During the excavations at the Church of the Glorious Martyr, two Greek mosaic dedicatory inscriptions were discovered. The inscriptions describe two stages of the church’s construction, both taking place in the sixth century C.E., a period of major church building in the Holy Land. The dates in the inscriptions are given according to the era used by Eleutheropolis (Beit Guvrin).
The courtyard inscription describes various construction activities and is dated to August 543 C.E. The chapel inscription mentions that Emperor Tiberius, who ruled from 578 until his death on August 14, 582 C.E., donated funds to build or repave the southern chapel. The construction was completed after his death—only 18 days before the beginning of the first indiction (first year of a 15-year fiscal cycle) on September 1, 582 C.E.—which is noted by the formula “among the saints” added to his name. The date for the completion of the building work is, therefore, April 583. The inscription also mentions that the construction was done during the time of Bishop Theodore of Eleutheropolis, who until now was unknown.
“I, Malchus, by the mercy of God priest and abbot of this pious place, giving thanks to God and to the glorious martyr, for my salvation and memory have made the mosaic pavement and the buildings and all the marble work which is in the most holy martyrium and the bronze gates of the crypt, in the month of August of the sixth indiction in the year 344.”
“In the time of the most holy and saintly bishop Theodore and of the most pious John, priest and abbot, all this work was done by the munificence of our emperor now having come among the saints, Flavius Tiberius, also (called) New Constantine, in the month of April of the first indiction.”