Ramot - ST. GEORGE

Church/Monastery name: 
Ramot - ST. GEORGE
Inscription number: 
Epigraphical corpora: 

SEG 40 (1990): 1481; 53 (2003): 1835

CIIP I.2 (2012): App. 12* (ph.)

Inscription type: 

Findspot: In a room at the northeastern corner of a building identified as an ecclesiastical establishment, on an ancient path leading to Nebi Samwil, one km northeast of a secondary Roman road from Jerusalem to Emmaus; now in the grounds of a yeshivah in Ramot Polin.

Pres. loc.: Destroyed by illegal building.

Physical description : 

The inscription is framed in a tabula ansata with small handles set at the centre (?) of the mosaic pavement of a room whose dimensions are uncertain, for no walls survived above floor level. The white mosaic floor was divided into four sections by black stripes: two rectangles flanking a square that enclosed a smaller square. The central square contained the tabula ansata, the right side of which was missing. A red and white medallion, 34 cm in diameter, featuring a four-tipped star within a double circle, was located immediately below the inscription. On the assumption that this decorative element was set on the axis of the rectangle, the complete width of the tabula ansata can be reckoned to ca. 135 cm. The inscription is oriented to the southeast. The letters were traced in black tesserae on a white background. They belong to the oval alphabet and show some characteristics of a late period: flattened bases and tops, notable serifs. Upsilon slants to the left. The diphthong ΟΥ is often in ligature. A iota with trema in l.9 resembles a tau, and in l.10, a gamma. Stigma is consistently used for καί. An abbreviation and two figures in l.10 are marked with horizontal stroke, while the number in l.11 is unmarked. Μη(νί) is abbreviated with eta over mu. The last line is centred and has a sprig on the left side; probably another sprig filled the blank after the number of the year. Two phonetic peculiarities can be noted: twice upsilon is used instead of iota, and χωρεπίσκοπος is written with a redundant iota.

Meas.: h 125 cm, w ca. 70 cm (max); letters ca. 8 cm.


      Ἐτελειώθη [τὸ πᾶν ἔργον]

      τοῦ ἐνταῦ[θα οἶκου τοῦ μάρ-]

      τυρος Γεωργ[ίου ἐπὶ Θεοδώ-]

4    ρου τοῦ ἁγιωτά[του πατριάρ-]

      χου (καὶ) Θεοδώρου [πρεσβυτέ-]

      ρου (καὶ) χωρ{ι}επισκό[που σπουδῇ]

      (καὶ) προθυμ˹ί˺ᾳ Στ[εφ(άνου) πρεσ-]

8    βυτέρου (καὶ) πάντω[ν τῶν οἰ-]

      κ˹ί˺ων αὐτοῦ ἐν μη(νὶ) Ἰ[ουνίῳ]  
or  Ἰ[ουλίῳ]

      κʹ ἰνδικ(τιῶνος) ιεʹ ἔτους κ(όσμ)ου [κτίσεως]

(sprig) ͵ϛσνδʹ


The whole building of this house here of the martyr George was completed under the most holy patriarch Theodorus and Theodorus, priest and chorepiscopus, by the effort and zeal of Stephanus the priest and all his household, on the 20th of the month of June (or July) of the 15th indiction, in the year 6254 of the creation of the world.


ll.8-9 πάντω[ν συνοι]|κ˹ί˺ων ed.pr.; πάντω[ν τῶν οἰ]|κ˹ί˺ων Feissel (BE);  l.9 μη(νὶ) τ[οῦ--] ed.pr. or Ἰ[ουνίῳ] or Ἰ[ουλίῳ] ed.pr. 319 n.13; Ἰ[ανουαρίου] Feissel, but too long even with ligatures.


This inscription is definitely later that the Muslim conquest; nevertheless it is presented here, due to its importance as evidence for the adoption of the Alexandrian creation era in Jerusalem. Year 6254 of the Alexandrine computation, already used by 6-c. Palestinian writers (e.g., Cyril of Scythopolis), gives a date between 25 March, 762 and 24 March, 763. June or July 762 fell in the 15th indiction. At the time, the patriarch of Jerusalem was Theodorus (cf. Fedalto 1002), whose name fits well in ll.4-5. The inscription indicates that the complex belonged to the Jerusalem Church. Its remains are extremely scanty and poorly preserved: only some walls, looted below the level of the floor, are preserved. The built area was surrounded by 40,000 sqm of farmland bounded by fences that enclosed agricultural installations. The complex should probably be described as a suburban farm, perhaps established to exploit land owned by the Church and manned by monks. The scarcity of finds and the looted state of the building made it impossible to determine whether it existed before the 8 c. – in which case the inscription commemorates a renovation – or was only founded in 762. The former is more likely, judging by the parallel of the coenobium of Ras et-Tawil, northeast of Jerusalem, a Byzantine monastery and farm that continued in use into the 8 c. (Gibson).

Given date: 
day of the month
20 June or July 762

Damaged dated building inscription within a tabula ansata, in the mosaic floor of the northeastern room.

the work was done
Definitions of building/part of building: 
Ecclesiastical titles: 
Epithets of clergy/monks: 
most holy (hagiotatos)
Personal names: 
Theodorus, Stephanus
Kinship terms: 
kin (oikos, diaferontes)
Saints names: 
Epithets of saints: 
Epigraphical formulae: 
own efforts (spoudê, kamatos/kopos)
Epigraphical Abbreviations: 
stigma, horizontal stroke, ΟΥ in ligature, μη(νί)