Khirbet el-Beiyudat - Church

Inscription number: 
1
Selected bibliography: 
265-267, no. 1 (dr.) (ed. pr.)
164-165, no. 1 (ph., dr.)
592-593, no. 203*, figs. 244 A-B (ph., dr.)
19-20, no. 16
Abbreviation for Journals and Series
Epigraphical corpora: 

SEG 40 (1990): 1475

CIIP IV.1 (2018): 2672 (ph., dr.)

Inscription type: 
invocation/prayer
Location: 

In the one of the mosaic intercolumnation between the nave and the southern aisle.

Physical description : 

Cramped, 4-line mosaic inscription set in a small tabula ansata (38 x 108 cm) in the one of the intercolumnations between the nave and the southern aisle. Narrow, angular characters (6-7 cm high) belong to the Byzantine square alphabet pointing to a date in the 5th or very beginning of the 6th century. Abbreviations include horizontal strokes and  inverted stigmas. Text begins with a cross.    

Text: 

☩ Κύ(ριε) βοήθισον τοὺς δούλου(ς) (σοῦ)

Ἀφλεος καὶ Λούκας πρεσβι-

τέρους καὶ Στέφ(ανον) καὶ Σάμα(ιον)

καὶ Ἐλισέος καὶ λ⟨οι⟩
πῶν.

Translation: 

Lord, help (Thy) servants Aphleos and Luke the priests, and Stephen and Sama(ios?) and Elisha and others.

Apparatus: 

L.4 Λύπων (personal name) ed.pr., λυπῶν SEG, λ⟨οί⟩πων Feissel (BE).

Commentary: 

Phonetic spellings and confusion of cases. Personal names left undeclined. The only truly Greek name is (Stephen) Stephanus; Luke is evangelical; Eliseos, a phonetic spelling of Elissaios, is a Hellenized form of the Hebrew Elisha; Aphleos is probably the Arabic name Haphal; the abbrieviated Sama(--) probably stands for Samaios, Sameos, or Samaos, a Greek transliterarion of the Jewish and Arab name Shamai.

Date: 
second half of the 5th cent.?
Summary: 

Invocation of the Lord on behalf of priests and laymen, in the one of the mosaic intercolumnation between the nave and the southern aisle.

Contents
Ecclesiastical titles: 
presbyter
Titles/epithets of patrons/dedicators: 
servant of God
Personal names: 
Aphleus, Eliseus, Lucas, Samaios (?), Stephanus
Epigraphical formulae: 
Lord/Christ, help...
Epigraphical Abbreviations: 
horizonal strokes, inverted stigmas