DISCUSSION

Ascalon, Gaza, Negev and Sinai

125. The (place) of Saint Victor


Herbert Donner (The Mosaic Map of Madaba, Kampen 1992, 76)
The Piacenza pilgrim (ch. 33) describes the burial place of St. Victor as situated inside Maiumas-Neapolis (no. 124). The mosaicist, however, represented the nice little memorial building with a red-roofed portico outside the city, between Maiumas and ancient Gaza (no. 123).

Mohammed Moain Sadeq ("Mosaic Pavements recently found in the Gaza Strip", in The Madaba Map Centenary, Jerusalem 1999, 214-215)
In April 1995, the Gaza Palestinian Department of Antiquities uncovered a Byzantine mosaic pavement in al-Fawayda street, one of the streets of al-Thalathini Street, approximately 300m east of the UNRWA headquarters, between the old city of Gaza and the sea shore. It is made of large colored marble cubes of ca. 2 x 2 cm, and is decorated with geometrical elements, mainly circles and squares. The pavement is partially damaged. The remaining part has dimensions of approximately 2 x 2 m. The style of this mosaic is famous for the Gaza Region, although mostly these mosaics are made in white as their main color. On the seashore at Deir al-Balah for example, there is similar pavement with only white cubes. Approximately 8 m south-west of this mosaic, the Gaza Department of Antiquities uncovered a floor made of rubblestones mixed with lime and ashes. Directly below this floor several Byzantine jars, ordered in one row, were found. Other parallel rows of jars on the floor are expected to be discovered. No other architectural remains have been discovered to ascertain the function of the building. But other mosaic pavements were reported in the area. The different discoveries in this site make clear evidence of a Byzantine settlement.
The mosaic map of Madaba depicts a church referred to as "Of St. Victor", closely in the south-west direction of the city of Gaza. This building may correspond to the church mentioned by the 6th century pilgrim Antoninus Placentinus, although he saw it, seemingly, inside the city of Maiuma, i.e. on the sea shore. That same church might be part of the monastery founded by Petrus Iberus in the late 5th century, where Severus of Antioch had also dwelled before he founded - maybe close to it - his own monastery3. The structure depicted on the Madaba map is a rectangular building with a gabled roof covered with red tiles, oriented east west and provided with a colonnaded porch. Although nothing, until now, allows us to say that the buildings uncovered belong to the monastery of St. Victor itself, they certainly belong to the area in which the monastery existed. (See also the complete article)

Map Section 9 Place Sources

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Created Tuesday, December 19, 2000 at 23:40:50
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000