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Hura, 324 - 638 CE. Mosaic. Dedication.


ἐπὶ τοῦ θεοφιλεστάτου Ἠλία πρεσβυτέρου καὶ ἡγουμένου ἐτελιόθη τοῦτο τὸ ἔργον ἐν μηνὶ Γορπέου κζ́ ἰνδικτιόνος ά εὐξάμενος ὑπὲρ Ἀναστασίου ψιχῆς


Under the most god-loving Elias the priest and abbot this work was completed on the 27th of the month of Gorpiaios, in the first indiction, by a vow, for Anastasios’ soul.



Terminus post quem:
Terminus ante quem:
The date of this inscription is Gorpaios 27, that is, September 14. The script contains a number of spelling errors, which are a common phenomenon in Byzantine-period inscriptions: ἐτελιόθη instead of ἐτελιώθη, Γορπέου instead of Γορπιαίου and ψι(χῆς) instead of ψυ(χῆς). A hegumen was the superior of a monastery. Beginning in the fifth century CE, it became customary for hegumens to be presbyters, and the two terms often refer to the same person in the inscriptions from monasteries in Palestine (Meimaris 1986:239–240, Nos. 1204, 1205, 1213, 1215–1218, 1220–1222, 1226–1232). The phrase ὑπὲρ Ἀναστασίου ψι(χῆς) refers to the consecration of a contribution toward the salvation of Anastasios’ soul. In Byzantine-period inscriptions from the Near East, the expression ὑπὲρ σωτηρίας, ‘for the salvation,’ is followed by the names of living or dead people, sometimes explicitly indicating whether the named individuals are living or deceased, as for instance in the basilica at Ḥorbat Be’er Shema‘ (SEG 46, Nos. 2004; 2006; Madden 2014:43–45). The souls are usually referred to in funerary contexts (e.g., SEG 37, No. 1484; 43, No. 1020; 53 No. 1856; 56, Nos. 1978–1979; 57, No. 1816), but in some cases the term ψυχαί is used to denote the souls of the living, as for instance in the mosaic inscriptions from Ḥorbat Ḥadat (SEG 37, No. 1497 [fifth–sixth century CE]) and Khirbat ed-Deir (SEG 37, No. 1496 [sixth century CE]; Hirschfeld 1999). Several inscriptions from Syria, including ones appearing on mosaic panels in churches, commemorate contributions ‘for the resting of the soul:’ ὑπὲρ ἀναπαύσεος ψυχῆς (SEG 60, Nos. 1652 [fourth/mid-fifth CE]; 1678 [seventh century CE]). A noteworthy parallel for the Ḥura inscription is a mosaic medallion in one of the ‘cells of Choziba,’ a religious recluse adjacent to the coenobium of St. Georges’ monastery at Wadi el-Qilt, founded in the fifth century CE. The Wadi el-Qilt inscription refers to ‘the salvation and deliverance’ (ὑπὲρ σωτ[ηρία]ς καὶ ἀν[αλή]μψεως) of ‘donors and past-donors’ (τῶν καρ[ποφο]ρησάντων κα[ὶ καρ]ποφο[ρο]ύν[των]), whose names ‘the Lord knows’ (Patrich 1990:216, Fig. 14), while its decorated frame contains the words φῶς ζωής, ‘the light of life.’ This text presumably relates to both deceased and living donors. It can thus be deduced that Inscription 3 refers to a contribution for the construction of the monastery, made either by Anastasios, anxious about the salvation of his soul when still alive, or another person concerned with Anastasios’ soul after his demise. A parallel for the phrase ὑπὲρ … ψυχῆς, for [a person’s name] soul, is found in an inscription from a Christian basilica in Macedonia (SEG 33, No. 508 [fifth–sixth centuries CE]): ὑπὲρ τῆς ψυχῆς Ἀρτεμίας ἐποίησεν Θεόδωρος



H: —; W: —; D: —


324 CE to 638 CE

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  • elaborate mosaic carpet around inscription

  • intricate square frame around inscription


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Satlow, Michael L., ed. 2002 - . “Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine.” Brown University.

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"Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine," HURA0003, 22 February 2024.