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Synagogue Pillar Side Inscription

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Synagogue Pillar Side  Inscription
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Photo Comments

This is a view of the "side" of the inscribed pillar.  It too lists the names of members of the Jewish community and includes "14 men with predominantly Hebrew names (including three proselytes) and two Godfearers." (Chaniotis, p. 40)

Compare the quality of this inscription with that on the front of it.  Chaniotis argues the 'these two distinct carving styles suggest that the inscription on the front face was carved first, when the stone was still lying flat on the ground and was fully accessible to the engraver, while the text on this side face was carved at a later date—once the pillar had already been installed in the synagogue and the engraving had to be completed from atop a ladder.' (p. 40)


This 9 ft. tall marble block was found during the construction of the Aphrodisias Museum.  It is engraved on two sides.  It is a list of over 120 donors to a synagogue and is composed of three categories of names—all males: Jews, recent converts to Judaism (proselytes), and unconverted members of the synagogue community ("godfearers;" theosebeis).  It evidently dates to ca. AD 350–500) and probably served as a doorpost in a synagogue.

Chaniotis, Angelos. “Godfearers in the City of Love.” Biblical Archaeology Review 36, no. 3 (May/June 2010): 32–44, 77.