Khirbet Banaya (Hazor Ashdod) - Church

Inscription number: 
Selected bibliography: 
209, no. 1047 (a); 193, 216, nos. 965, 1076 (b)
68, no. 93 (ed. pr.)
474-475, no. 137
74, no. 92
46-49, no. 3, figs. 5-7 (phs.)
Abbreviation for Journals and Series
Epigraphical corpora: 

SEG 37 (1987): 1469 C

CIIP III (2014): 2315 (ph.)

Inscription type: 

Findspot: In the mosaic floor of the hall abutting the north side of the church.

Pres. loc.: IAA inv. no. 1957-1347/2 (damaged).

Physical description : 

A long mosaic inscription. Its two lines (marked A and B for the sake of convenience) ran along the eastern border of the floor’s westernmost carpet: a geometrical panel enclosing at its center a large cross in a round medallion, with Inscription no. 4 arranged between its arms. Another large cross, flanked by two birds, surmounts the inscription. A rectangular frame of black and orange tesserae, 430×45 cm, encloses the text, and a similar line separates the two lines of script. The south end of the frame is broken, but an old photograph, taken at the time of the discovery, shows the remains of the frame on the right-hand side and proves that no letters were lost. The characters, in black tesserae, are square, except for the omicron, which is mostly round, and a phi in l. 1. The letters in line A are mostly of equal height, 9–10 cm, but several of the iotas and omicrons, as well as an omega, are smaller (down to 6 cm) and floating above the line. In the abbreviated word ἁγιωτ(άτου), the tau is small and overhanging the omega. In line B, the height of the characters is less regular. Stigma is used to mark abbreviations, as well as a small horizontal stroke above the last letter, ypsilon, of the truncated ἔτου(ς) at the end of line A. The numerals are also marked with an overhanging horizontal stroke. Each line begins with a Greek cross, and in the name Ἀντωνίου in line A the last ypsilon is cut across by a horizontal line so that it appears monogrammed with a cross.


(a)  ☩ Ἐπὶ τ(οῦ) θεοσεβ(εστάτου) καὶ ἁγιωτ(άτου) ἡμῶν ἐπισκ(όπου) Ἀντωνίου ἡ ψήφωσις ἐγένετο ιχ´ ἔτου(ς).

(b)  ☩ Ἐπὶ τ(οῦ) θεοσεβ(εστάτου) πρεσβ(υτέρου) καὶ χωροεπισκ(όπου) Καλαποδίου καὶ Ἑρενίου τοῦ θεοσεβ(εστάτου) πρ(εσβυτέρου).


(a)  Under the most God-fearing and most holy Antonius our bishop the mosaic was made in year 610.

(b)  Under the most God-fearing priest and chorepiscopus Calapodius and Herennius the most God-fearing priest.


Year 610, according to the era of Ascalon, corresponds to 506/7 CE.

(For a discussion on the importance of the inscription to the dating and development of the church, see Di Segni 2019).

Given date: 

Dated building inscription mentioning clergy, in the mosaic floor of the hall abutting the north side of the church, 506/7.

the work was done
Definitions of building/part of building: 
psephosis,psephotheteia (mosaic)
Ecclesiastical titles: 
Epithets of clergy/monks: 
God-fearing (theosebes, theotimetos)
most holy (hagiotatos)
Personal names: 
Antonius, Calapodius, Herennius
Epigraphical Abbreviations: 
stigmas, small overhanging tau in ἁγιωτ(άτου), small horizontal stroke in ἔτου(ς), overhanging horizontal stroke for numerals