Ghor-Es-SafiGrey Sandstone

Ghor Es-Safi (Byzantine Zoora), Palaestina Tertia

Byzantine period

15th March, 456 CE (Thursday)

Length- 40 cm, width- 30 cm, thickness- 8 cm, height of letters- 1.2-2.1 cm

Published- Meimaris and Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou 2005- no. 205.

Translation of the Greek text-

“One (is) the God. Monument of Maron, (son) of Kaioumos, who died having a good name (at the age) of 20 years, in (the) year 350, on (the) 30th of (the) month Dystros, on (the) 5th day of (the) Lord (Thursday). Be of good cheer, no one (is) immortal.” (translation of Meimaris and Kritikakou-Nikolaropoulou).

This unfortunately damaged funeral monument was probably rectangular in its original shape [see no. 85). The epitaph has also suffered from chiselling. The strange anomaly of this text is the unexpected chiselling of the first line “One (is) the God”. A cross-shaped frame encloses the epitaph. The incised letters are majuscules. At the end of the transverse arm of the cross is a palm branch and below the last line of the text, a cross is depicted flanked by two birds. A chi-sign is depicted in the centre of the cross. Starting with the first line, the letters in every other line are outlined in red. Both birds are outlined in red. Due to damage, the bottom of the cross which outlines the text and drawings, including the lower half of the bird to the right, is missing. FV

Joan Goodnick Westenholz. Three Faces of Monotheism. Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, 2007. pp. 142-143.