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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 from a boundary stone marking the asylum of a church/oratory (eukterios oikos) dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found at Anğarr, near el-Maṣna and Heliopolis/Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley (east Lebanon/southwest Phoenicia). Probably 6th c.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

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

ὅροι ἀσυλείας
τῷ εὐκτηρίῳ
οἴκῳ τῆς δεσποί-
νης ἡμῶν τῆς ἁγ(ίας)
ἐνδοξ(οτάτης) Θεοτόκου
κ(αὶ) ἀειπαρθήνου
Μαρίας ἐκ τῶν εὐ-
σεβεστάτων καὶ
φιλοχρίστων ἡ-
μῶν δεσποτῶν

'+ Boundaries of the asylum, awarded to the church (
eukterios oikos) of Our Lady, the Holy and Glorious God-Bearer (Theotokos) and forever Virgin Mary, by our most pious and Christ-loving emperors.'

IGLS 6, no. 2984.

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 column situated in front of the Ummayad palace at Anğarr near el-Maṣna (implausibly identified by the editor as Chalcis sub Libano, see: SEG 33, 1252). There is no published description.

Seen and photographed by Maurice Chéhab and transcribed based on his photograph by Henri Seyrig. The transcription was published by Jean-Paul Rey Coquais in 1967.


The inscription marked the boundaries of the asylum of a sanctuary dedicated to Mary. In lines 8-11 we have a reference to unnamed emperors who granted this right of asylum to the said shrine. Other dated boundary stones from the East were usually authorised by 6th c. emperors. Therefore, it is probable that also our inscription dates from the same period.


Rey-Coquais, J.-P., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 6: Baalbek et Beqa’: nos. 2711-3017 (BAH 78, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1967), no. 2984 and Plates L, LI.

Reference works:
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 33, 1252.


Photograph. From: IGLS 6, Pl. L.

Photograph. From: IGLS 6, Pl. LI.

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, E01954 -