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E01651: Floor-mosaic showing a church, labelled 'of Saint Stephen' (certainly the First Martyr, S00030). Found in a church at Kapropera/El Bāra in the territory of Apamea on the Orontes (central Syria). Probably mid-6th c.

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posted on 22.06.2016, 00:00 by erizos
Fragmentarily preserved panel in the floor-mosaic of the north aisle of Church E.5 at El Bāra. Church E.5 was a richly decorated, three-aisled basilica, one of the latest churches built at the site in Late Antiquity (probably mid-6th c.). The mosaic is situated in front of the east entrance. Framed by a braid-like pattern.

The mosaic shows the south side of a church with apse, three aisles, including the nave with seven upper windows, and with four towers at the corners topped by conical roofs. The south wall is presented as a colonnade; between the columns there are three doors. The central door is closed; the right- and left-side doors are open, but partially covered by curtains.

The label is situated above the roof, between the two north towers:

τοῦ ἁγίου Στεφάνου

'Of Saint Stephen'

At the west end of the aisle, another preserved fragment of the mosaic bears the inscription:


Text: Fourdrin 1992.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Images and objects - Wall paintings and mosaics



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Apamea on the Orontes Kapropera/El Bāra

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Apamea on the Orontes Thabbora Thabbora Kapropera/El Bāra Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Public display of an image


First published by Jean-Pascal Fourdrin in 1992. There is no description of the dimensions of the mosaic.


The depicted church differs from Church E.5, where the mosaic was found, therefore it is almost certainly another, still unidentified, sanctuary.


Edition: Fourdrin, J.-P., “Église E.5 d'El Bāra”, Syria 69 (1992), 171-210. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 633. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 42, 1350.

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