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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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

'Tessera' with a labelled depiction of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and the Christ Child. Found near Beroia/Aleppo (central Syria). Possibly late antique.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects

Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens

Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.)

Images and objects - Representative images

Literary - Magical texts and amulets

A black stone 'tessera'. Diameter: 0.022 m (which seems implausibly small). There is no published image. First published by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1929, from a copy by Sébastien Ronzevalle.

Decorated with a depiction of Mary with nimbus, covered with a veil. She is seated in a large throne with its top decorated with crosses. The Christ Child is shown in the middle.

The image is labelled with a scarcely legible inscription on the right-hand side of the object:

μήτ[ηρ θεοῦ]/'Mother [of God]'

IGLS 1, no. 217.

Use of Images

Private ownership of an image

Non Liturgical Activity

Saint as patron - of an individual

Cult Related Objects

Ampullae, flasks, etc.


The editors suggest that another label could have been placed on the left-hand side.

Dating: The editors say nothing about the possible date of the object. Given the lack of any image, we cannot say whether it is of a late antique or middle Byzantine date.


Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 1: Commagène et Cyrrhestique (BAH 12, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1929), no. 217.

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, E01781 -