SEG 65 (2015): 1769 (ed. pr.)
In a room (5 × 3.7 m) west of the prayer hall, with a crypt (found empty) in its center. The entrance to the room was through the southern wall.
Three-line bilingual (Greek and Christian Palestinian Aramaic) mosaic inscription. The mosaic includes a geometric design that could have been viewed from the entrance. The inscription on the other hand, set adjacent to the eastern wall, is set within the ‘border’ of the mosaic, and was to be seen and read when standing facing east. The inscription was laid inside a rectangular framework of 2.5 × 0.65 m. The Greek part of the inscription occupies the entire two first rows and a third of the third row. The CPA portion of the inscription occupies two thirds of the last row, beginning in the right-lower corner of the rectangle, and its composers had compelled to adjust the text to the remaining space following the ending of the Greek part in this shared row. It can be clearly seen that the CPA text was executed by two different hands, each of them composing three words. The abrupt diminution of the letters’ size after the third word should not by any means be interpreted as a consequence of the awareness of a unique writer that there is insufficient room for three other words executed in the size of the first three. (Vainstub–Sokoloff–Varga)
✲ Ἐγένετο τὸ ἔργον τοῦτω ἐπὶ
τοῦ θεοσεβ(εστάτου) Ἱλαρίωνος ἡγου(μένου) μη(νὶ) Ἀπελ(λαίου)
ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ιεʹ ἔτου⟨ς⟩ τϙζʹ. הדן ו תרעה דמרא. צדיקיא יעולון בגוה
Greek: This work was done under the most God-loving Hilarion abbot in the month of Apellaios of the 15th indiction, year 397.
CPA: This is the gate of the Lord. The righteous will enter within it. (Ps 117 :20)
Apellaios of the year 398 (rather than 397) of the era of Eleutheropolis corresponds to November-December 596 AD, which fell on the 15th indiction, but discrepancies between year and indiction are rather common, and it is possible that whoever dictated the inscription had forgotten that a new year had just started.
Bilingual Greek / Syriac mosaic inscription in a room west of the prayer hall, Nov./Dec. 596.