Skip to comments.New Inscriptions in Roman City in Israel Shed Personal Light on Early Christians
Posted on 11/27/2022 6:44:55 PM PST by marshmallow
While cleaning one set of Byzantine mosaics in Hippos of the Decapolis, the archaeologists found more mosaics. An unknown bishop, a goldsmithing priest and an anxious couple have come to light
People of yore were deeply religious, it seems – including in Hippos (Sussita) of the Decapolis, a Greco-Roman city perched high above the Sea of Galilee.
No less than seven churches have been found in the city from the early Christian era. Now, four inscriptions newly discovered in one of its ancient churches – the Martyrion of Theodoros, or “Burnt Church” – during the summer 2022 excavation season shed rare personal light on actual people. So say excavation directors Dr. Arleta Kowalewska and Dr. Michael Eisenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, and epigraphist Prof. Gregor Staab of the Institute of Classical Studies at University of Cologne.
Two of the four inscriptions, revealed here for the first time, were exposed by the expedition conservator Yana Qedem while conserving previously found mosaics in the Martyrion. They were quite the surprise.
As the archaeologists were delicately removing dirt of the ages and soot from the conflagration, the colors and images started to show. “Suddenly, two concentric black lines appeared in front of the main portal of the church. We realized there must be an inscription here,” says Jessica Rentz, a doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America and field supervisor of the church area.
Altogether, seven inscriptions have been found in the Martyrion of Theodoros to date, which is a lot, Kowalewska says.
For the first time, we learn names of people in the city. From a mosaic prominently positioned in the entrance hall of the church, for instance, we learn of Megas the “most holy bishop,” who sponsored the main mosaic of his brothers Eusebiοs.....
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
Thanks, good article.
Megas - nice name.
From the article:
“All mosaics mention persons by name who contributed to the construction and mosaic furnishing of the church; and all donations still reveal the pagan ‘do-ut-des’-mentality – which means that a contribution to the ‘sanctuary’ was seen as a donation to God, who is ‘paid in advance’ for the fulfillment of an individual request,” he explains.
I visited a couple of temples in Taiwan. Beautiful old buildings. In front of the various idols there were boxes for offerings to those idols. At the main door outside the temple was a box for donations for the preservation of the building.
I double-checked with my guide/driver that a donation to the building would not get confused as an offering to an idol! (He assured me that it would not!)
From the atrium, the faithful had a spectacular view – better than the other churches offered – of the Sea of Galilee, including all the sites where Jesus is said to have performed his miracles.
Hence, the phrase, "It's Greek to me."..................
I just had a vaudeville flashback...
BUMP for later
Would love to see all the photos; but the entire article won’t load. I’ll try when it’s 3:00 AM in Israel!
Wonderful post. Ridiculous how the author is sneering at the “mediocre” folk art and probable poor neighborhood — sheesh. “What, no gold leaf?”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.