Khirbet Ein Samiyye - Church

Inscription number: 
Selected bibliography: 
237-238, fig. 3 (ph.) (ed. pr.)
275-276 (dr.)
VIII (1924), 88-93
581-584, no. 200, figs. 241 A-B (drs.)
Abbreviation for Journals and Series
Inscription type: 

Column drum, brought to the Municipal Museum of Jerusalem from Ein Samiyeh in 1907, now lost.

Physical description : 

A limestone column drum broken at both ends, 33 cm in diameter, 104 cm high, bore a 9-line inscription, badly weathered and legible only with difficulty, especially on the right side. The inscribed surface was 83 cm high; the surviving length of the lines varied from 40 to 60 cm: at least three or four letters were missing at the end of each line. The characters were 5-8 cm high.


      Ἐπὶ τοῦ δεσπ[(ότου) ἡμῶν]

      Εὐστοχίου τοῦ ἁ[γιωτ(άτου)]

      π(ατριάρχ)ου (καὶ) τοῦ εὐσεβεσ[τ(άτου) βασι-]

4    λέος Ἰουστινια[νοῦ]

      ἔτ(ους) λ´ ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ε´ π[ρονοίᾳ]

      Σέρ⟨γ⟩ου περιοδ[ευτοῦ]


8    Σεργίου Ζ[ον]ή[νου? (καὶ)]

      Ἐπι[φανίου - - - ]


In the time of [our] master, the most holy patriarch Eustochius, and in the 30th year of the most pious emperor Justinian, in the 5th indiction, by the care of Sergas the periodeutes, by the offering of Sergius (son) of Zonenos and of Epi[phanius (?) son of ... ]


L.1 Ἐπὶ τοῦ δεσπ(ότου) Abel, Ἐπὶ τοῦ δε - - Clermont-Ganneau, I prefer δεσπ[(ότου)] abbreviated, leaving room for ἡμῶν; ll.2-3 τοῦ ἀ(ρχιεπισκό)|που Abel, τοῦ ἀ[γιω(τάτου)| π(ατριάρχ)ου Clermont-Ganneau; ll.5-6 ἔτ(ους) λ´ ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ε´ - π[ρονοία] Σερ(γ)ίου Abel, ἔτ(ους) λ´ ἰνδ(ικτιῶνος) ε´ π[ρονοίᾳ Εὐ|σε⟨β⟩ίου or Σερ(γ)ίου Clermont-Ganneau; ll.7-9 καρποφο(ρήσ)α(ντος)| Σεργίου Ζ - Η - | ἐπι(σκόπου) - - Abel, καρποφο[ρούτων]| Σεργίου, Ζ . . ΙΠȣ = Ζ[ωσ]ι⟨μ⟩ου [καὶ ?]| Ε⟨υτ⟩[υχίου ?] Clermont-Ganneau; l.9 ΕΠΙ Abel, ΕΤΙ - - Clermont-Ganneau.


The 30th year of Justinian's reign fell in 556/7, from 1 April, if counted from his coronation as co-emperor, or from 1 August, when he became sole emperor. The fifth indiction began on 1 September 556. Eustochius, former steward (οἰκονόμος) of the Church of Alexandria, was appointed patriarch of Jerusalem by Justinian in 552/3. The mention of his name indicates that the village was within the boundaries of the bishopric of Jerusalem. Also, it shows that the column belonged to a religious building, presumably a basilica church. Since no hegumen is mentioned in the inscription, this was probably not a monasterty church but a newly built parochial church, erected to serve the local Christians.

Given date: 

Nine-line Inscription on a broken limestone column drum.

Ecclesiastical titles: 
Epithets of clergy/monks: 
master (despotes)
most holy (hagiotatos)
Titles/epithets of patrons/dedicators: 
pious (eusebes)
Personal names: 
Epiphanius (?), Eusochius, Iustinianus, Sergas, Sergius, Zonenos (?)
Epigraphical formulae: 
offering (prosphorá/karpophoria)
Epigraphical Abbreviations: 
stigma, lifted letters