87. Sapharea - (Safariyah ?)
Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 55)
Probably the correct greek was Safarea.The village is not mentioned elsewhere in Byzantine literature, but is attested as Saphyria in the Crusaders' times. It is identical with as-Safirya, about 5 km northwest of Lydda (Diospolis).
Michael Avi-Yonah (The Madaba Mosaic Map, Jerusalem 1954, 62)
P. O'Callaghan ( "Madaba", in Dictionnaire de la Bible. Suppl. V, Paris 1953, 627-704., col. 674) noted in 1950 that the first extant letter resembles much more a rho than a phi; possibly the correct Greek was Sapharea and the reference is to Serifin of the Mishna (Menahoth, x, 2), Arabic Sarafend, instead of Shafrir, Arabic es-Sefiriye. The place is mentioned only here. On. 156, 23 Sapheir refers to another village.
M. Avi-Yonah, The Madaba Mosaic Map with Introduction and Commentary, Jerusalem 1954, p. 62.
For more sources and bibliography see:
Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea - Palaestina (Jerusalem 1994) s.v. "Sapharea", 221; "Serifin", 228.
Map Section 7 Place Sources