IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

T.15. Christian invocation in mosaic

Description: Mosaic floor consisting mainly of roughly square panels which contain representations of birds (including a peacock), fish, animals, flowers and baskets of fruit, the panels being divided from each other by a two-strand guilloche.
Text: Mosaic lettering, contained in a rectangular panel (w: 4.20 x h: 0.18), running across the north end of the mosaic, on the threshhold. This floor was overlaid by the later mosaic, T.16.
Letters: 0.14-0.15; lunate epsilon, sigma and omega; probably a leafy branch at the end.

Date: Fourth to fifth centuries CE

Findspot: Taucheira: Palace Complex in the apsed hall of a possible baptistry or chapel; found by Fathi Mohammed Ali el Abidi
Original location: Findspot.
Last recorded location: Findspot.


((crux)) εἰρήν<η> ἡ εἴϲοδόϲ ϲου ἀρχιιερεῦ ὁ βλέπων ((crux)) ((branch))



English translation

Translation source: Reynolds-Ward-Perkins-Goodchild, 2003

Your entry (?coming) is peace, high priest, who sees (this).


Christian texts from doorways like this one are rare in Libya, but in Syria, where they are quite common, they often invoke a blessing on those passing in or out with goodwill. Here only one entry is mentioned, and the text is, as Dobias-Lalou observed, an adaptation of a question put in several forms to strangers in Old Testament narratives, and specifically of the form in which it is put to the prophet Samuel by the elders of Bethlehem: Kings 1 (1 Samuel) 16.4: εἰρήνη ἡ εἴσοδός σου, ὁ βλέπων. For further discussion see Christian Monuments (cited above), 220-221

Bibliography: Bentaher-Dobias-Lalou, 1999, whence Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique, 2000.746bis, SEG 49.2364; Reynolds-Ward-Perkins-Goodchild, 2003, 218.3, whence Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique, 2004.457, SEG 53.2071.1. Mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 58
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


None available (2020).