαδωσί +

ἐφιλοτιμη|σετον Feissel, ἐφιλοτιμη|σε τόν Jarry

'+ Boundary of the asylum site granted to (the church) of the Holy Mary by the most pious lords Maurice and Theodosi+us.'

Text: Jarry 1968, 63; lightly altered.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Non Liturgical Activity

Seeking asylum at church/shrine
Awarding privileges to cult centres

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family


A stone column shaft. There is no description of the object.

First published with a photograph by Jacques Jarry in 1968. We are grateful to Denis Feissel for providing us with a new reading of lines 2-3.


The inscription marked the boundaries of the refuge zone of a church dedicated to Mary. The spelling of the text is very poor, even for a late antique inscription. Jarry supposes that the stone-cutter must have been a completely illiterate person, as he was unable to properly spell even set formulas, like the titles and names of emperors.

Dating: the date can be established by the occurrence of the names of the emperors Maurice and Theodosius. Their common reign falls in the period 590-602.


Jarry, J., "Inscription gravée sur un fut de colonne", Les Annales Archeologiques Arabes Syriennes 18 (1968), 63-68.

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, E01730 -