Hyrcania; Kh. Mird; el Mird - CASTELLION

Church/Monastery name: 
Hyrcania; Kh. Mird; el Mird - CASTELLION
Inscription number: 
Selected bibliography: 
33-52 (ed. pr.)
30-56 (phs., drs.) (ed. pr.)
12-13, pl. VII (ph.)
141-143, fig. 73 (ph.)
76-82, no. 70 (in Hebrew)
Abbreviation for Journals and Series
Epigraphical corpora: 

CIIP IV.1 (2018): 3211 (phs., drs.)

Inscription type: 

On the walls of an oval burial cave (4.45×4.8 m, 2-2.5 m high), southwest of the summit.

Physical description : 

Oval burial cave with eight cists (0.84×2 m each), arranged in two rows beneath a white mosaic floor. The four walls of the cave are covered with remains of frescoed figures. Originally there were 36 paintings; 27 were preserved when Mader first saw them. According to Murphy-O’Connor, the cave "was transformed into a chapel in 1925, when the original frescos representing anchorites of the Judaean desert were repainted. The faces have been obliterated by bedouin." According to Wright, "the figures have been continually painted over and it is now no longer possible to detect any trace of work other than modern."


The names of the saints are attached to the paintings. ὁ ἅγιος is always to the left of the head and the personal name to its right. Inscriptions (a)-(e) are located on the west wall; (f)-(o) on the south wall; (p)-(α) on the east wall; (β)-(γ) on the north wall. The numbers on Mader’s drawing correspond to the order presented below. There is an enormous number of graffiti on the walls, most of them in Greek, and a few in Arabic. Most of them are in some way related to one of the larger figures; (c1) means a graffito relating to figure (c) etc.


West wall

(a)  ὁ ἅγι[ος] Εὐθύμιος

(b)  [ὁ ἅγι]ος [--]σιος

(c)  [ὁ ἅγιος] Θαλ[--]

(d)  ὁ ἅγ[ιος] Μαρτύριος

(e)  ὁ ἅγιος [--]ος

South wall

(f)  ὁ ἅγιος Λάζαρος

(g)  ὁ ἅγιος [Β]ασιλεῖος

(h)  ὁ ἅγιος [Ἀρ]σένιος

(i)  ὁ ἅγιος Τιμόθεος

(j)  ὁ ἅγιος Συμέων

(k)  ὁ ἅγιος [--]ος

(l)  ὁ ἅγιος Παλάδιος

(m)  ὁ ἅγιος Ἰωάννες

(n)  ὁ ἅγιος Θεόκτιστος

(o)  ὁ ἅγιο[ς] Γεώ[ρ]γιος ὁ Χοζεβίτ[ης]

East wall

(p)  ὁ ἅγιος Ἀβράμιος

(q)  ὁ ἅγι[ος] Μαρκια[νός]

(r)  ὁ [ἅγι]ος Θεόκτιστος

(s)  ὁ ἅγιος [--]

(t)  ὁ ἅγιος [--]

(u)  ὁ ἅγιος Μακάριος

(v)  ὁ ἅγιος Μωισῆς

(w)  ὁ ἅγιος Θεοδόσι[ος]

(x)  [ὁ ἅγιος] Παῦλ[ος]

(y)  ὁ ἅγιος Στέφα[νος]

(z)  ὁ ἅγιος Ἰσίδω[ρος]

(α)  [ὁ ἅγιος] Ἀρκάδιος

North wall

(β)  ὁ ἅγιος [Ἰωάννης]

(γ)  [ὁ ἅ]γιος Ξενοφῶν

Graffiti above or next to the main figures


(d1)  Ἀγαπητός

(d2)  Ἀθανάσιος μοναχός

(d3)  Πλάτον(?) ἀναχορε[τής]

“Weiter unten mehrere unleserliche Namen, einmal mit dem Epitheton ΜΟΝΑΧΟΣ” (Mader 1937, p. 55)

(m1)  Διόδωρος

(n1)  Δαμ[ιανός?]

(o1)  ΧΑΡΙΣΟΝ μοναχός κοινοβιάρχης

(p1)  Γεώρ[γιος]

(p2)  ΑΝΝΑΣ(?)

(q1)  Κήριλλος


West wall

(a)  The holy Euthymius.

(b)  The holy …sius.

(c)  The holy Thal…

(d)  The holy Martyrius.

(e)  The holy …us.

South wall

(f)  The holy Lazarus.

(g)  The holy Basilius.

(h)  The holy Arsenius.

(i)  The holy Timotheus.

(j)  The holy Symeon.

(k)  The holy …us.

(l)  The holy Paladius.

(m)  The holy Ioannes.

(n)  The holy Theoctistus.

(o)  The holy Georgius of Choziba.

East wall

(p)  The holy Abramius.

(q)  The holy Marcianus.

(r)  The holy Theoctistus.

(s)  The holy …

(t)  The holy …

(u)  The holy Macarius.

(v)  The holy Moses.

(w) The holy Theodosius.

(x)  The holy Paulus.

(y)  The holy Stephanus.

(z)  The holy Isidorus.

(α)  The holy Arcadius.

North wall

(β)  The holy Ioannes.

(γ)  The holy Xenophon.

Graffiti above or next to the main figures

(d1)  Agapetus.

(d2)  The monk Athanasius.

(d3)  Platon(?) anachorite.

(d4)  … monk …

(m1)  Diodorus.

(n1)  Damianus(?).

(o1)  … monk, head of a religious community.

(p1)  Georgius.

(p2)  Annas(?).

(q1)  Cyrillus.


For identification of most of the figures, see Mader 1937.


Three dozens frescos of monastic saints painted on the walls of a burial cave, located at the west end of the southern terrace.

Monastical titles: 
Geographical names: 
Personal names: 
Agapetus, Annas(?), Athanasius, Cyrillus, Damianus(?), Diodorus, Georgius, Platon(?)
Saints names: 
Abramius, Arcadius, Arsenius, Basilius, Euthymius, Georgius, Ioannes, Isidorus, Lazarus, Macarius, Marcianus, Martyrius, Moses, Paladius, Paulus, Stephanus, Symeon, Theoctistus, Theodosius, Timotheus, Xenophon
Epithets of saints: