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Extra resources for Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae (CIAP): G, Volume 4
It is clear that the story about the grave of H§shim only developed after the biography of the Prophet had became known. There is no reason to doubt the tradition about the death of H§shim in Gaza in the course of a trading expedition, but the identification of his grave, probably more than two centuries later, ( first mentioned by Ya#qåbÊ, who died after 294/905, Le Strange, 1890:442; Marmardji, 1951:154) belongs to the realm of legend, and to the tendency of believers to hunt for saints’ tombs.
It had good markets, and facilities to accommodate travellers, merchants, and pilgrims. It was the station from which Christian pilgrims began their trip to Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. Its heyday was the long rule of anN§ßir MuÈammad, particularly his second and third reigns (708/1308–741/1341) mentioned above, and the governorship of Tankiz in Damascus, and Sanjar al-J§wlÊ in Gaza. About the latter it is said that he made Gaza a town (maddanah§). Almost all the inscriptions found in Gaza belong to the Mamlåk period.
The 30 GAZA (GHAZZAH) central Christian edifice of the city, the Greek Orthodox Church in which, according to tradition is the grave of Saint Porphyri, is in this quarter. Next to it is the Christian graveyard. The Mosque of K§tib al Wil§yah was built in very close proximity to this church; only two or three meters separate between the bell-tower of the chrch and the minaret of the mosque. (Figs. P28a, P28b. Plan C4) The Jewish and the Christian neighbourhoods were located in this quarter (see note).