The Emperor and Abbot Build Jerusalem | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem



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פסיפס ובו כתובת הקדשה ביוונית ירושלים, 551 לספירה, אבן וטיח

The Emperor and Abbot Build Jerusalem

Special Exhibit

  • Curators: David Mevorach and Rachel Caine-Kreinin
  • Designer: Michal Aldor
  • The Holy Land Gallery

This Greek inscription is from a mosaic floor uncovered near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. It reads: “In the time of our most pious emperor Flavius Justinian, Constantine, the most God-loving priest and abbot, also established and raised this entire building, in the 14th indiction.” The inscription refers to the construction of what was probably a large hostel for pilgrims and travelers north of the city walls. Constantine, the priest and abbot responsible for the construction, was in all likelihood the same Constantine who presided over the building of the Nea Church complex. The inscription provides further testimony to the Christian authorities’ tremendous investment in Jerusalem’s infrastructures during the Byzantine Period, in order to accommodate the waves of pilgrims to the Holy Land.


Greek dedicatory inscription from a mosaic floor, Jerusalem, 551 CE, stone and plaster

Greek building inscription, The "Nea" church, Jerusalem, 550 CE,  plaster