—Greek and Latin Inscriptions:

Besides a certain number of pagan inscriptions mentioning Jewish affairs, about 500 texts referring directly to persons professing the Jewish religion are known. These have been found throughout the ancient world; but the greater number comes from Italy, where several important Jewish catacombs have been discovered. Though a collection of Jewish inscriptions from Italy has been prepared for the last twenty years by Prof. Nicolaus Müller of Berlin, there exists no corpus or general collection of such texts. The author of this article has been entrusted, by the Société pour l'Avancement des Etudes Juives, with the preparation of a corpus of Jewish inscriptions in Greek and Latin; and he has compiled the following lists, divided under four heads: (a) geographical list of the proveniences of all the known texts, together with a rough bibliography; (b) principal kinds of inscriptions; (c) characteristic formulas; (d) typical examples of Jewish inscriptions in Greek and Latin.

Geographical List of Inscriptions.

Rome (General Bibliography): Nearly all the early collections of Greek and Latin inscriptions, both printed and manuscript, contain Jewish inscriptions from Rome. The following may be specially noted: Th. Sig. Baier, "Lucubrationes de Inscriptionibus Judaeorum Graecis et Latinis," Regiomonti, 1721, reprinted in Th. Sig. Baier, "Opuscula," ed. Klotzius, pp. 380-410, Halle, 1770; Gaetano Migliore, "Ad Inscriptionem Flaviae Antoninae Commentarius sive de Antiquis Judaeis Italicis Exercitatio Epigraphica," MS. in Codex Ferrar. 269; J. G. H. Greppo, "Notice sur des Inscriptions Antiques Tirées de Quelques Tombeaux Juifs à Rome," Lyons, 1835; R. Garrucci, "Alcune Iscrizioni di Cimiteri Giudaici Diversi," in his "Dissertazioni Archeologiche di Vario Argomento," ii. 178-185, Rome, 1866; Engeström, "Om Judarne i Rom Under Äldre Tider och Deras Katakomber," Upsala, 1876; Schürer, "Die Gemeindeverfassung der Juden in Rom in der Kaiserzeit," Leipsic, 1879; A. Berliner, "Gesch. der Juden in Rom," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1893; Vogelstein and Rieger, "Gesch. der Juden in Rom," Berlin, 1896 (vol. i. contains an appendix with 195 inscriptions: "Die Inschriften in den Jüdischen Cömeterien in Rom"); C. Hülsen (and others), "C. I. L." vi. 2885-2886, Nos. 29,756-29,763.

At Rome.

Five Jewish catacombs (cemeteries) have been found at various dates at Rome, the respective sites of which were as follows:

  • (1) Via Portuensis: The only Jewish catacomb known till the middle of the nineteenth century; discovered in 1602 by Antonio Bosio, the celebrated explorer of the catacombs, and described by him in his "Roma Sotterranea" (pp. 141-143, Rome, 1632; 2d ed. ib. 1650, pp. 186-192). His description has been reprinted by many authors, among them Aringhi ("Roma Subterranea," i. 231-239, Paris, 1659) and Kirchhoff ("C. I. G." iv. 587). Another description, the only other extant, is in a manuscript of Ioannes Zaratinius Castellini at Verona. The galleries were described by Venuti, in 1748, as in a very ruinous condition; and they have since disappeared completely, though in 1879 Mariano Armellini thought he had found the remains of part of them ("II Cimiterio degli Antichi Ebrei Presso la Via Portuense," in "Cronichetta Mensuale," 1879, v. 27-30). The inscriptions found in 1748 are at Naples, at the Capitoline Museum, and at S. Paolo Fuori delle Mura, Rome (for the bibliography see the books on Jewish inscriptions of Rome generally, and more especially the following: Uhden, MSS. at Berlin; Raponi, "Codex Borgianus"; Marini, "Codd. Vaticani"; Cardinali, "Inscriptiones Antiquac Ineditae"; Danzetta, "Codex Vaticanus 8324"; F. Lenormant, in "Journal Asiatique," 1861, xviii. 268; N. M. Nicolai, "Della Basilica di S. Paolo," pp. 160-163, Rome, 1815).
  • (2) Via Appia: The largest Jewish catacomb known; discovered in 1859 in the Vigna Randanini, now Vigna Mora, near the Church of Saint Sebastian, between the Via Appia and the Via Appia Pignatelli. More than 180 inscriptions were found in it, only 136 of which were still in situ in 1904. There are in all 50 Latin texts and 130 Greek ones, not a single Hebrew letter occurring in the whole series (E. Herzog, "Le Catacombe degli Ebrei in Vigna Randanini," in "Bulletino dell' Istituto di Correspondenza Archeologica per l'Anno 1861," pp. 91-104; R. Garrucci, "Cimitero, degli Antichi Ebrei Scoperto Recentemente in Vigna Randanini," Rome, 1862; idem, "Descrizione del Cimitero Ebraico di Vigna Randanini Sulla Via Appia," in "La Civiltà Cattolica," 1862, iii. 87-97; idem, "Nuove Epigrafi Giudaiche di Vigna Randanini," vi. 102-117, ib. 1863, reprinted in his "Dissertazioni," etc., ii. 153-167; idem, "Epigrafi Inedite del Cimitero di Vigna Randanini," in "Dissertazioni," etc., ii. 178-185; idem, "Storia della Arte Cristiana," vi., plates 488-492 [comp. pp. 155-157], Prato, 1880; O. Marucchi, "Breve Guida del Cimitero Giudaico di Vigna Randanini," Rome, 1884, reedited in French in his "Eléments d'Archéologie Chrétienne," 2d ed., ii. 208-226, ib. 1903; idem, "Scavi Nella Vigna Randanini," in "Cronichetta Mensuale," 1883, ii. 188-190; N. Müller, in "Römische Mittheilungen," 1886, i. 56).
  • (3) Vigna Cimarra (Berliner, l.c. pp. 90-92 [comp. p. 48], published De Rossi's copies of six tombstones. Comp. De Rossi in "Bulletino di Archeologia Cristiana," 1867, v. 3, 16).
  • (4) Via Appia Pignatelli: Catacomb very carefully explored in 1885 by N. Müller, who has published a description of it ("Il Catacombe degli Ebrei Presso la Via Appia Pignatelli," in "Römische Mittheilungen," 1886, i. 49-56; see, also, Fiorelli, "Memorie della R. Accademia dei Lincei," 1885, i. 334).
  • (5) Via Labicana: In the Vigna Apolloni the galleries of an ancient quarry cross the remains of a Jewish catacomb discovered and described by O. Marucchi ("Di un Nuovo Cimitero Giudaico Scoperto Sulla Via Labicana," Rome, 1887, reprinted from "Dissertazioni della Pontificia Academia di Archeologia," series ii., 1884, ii. 499-548). A catacomb has also been discovered at Porto near Rome (R. A. Lanciani, "Ricerche Topografiche Sulla Città di Porto," in "Annali dell' Istituto," 1868, xl. 144-195, especially p. 191; De Rossi, l.c.1866, iv. 40; J. Derenbourg, "Elazar le Peitan," in "Mélanges Renier," Paris, 1887 = "Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes," lxxiii. 429-441; G. Kaibel, "Inscriptiones Graecae Siciliae et Italiae," pp. 246, 694, Berlin, 1890; E. le Blant, in "Comptes-Rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions," 1886, xiv. 195-196; J. Ficker, "Die Altchristlichen Bildwerke im Christlichen Museum des Laterans," p. 36, No. 86, Leipsic, 1890).

Other Towns of Italy: Aquileia: Latin tombstone (E. Pais, "Additamenta ad Vol. V Galliae Cisalpinae," p. 228, No. 1166, Rome, 1884). Brescia ("C. I. L." v. 465, No. 4411, Latin; G. Kaibel, l.c. p. 547, No. 2304, Greek). Capua ("C. I. L." x. 392, No. 3905). Marani, near Pouzzoles (ib. x. 231, No. 1893). Milan (ib. v., Nos. 6251, 6294, 6310 [comp. No. 6195]; three Latin inscriptions published in better form by V. Forcella and E. Seletti, "Iscrizioni Cristiane in Milano Anteriori al IX. Secolo," pp. 70-73, Nos. 76-78 [comp. p. 19, No. 19], Codogno, 1897). Naples (?) (ib. x. 237, No. 1971). Pola (Istria): Latin tombstone (ib. v. 18, No. 88). Pompeii: Jewish inscriptions in Latin somewhat doubtful ([C. Rosini], "Dissertationis Isagogicae ad Herculanensium Voluminum Explanationem," part i., plate xii., Naples, 1797; R. Garrucci, in "Bulletino Archeologico Napolitano," new series, 1853, ii. 8; De Rossi, l.c. 1864, ii. 70; idem, "Dei Giudei Libertini e dei Cristiani in Pompei," ib. pp. 92-93; Fiorelli, "Pompeianarum Antiquitatum Historia," i. 160, Naples, 1860; E. le Blant, in "Comptes-Rendus de l'Académie des Inscriptions," 1885, xiii. 146). Salerno ("C. I. L." x. 316, No. 3492). Syracuse (Orsi, in "Römische Quartalschrift," 1900, xiv. 194 [two Greek tombstones]; "C. I. G." iv. 585, No. 9895, dedication in Greek verse of part of a synagogue). Tarentum: Late tombstones (Fiorelli, in "Notizie degli Scavi," 1882, pp. 386-387; 1883, pp. 179-180).

At Venosa.

Venosa: Jewish catacombs discovered in 1853 (two manuscripts at Naples by Stanislas d'Aloe and by Paschalis de Angelis and Raphael Smith; O. Hirschfeld, "Le Catacombe degli Ebrei a Venosa," in "Bulletino dell' Istituto," 1867, pp. 148-152; G. I. Ascoli, "Iscrizioni Inedite o Mal Note Greche, Latine, Ebraiche di Antichi Sepolcri Giudaici del Napolitano," Turin and Rome, 1880, reprinted from "Atti del IV. Congresso Internazionale degli Orientalisti Tenuto in Firenze nel Settembre, 1878," i. 239-354, Florence, 1880; J. Derenbourg, "Les Anciennes Epitaphes des Juifs dans l'Italic Méridionale," in "R. E. J." 1881, ii. 131-134; Th. Mommsen, "C. I. L." ix. 660-665, Nos. 6195-6241; comp. p. 61, Nos. 647-648 [the only complete publication]; F. Lenormant, "La Catacombe Juive de Venosa," in "R. E. J." 1882, vi. 200-207; R. Garrucci, "Cimitero Ebraico di Venosa in Puglia," in "La Civiltà Cattolica," 1883, series xii., i. 707-720; N. Müller, in "Römische Mittheilungen," 1886, i. 56 [the author spent five months at Venosa and made facsimiles of every fragment]).

Africa: The Jewish inscriptions have been carefully collected by P. Monceaux ("Enquête sur l'Epigraphie Chrétienne d'Afrique: Inscriptions Juives," in "Revue Archéologique," 1904, iii. 354-373). He gives the texts of no less than forty-three inscriptions (idem, "Les Colonies Juives dans l'Afrique Romaine," in "R. E. J." 1902, xliv. 1-28 idem, "Païens Judaïsants, Essai d'Explication d'une Inscription Africaine," in "Revue Archéologique, 1902, xl. 208-226). Auzia (Aumale) ("C. I. L." viii. 1963, No. 20,759). Carthage: Jewish cemetery at Gamart described by Delattre, "Gamart ou la Nécropole Juive de Carthage," Lyons, 1895. (With the exception of two short texts on lamps, the inscriptions, [Latin] are all given in "C. I. L." viii. 1375-1376, 1380, 1382, Nos. 14,097-14,114, 14,191, 14,230.) Cirta (Constantine): Four Latin inscriptions (Monceaux, l.c. pp. 368-369, Nos. 142-145). Fesdis: Marble cancellum ("C. I. L." viii. 435, 956, No. 4321). Hammam-Lif: Jewish synagogue, with three remarkable inscriptions in mosaic in the pavement (frequently published; see "C. I. L." viii. 1284, No. 12,457; Monceaux, l.c. pp. 366-368). Henchir-Fuara (Morsot): Column with inscription ("C. I. L." viii. 1594, No. 16,701). Sitifis (ib. viii. 729, No. 8499; p. 721, No. 8423 [the same man named in both inscriptions]; pp. 738, 1921, No. 8640 [= 20,354] [inscription of a Jew converted to Christianity]). Utica: Fragment (ib. viii. 152, 931, No. 1205). Volubilis, Morocco: Greek fragment (ib. viii. 2079, No. 21,900).

Spain (Emil Hübner, "Inscriptiones Hispaniae Christianae," Berlin, 1871; good facsimiles): Abdera: Latin tombstone (Hübner, in "C. I. L." ii. 268, No. 1982). Dertosa (Tortosa): Trilingual tombstone in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin (Hübner, l.c. No. 186). Emerita (Merida): Latin tombstone with long and interesting formula (Hübner, l.c. No. 34). Vinebre (Hübner, l.c. No. 187).

Gaul: Auch: Late tombstone in very bad Latin (T. Reinach, "Inscription Juive d'Auch," in "R. E. J." 1889, xix. 219-223; idem, "Nouvelles Remarques sur l'Inscription Juive d'Auch," ib. 1890, xx. 29-33; Le Blant, "Nouveau Recueil des Inscriptions Chrétiennes de la Gaule," No. 292, Paris, 1892). Bordeaux: Gold ring with inscription (C. Jullian, "Inscriptions Romaines de Bordeaux). Narbonne: Long tombstone inscription dated A.D. 688 (T. Reinach, "Inscription Juive de Narbonne," in "R. E. J." 1889, xix. 75-83).

Danube Provinces: Series of tombstones from various places all collected by Th. Mommsen in "C. I. L." vol. iii. Gran (ib. 1714, No. 10,599; Latin in Greek letters). Intereisa (Th. Mommsen, "Ephemeris Epigraphica," 1875, ii. 361, No. 593). Pestinum ("C. I. L." iii. 1716, No. 10,611; Latin in Greek letters). Schwarzenbach (ib. 1824, No. 11,641; doubtful Greek fragment). Senia (Dalmatia) (ib. 1642, No. 10,055; Latin in Greek letters). Soklos (ib. 463, No. 3688; Latin).

Crimea: All the Jewish inscriptions (Greek) of this country are collected in Basilius Latyschev, "Inscriptiones Antiquae Orae Septentrionalis Ponti Euxini Graecae et Latinae," St. Petersburg, 1901. Gorgippia: Manumission (ib. pp. 208-209, No. 400). Panticapæum (Kertsch): Two important manumissions (ib. 49-53, Nos. 52-53); five unimportant tombstones (ib. 154-155, Nos. 304-306; iv. 224-225, Nos. 404-405). Taman Peninsula: Tombstone (ib. pp. 235-236, No. 426).

Greece: Ægina: Greek inscription in mosaic relatingto the building of a synagogue (Fränkel, "C. I. P." i. 29, No. 190, Berlin, 1902; comp. "American Journal of Archæology," 1902, vi. 69). Arnaut-keui (T. Reinach, "Inscription Juive des Environs de Constantinople," in "R. E. J." 1893, xxvi. 167-171). Athens (St. A. Koumanoudis, Ἀττικῆς Ἐπιγραφαὶ Ἐπιτύμβιαι, Athens, 1871; C. Bayet, "De Titulis Atticae Christianis Antiquissimis Commentatio Historica et Epigraphica," pp. 122-125, Nos. 121-125; comp. pp. 45-46, Paris, 1878; G. Dittenberger, "C. I. A." iii. 2, 253, No. 3545-3547). Corinth (B. Powell, in "American Journal of Archéology," 1903, vii. 60, No. 40). Laconia (S. Reinach, in "R. E. J." 1885, x. 77). Mantinea (Fougères, ib. 1896, xx. 159). Patras ("C. I. G." iv. 585, No. 9896). Tegea (G. Mendel, in "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique," 1901, xxv. 281, No. 34). Thessalonia (idem, ib. 1885, x. 77-78).

Asia Minor: Acmonia (Erjish) in Phrygia (S. Reinach, in "Revue Archéologique," 1888, xii. 225; Ramsay, in "Revue des Etudes Anciennes," 1901, iii. 272; two important Greek inscriptions). Corycos, Cilicia (H. Thédenat, in "Bulletin de la Société des Antiquaires de France," 1881, p. 225; R. Heberdey and A. Wilhelm, in "Denkschriften der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Wien," 1896, xliv. 168, No. 145). Cyprus (T. Reinach, "Une Inscription Juive de Chypre," in "R. E. J." 1904, xlviii. 191-196). Ephesus: Two tombstones (Hicks, "The Collection of Ancient Greek Inscriptions in the British Museum," iii. 2, pp. 262-263, Nos. 676-677, Oxford, 1890). Germa Galatia (S. Reinach, in "R. E. J." 1885, x. 77). Iasos, Caria (idem, ib. 1885, x. 76). Magnesia Sipyli (idem, ib.). Myndos, near Halicarnassus (T. Reinach, "La Pierre de Myndos," ib. 1901, xlii. 1-6). Odemisch, near Hypæpa (Lydia) (S. Reinach, "Les Juifs d'Hypaepa," ib. 1885, x. 74-78). Phocæa (S. Reinach, "Une Nouvelle Synagogue Juive à Phocée," in "R. E. J." 1886, xii. 236-243). Smyrna ("C. I. G." iv. 585, No. 9897; S. Reinach, "Inscription Greeque de Smyrne: la Juive Rufina," in "R. E. J." 1883, vii. 161-166).

Syria: The following list is very incomplete. Other inscriptions will be found in various volumes of the "Revue Biblique"; "Pal. Explor. Fund, Quarterly Statement"; "Echos d'Orient"; and "Z. D. P. V." Arsuf (Germer-Durand, in "Revue Biblique," 1892, i. 247-248, No. x. Beirut (Berytus) (Renan, "Mission de Phénicie," p. 348, Paris, 1864; Germer-Durand, l.c. 1894, iii. 251-252). Byblus (Renan, l.c. pp. 187, 856). Cæsarea (Germer-Durand, l.c. 1892, i. 246-247, No. ix.). Emmaus (Clermont-Ganneau, in "Revue Critique," 1883, xv. 145; Germer-Durand, l.c. 1894, iii. 253-254). Gaza (T. Loeb, "Chandeliers à Sept Branches," in "R. E. J." 1889, xix. 100-105). Gezer: Bilingual boundary-stones, Greek and Hebrew (Clermont-Ganneau, "Pal. Explor. Fund, Quarterly Statement," 1899, pp. 118-127). Jaffa (Clermont-Ganneau, in "Revue Critique," 1883, xv. 142-143; idem, in "Pal. Explor. Fund, Quarterly Statement," 1900, pp. 110-123; J. Euting, "Epigraphische Miscellen," in "Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin," 1885, pp. 669-688, and plates vi.-xii.; Clermont-Ganneau, "Une Epitaphe Judéo-Grecque de Jaffa," in "Revue Archéologique," 1878, xxxvi. 312-316). Jerusalem: Important stela of the Temple (Clermont-Ganneau, "Une Stèle de Jérusalem," in "Revue Archéologique," 1872, xxiii. 214-234, 290-296); numerous stone caskets ("ossuaires") with graffiti (names) in Greek or in Hebrew (idem, "Nouveaux Ossuaires Juifs avec Inscriptions Grecques et Hébraïques," ib. 1873, xxv. 398-414; idem, "Ossuaire Juif Provenant d'Alexandrie," ib. 1873, xxvi. 302-305; idem, "Ossuaire Juif de Joseph Fils de Jean," ib. 1878, xxxv. 305-311; idem, "Epigraphes Hébraïques et Grecques sur des Ossuaires Juifs Inédits," ib. 1883, i. 257-276, and plate ix.; F. Hugues Vincent, "Nouveaux Ossuaires Juifs," in "Revue Biblique," 1902, xi. 103-107. Doubtful fragment: Germer-Durand, in "Revue Biblique," 1892, i. 581, No. 41). Lydda: Sarcophagus (Clermont-Ganneau, in "Revue Critique," 1883, xv. 145). Sepphoris (H. Lammens, in "Musée Belge," 1902, vi. 55-56, No. 112). Ṭafas: Dedication of a synagogue (C. Fossey, in "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique," 1897, xxi. 47). Wadi-Yasul (Euting, l.c.).

Egypt: Alexandria: Jewish catacombs (Nerontsos, in "Bulletin de l'Institut Egyptien," 1875, xiv. 78; idem, "L'Ancienne Alexandrie," pp. 82-84, Paris, 1886); Greek inscribed pedestal (Botti, in "Rivista Quindicinale," 1892, iv. 130); various (S. de Ricci, in "Archiv für Papyrusforschung," 1903, ii. 29-30; Strack, ib. pp. 541-542, No. 15; p. 559, No. 41; "C. I. L." iii. 1202, No. 6583; T. Reinach, "Sur la Date de la Colonie Juive d'Alexandrie," in "R. E. J." 1902, xlv. 161-164; Clermont-Ganneau, in "Revue Critique," 1883, xv. 142, note; C. Smith, in "Journal of Hellenic Studies," 1883, iv. 159). Antinoupolis (S. de Ricci, in "Annales du Musée Guimet," 1903, xxx., part 3, p. 142, No. 8). Athribis: Three inscriptions (S. Reinach, "La Communauté Juive d'Athribis," in "R.E.J." 1888, xvii. 235-238). Berenice (Franz, "C. I. G." iii. 557-559, No. 5361; E. Roschach, "Musée de Toulouse, Catalogue des Antiquités et des Objets d'Art," pp. 97-101, Toulouse, 1865). Contra Apollonos: Two Greek graffiti ("C. I. G." iii. 400, No. 4838c; comp. p. 1217). Fayum (Lefebvre, in "Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique," 1902, xxvi. 454, No. 16). Heliopolis: Remarkable honorary decree (T. Reinach, "Un Préfet Juif il y a Deux Mille Ans," in "R. E. J." 1900, xl. 50-54). Onion: Curious fragment (A. H. Sayce, in "Recueil de Travaux," 1887, viii. 6); numerous Greek tombstones (E. Naville, "The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias," in "Seventh Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund," London, 1890).

To the foregoing list of articles on Jewish inscriptions proper might be added a list of pagan inscriptions relating to the Jewish wars of Vespasian and Hadrian; but as the number of such inscriptions might be indefinitely increased according to the more or less comprehensive plan adopted, it seems preferable to give here only a list of articles in which such inscriptions are discussed and explained: Leon Renier, "Mémoire sur les Officiers Qui Assistèrent au Conseil de Guerre Tenu par Titus Avant de Livrer l'Assaut au Temple de Jérusalem," in "Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions," 1867, xxvi., part i.; Arsène Darmesteter, "Notes Epigraphiques Touchant Quelques Points de l'Histoire des Juifs sousl'Empire Romain," in "R. E. J." 1880, i. 32-55 (discusses 15 inscriptions); S. Reinach, "Inscription Relative à la Guerre de Judée," ib. 1888, xvii. 299-300; R. Cagnat, "L'Armée Romaine au Siège de Jérusalem," ib. 1891, xxiv., xxxi.-lviii.; J. Offord, "Roman Inscriptions Relating to Hadrian's Jewish War," in "Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch." 1898, xx. 59-69; idem, "Inscriptions Relating to the Jewish War of Vespasian and Titus," ib. 1902, xxiv. 325-328.

Principal Kinds of Inscriptions:

The great bulk of Greek and Latin Jewish inscriptions are on tombstones; texts not of this character are quite the exception. The following epigraphical types are represented:

(1) Dedications. Actual ex-votos are perhaps not to be found, the known votive inscriptions having all apparently formed part of a building or monument dedicated by the author of the inscription. Most of them refer to synagogues or parts of synagogues built or repaired. Several are inserted in mosaic in pavements. (2) Honorific decrees, similar to pagan ones. (3) Manumissions (three interesting specimens from the Crimea). (4) Tombstones (some are in Greek verse). (5) Small texts (a few specimens of rings, seals, and plaster jar-stoppings).

Characteristic Formulas:

It may be asked by what signs a Jewish inscription may be distinguished from a pagan or a Christian one. Is there any absolute criterion which may be taken as a sure indication of the Jewish religion? The surest sign of all is the favorite Jewish emblem, the seven-branched candlestick, which occurs repeatedly on every possible class of Jewish monuments—lamps, seals, tombstones, sarcophagi, frescoes, etc. In spite of many assertions to the contrary, there is not a single representation extant of the Jewish candlestick on a purely Christian lamp or monument.

Among characteristic words, the clearest of all are the epithets Ιουδαιος, "Iudæus," Εβρεος, and "Hebreus." The first of these is exceedingly frequent on tombstones, especially in Africa and in the valley of the Danube. The second is in many cases the designation not of the Jewish religion, but of a particular synagogue. There are also a few religious qualificatives which may be taken as probable signs of Judaism. The most frequent is "metuens" (comp. a remarkable inscription ["C. I. L." v. 88] "matri pientissimac religioni Iudeicae metuenti"), the Jewish character of which is quite unmistakable. Others, such as οσιος or δικαιος, are of rarer occurrence; some, such as Θεοσεβης, occur in Christian inscriptions also. The question whether the frequent references to Θεος υψιστος in inscriptions all refer to the God of the Jews is too intricate to be examined here. The foregoing lists do not contain such inscriptions. A good criterion, but one to be used with caution, is the occurrence of proper names exclusively or more particularly Jewish, the principal of which are: Αστεριος, Αστερια, Αββας, Ελεαζαρος, Ζαβοüττα, Ζωναϑα, "Ionata," Ιασων, Ιακωβ, Ιοκαϑινος, Ιονδας, Ιωσης, Ιωσηπος, Ιωσηφ, "Gesua," Σαβατιος, Σα βατια, Σαββατις, Σεμωηλ, Σιμον, Σολομων, and Τονβιας Βαρζααρωνα. Another distinct sign of Judaism would be the mention of synagogues (a προσενχη is apparently always a Jewish synagogue), if the existence of pagan associations called "synagogues" were not a well-established fact. It is, however, in most cases possible to distinguish pagan synagogues from Jewish ones. The following nine Jewish synagogues, all in Rome (?), are mentioned in Jewish inscriptions, chiefly from Rome: συναγωγης Αγριππησιων; συναγωγης Αυγοστησιων, συναγωγης των Αυγουστησιων, συνα[γωγης] Αυγοστη[σιων], "ton Augustesion"; συναγωγης Αιβρεων, [συν]αγωγης Εβρ[εων],τωνΕβρεων;συνα[γωγ]ης Ελεας, συναγωγης Ελαιας; [συνα]γωγης [των] Ηροδιων (?); συναγωγης Καλκαρησιων, συναγωγης των Καρκαρησιων; συναγωγης Καμπησιων (two inscriptions), "Synagogarum Campi et Bolumni"; Σιβουρησιων, Σ[ιβο]υρησιων.

Finally, certain inscriptions are often considered to relate to Jews because of the Jewish titles, civil or religious, which they contain. The following is a rough list of such titles (chiefly from Rome): αρχων; ιερευς αρχων; μελλαρχων; προαρχων; γραμματευς; μελλογραμματευς; γερουσιαρχης (at Venosa, γερουσιαρχων); πρεσβυτερος; διαβιον, ζαβιου, "iabin"; μαθετης σοφων και πατηρ συναγωγων, πατηρ συναγωγης, μητηρ συναγωγης, "mater synagogarum" (at Venosa, "pater" and "pateressa"); αρχισυναγωγος (note a ταφος Καλιστου νηπιου αρχισυναγωγου ετων γ at Venosa, remarkable because of the youth of the bearer of such a title; note also "arconti et archisynagogo honoribus omnibus fu[n]ctus"); προστατης; διδασκαλος; νομωδιδασκαλος; πατηρ λαου; νομομαθης; επιστατης; φροντιστης; νπηρετης; αρχιατρος; "rebbi"; "proselyta"; and at Venosa, "apostulus" and "maiures cibitatis."


There are few if any formulas peculiar to Jewish inscriptions: as a general rule the latter are, according to their date, written in the same terms as the pagan or Christian inscriptions of the town or country in which they are found. On tombstones the final acclamation εν ειρηνη [η sometimes added here] κοιμησις σου [or υμων or αυτου, αυτης, αυτων] (Latin: "en irene quimesis su"; "en irene ae cymesis su"; "en hire[n]e e cymesis autoes"; "iren. cubis. aut.") is rarely, if ever, found on Christian monuments, while it is exceedingly frequent on Jewish tombstones. It is a lengthy equivalent of the Hebrew acclamation "Shalom!" Other final acclamations are mere variants on a similar theme: "dormitio tua in bono," "dormi tuaua i bonis"; "dormitio tua inter dicaeis"; μετα των δικεων η κυμησις αυτου, καλως κοιμου μετα των δικεων, [μετ]α των δικεων η κοιμησις σου. On the other hand, acclamations such as Θαρσι Σαμωηλ ουδις αθανατος, θαρι αβλαβε νεωτερε ουδις αθανατος are far more frequent on pagan and Christian tombstones than on Jewish ones.

The ordinary initial formula in Italy is the well-known ενθαδε κειται (at Venosa, ωδε κειται and ταφος N.). A certain number of exceptional formulas, some very elaborate, are given among the specimens of inscriptions in the list below. The initial formula ευλογια, ευλογια πασιν is distinctively Jewish. The following texts include a good selection of eulogistic or affectionate phrases, to which may be added such expressions as "benemerentis et sic non merenti"; κοζουγει βοναι ετ φισκειπουλιναι βοναι; "fratri et concresconio et conlaboronio meo"; βρεφος αγαπητον; "omniorum amicus"; φιλολαος φιλεντολος; καλως βιωσας; καλως αντιζωσας βιον κοινον; πασης τειμης.

Typical Examples of Jewish Inscriptions: Inscriptions on Public Monuments.

Acmonia: Τον κατασκευασθε[ντ]α οικον υπ[ο] Ιουλιας Σεουηρας Γ(αιος) Τυρρανιος Κλαδος ο διαβιου αρχι[συν]αγωγος και Λουκιος Λουκ[ . . . ] και Ποπιλιος [ . . . κατεσ]κευασαν εκ τ[ων ιδων. . . ] καταθεμενω[ν και εδειμαν(?) τουςτοι]χους και την ορο[φην και] εποιησαν των θυριδων ασφαλειαν οπλω επιχρυσω δια τε την εναρετον αυτων . . . ωσιν και την π[ρ]ος την συναγωγην ευνιαν καισπουδην. Ægina ("C. I. P." 190): Θεοδωρου νεω(τε)ρ(ου) φροντι(ος) [εκ της πρ]οσοοδον της συναγ(ωγης) εμουσωθη · ευλογια πασιν [τοις εισ]ερχ[ο]μενοις. Θεοδωρος αρχισυν[αγωγος φ]ροντισας ετη τεσσερα[κοντα] εχ θεμελιων την συναγ[ωγην αν]οικοδομησα · προσοδευ[θ(ησαν)] χρυσιν[ο]ι ρε και εκ των του Θε(ου)δωρεων χρυσινοι ρο. Alexandria? ("C. I. L" iii. 6583): Βασιλισσης και Βασιλεως προσταξαντων αντι της προανακεμιενης περι της αναθεσεως της προσευχης πλακος η υπογεγραμμενη επιγραφητω · Βασιλευς Πτολεμαιος Ευεργετης την προσευλον · "Regina et Rex iusser[un]t." Fayum: Ελεαζαρος Νικολαου ηγεμων υπερ εαυτον και Ειρηνης της γυναικος το ωρολογιον και το φρεαρ. Hammam-Lif ("C. I. L." viii. 12,457, a, b, c): (a) "Sancta Sinagoga Naron. pro salutem suam ancilla tua Juliana p[uella] de suo prop (r)ium teselauit"; (b) "Asterius filius Rustici arcosinagogi Margarita Riddin partem portici tesselauit": (c) "Istrumenta serui tui Naritanus. Istrumenta serul tui a Naroni." Jerusalem: Μηθενα αλλογενη εισπορευεοθαι εντος του περι το ιερον τρυφακτου και περιβολου · ος δ'αν ληφθη εαυτωι αιτιος εσται δια το εξακολουθειν θανατον. Mantinea: Αυρ(ηλιος) Ελπιδυς πατηρ λαου διαβιου δωροε το(υ) προναου τη συναγωγη. Marani, near Pouzzoles ("C. I. L." x. 1893): "Ti[berius] Claudius Philippus diauiu et gerusiarches maceriam duxit." Odemisch: Ιουδα[ι]ων νεωτερων. Syracuse ("C. I. G." 9895): Ὡς ἂν τὸ βημα σεπτὸν [ῃ] Ζαχαρίας κέκλεικε τουτο μαρμάροις εὐσυνθέτοις. Tafas: Ιακωβος και Σεμουηλος και Κληματιος πατηρ αυτων την συναγωγην οικοδομησαν.

Honorific Decrees:

Berenice ("C. I. G." No. 5361): The longest of all Jewish inscriptions (according to author's copy): Ετους νβ, Φαωφ κς, επι συλλογου της σκηνοπηγιας, επι αρχοντων Κλεανδρου του Στρατονικου, Ευφρανορος του Αριστωνος, Σωσιγενους του Σωσιππου, Ανδρομαχου του Ανδρομαχου, Μαρκου Λαιλιου Ονασιωνος του Απολλωνιου, Φιλωνιδου του Αγημονος, Αντοκλεονς τον Ζηνωνος, Σωνικον τον Θεοδοτον, Ιωσετον tον Στρατωνος · επει Μαρκος Τιττιος Σεξτομ υιος Αιμιλια, ανημ καλος και αγαθος, παραγενηθεις εις την επαρχειαν επι δημοσιων πραγματων την τε προστασιαν αντων εποιησατο φιλανθρωπως και καλως ην τε τηι αναστροφη ησυξιον ηθος ενδικνυμενος αει διατελων τυγχανει ου μονον δε εν τουτοις αβαρη εαυτον παρεοχηται αλλα και τοις κατ ιδιαν εντυγχανουσι των πολι των πολιτων ετι δε και τοις εκ τον πολιτευματος ημων Ιουδαιις και κοινη και κατ ιδιαν ευχρηστον προστασιαν ποιουμεμος ου διαλειπει της ιδιας καλοκαγαθιας αξια πρασσων ων χαριν εδοξε τοις αρχουσι και τωι πολιτευματι των εν Βερενικη Ιουδαιων επαινεσαι τε αυτον και στεφανομν ονομαστι καθ εκαστην συνοδον και νουμηνιαν στεφαμωι ελαινωι και λημνισκωι τους δε αρχοντας αναγραψαι το ψηφισμα εις στηλην λιθου παριου και θειναι εις τον επισημοτατον τοποντου αμφθεατον · λευκαι πασαι. Phocæa: Τατιον Στρατωνος τον Ενπεδωνος τον οικον και τον περιβολον του υπαιθρου κατασκευασας εκτω[νιδ]ιων εχαρισατο τ[οις Ιο]νδαιοις, η συναγωγη ε[τειμη]σεν των Ιουδαιων Τατιον Σ[τρατ]ωνος χρυσω στεφανω και παντοκρατορι.


Gorgippia: Θεωι υψιστωι παντοκρατορι ευλογητω, βασιλευοντος βασιεως [[Πολεμωνος]]φιλογερμα ≪νι≫ κου και φιλοπατριδος, ετους ηλτ, μηνος Δειου, Ποθος Στ[ρ]ατωνος ανεθηκεν τηι π[ροσ]ευχηι κατ ευχην θρεπτην εαυτου η ονομα χρυσα εφ ω η ανεπαφος και ανεφηρεαστο[ς] αφο παντος κληρον[ομ]ου υφο Δια Γην ΙΙλιον. Panticapæum: Βασιλευοντος βασιλεως Τιβεριου Ιουλιου Πησκουποριδος φιλοκαισαρος και φιλορωμαιου ευσεβους, υτους ζοτ, μηνος Περειτ[ι]ου ιβ, Ξρηστη γυνη προτερον Δρουσου αφειημι επι της [προ]σευχης θεπτον μου Ηρακλαν ελευθερον καθαπαξ κατα ευχην μου ανυπιληπτον και αφαρενοχλητον απο παντος κληρονμο[υ] τρεπεσται αυτον οπου αν βουληται ανεπικωλυτως καθως ευξαμην χωρις ις την προσευχην θωπειας τε και προσκαρτ[ε]ρησεως συνεπινευσαντων δε και των κληρ(ο)νομων μου ΙΙρακλειδου και Ελικωνιαδος συνεφ[ιτ]ροπεουσης δε και τη[ς] συναγωγη[ς] των Ιουδαδων.


Arnaut-keui: Ενθαδε κατακητε Σανβατις υιος Γερωντηου πε (εσβυτερου) γραμματευς κ(αι) αιπηστατις τον παλεων ηρινη. Athens ("C. I. G." 9313): Κοιμητηριον Ευτυχιας της μητρος Αθηνεου κε Θεονκτιστου. Auch: "In Dei Nomine s[an]cti Peleger qui ic Bennid D(eu)s esto cum ipso, ocoli inuidiosi crepen[t] de D[e]i donum Iona fecet ." Beirut (Berytus): Τοπος διαφερων Σαμουηλου σιρικαριου Κανδεδας υιος και Δεβωρας δ. Caesarea: Μημοριον διαφερων Μαριας κ(αι) Λαζαρου. Carthage ("C. I. L." viii. 1091 = 14,230): "Uictorinus cesquet in pace et irene." Dertosa (Tortosa) (Hübner, "Inscr. Hisp. Christ." No. 186): "In nomine Domine hic est memoria ubi requiescit benememoria Meliosa filia Iudanti et Cuiramaries uixit an[nos uigi]nti et quattuor cum pace amen." [Εν] ωνω [μα]τη Κ(υριο)υ ωδε εστην μεμνηον ωπου αναπ[αυ]σαν Παμμνη[στος Μελιωσ]α Ιουδαντ[ιου και Κυραμα]ρες ζησ[ασα ετη εικοσι] τεσερα ην [ειρηυη αμην]. Ephesus: To μνημειον εστι Μαρμουσσιου Ιαιρεος ξη κηδονται οι Ιουδαιοι. Merida (Hübner, l.c. note 34): The following reconstruction is from E. Renan's manuscripts: "Sit nomen [D(omi)ni bened(ictum) qui uiuos] uiuif(i)cat et mor[tuos suscitat] pauset in sepulc[ro hoc Simeon fi]lius de Rebbi Se[muel . . . (10 letters)] suporans (read "soporans") in sor[te instorum deposi]tus in ligatorium [aeterni indi]cis aperiti (read -te) porta[s principes uestras] ingrede cum pace m[ . . . natus annos] LXIII repletus sa[pientia . . . ] praeducens (read -docens) artem i[10 letters?] ego Simeon filius de Rebbi Sa[muel ] missam pax[ ]." Naples (?) ("C. I. L." x. 1971): "[Cl]audia Aster [Hi]erosolymitana [ca]ptiua curam egit [Ti(berius) C]laudius Aug(usti) libertus [Ares]cusus, rogo uos fac[er]e per legem ne quis [mi]hi titulum deiciat cu[ra]m agatis; uixit annis XXV." Narbonne: "Ic requiescunt in pace benememori tres fili d(omi)ni Paragori de filio condam d(omi)ni Sapaudi id est Iustus Matrona et Dulciorella qui uixserunt lustus annos XXX, Matrona ann(o)s XX, Dulciorela annos VIIII obuerunr [read "obierunt"] anno secundo d(o)m(in)i Egicani regis."

At Rome.

Rome, Via Portuensis: (1) Λοκου Βεσουλες ανουρο ρεκεσητ κε. (2) "Locus Bellulae quiescet in pace." (3) "Hoc nomen Telesini." (4) "Ueritas amor et anestase tituios." Ib., Vigna Randanini: (1) "Hic posita Eparchia theosebes que [u]ixit annos LV d(ies) VI dormitio tua in bono." (2) "Iulia Afrodisia Aur(elio) Hermiati coingi benemerenti fecit et rogat uti loc(us) ei reseruetur ut cum coinge suo ponatur quam donec." (3) Ζωτικος αρχων ενταδε κειμε καλως βειωσας πα[ντ]ων φ[ιλ]ος και γνοσιος [π]ασι [ευ]πρ[επι]α ανδριαι ωνησι [μετ]α των δικαιων η κοιμησις σου. (4) Θαρσι Ιουλια Εμιλ[ια] ια ετων καλως εξησας μετα του ανδρος σου ευχαριστω τη προνοια και τη ψυχη σου. Other inscriptions in Rome are: "Beturia Paulla(e) f(ilia) domi heterne quostituta, que bixit an(nos) LXXXVI meses VI, proselyta an(nos) XVI nominae Sara, mater synagogarum Campi et Bolumni; en irenae au cymisis autis" ("C. I. L." vi. 29,756). "Iul[iae] Irene aristae h[ono]r Dei uirtute[m] et Fidem sa[lua]tionis conseruatae, luste legem colenti, Atronius Aeusebius u(ir) [c(larissimus)] fillus pro debit[o] obseq[uio u(ixit) a(nnos)] XLI" (ib. 29,758).

Syracuse: (1) Κατα του μελλητεικου μηδις ανοιξη ωδε οτει Νοφειος κε Νυφη κειτε · ευλογια τοις οσιοις ωδε. (2) Ειρημα Νυμφη ωδε κειται κατα του μυστηριου ουντουτου μητις ωδε ανυξη. Tegea: Σαμουηλ πρεσβ(υτερος) · δοτε δοξαν τω Θεω · μη τις τορμησι ανυξε την σορον πλεον της γενισεος μου επι ινε αυτοι υπο τον ορον. Venosa: "Absida ubi cesquit Faustinus Pater" ("C. I. L." ix. 647). "Hic ciscued Faustina filia Faustina filia Faustini pat[ris] annorum quattuor deci mēnsurum quinque, que fuet unica parenturum; quei dixerunt trēnus duo apostuli et duo rebbites et satis grande dolurem fecet parentebus et lagremas cibitati que fuet pronepus Faustini pat(ris) nepus Biti et Aseni qui fuerunt maiures cibitatis" (ib. 648).

T. S. de R.The Moabite Stone. —Hebrew:

Owing to the fact that no authentic Hebrew documents of a literary, economic, or legal nature can be assigned to an earlier date than the ninth century B.C., information concerning the various stages in the development of the Hebrew script can be obtained only through a study of the old Hebrew inscriptions. The script used by the Hebrews in the pre-exilic times was that adopted later by the Samaritans; this script, like all the systems of letters now in use, was derived from the Phenician. The oldest document in this script is the Moabite Stone (see Alphabet; Moabite Stone), discovered in 1868 by the Alsatian missionary Klein, near Dibon, in the land of Moab. It dates from Mesha, King of Moab (mentioned in II Kings iii. 4), who describes the victories gained by him over Israel. With slight variations, the language of the inscription is Hebrew, and the form of its letters isessentially cursive. Of a much later date, perhaps from the time of Hezekiah, is the inscription discovered in 1888 in the Siloam tunnel, and relating an episode in the construction of the conduit (see Alphabet). Its script betrays a marked preference for curved lines, frequently terminating in short strokes or flourishes. Besides this monument there exist from pre-exilic times only some very short inscriptions engraved on Seals.

Tomb of the Bene Ḥezir.

Not long after the return of the Hebrews from the Babylonian Exile, the old Hebrew script was superseded in secular writings by the Aramaic, from which, by gradual changes and transformations, developed the square characters, which do not greatly differ from the present ones. The only specimens of the old Hebrew script from post-exilic times are those engraved on coins (see Numismatics), and several unimportant inscriptions from the fourth and fifth centuries of the common era. The oldest Hebrew monument inscribed in other characters than those of the old Hebrew script is that discovered in a cavern at 'Araḳ al-Amir. It consists of a single word, the reading of which is, according to some, , and, according to others, . As the cavern is generally identified with the one which, according to Josephus ("Ant." xii. 4, § 11), was excavated by Hyrcanus, son of Joseph the tax-farmer, the inscription can not antedate the year 183 B.C. The characteristic feature of its writing is the mingling of various types of letters: the ע has the old Semitic form; the ב, ה, and י are similar to the Aramaic characters of the Persian period; while the י has the form used at a much later date. Paleographically interesting is the inscription found by De Saulcy on the architrave of a tomb in the valley of Jehoshaphat. It is the epitaph of eight members of the sacerdotal family of the Bene Ḥezir, mentioned in I Chron. xxiv. 15. With the exception of ג, ט, צ, and ת the inscription contains all the letters of the alphabet in the form and shape as they continued to be in use, with more or less essential modifications, until about the ninth century. The א has already the specifically Hebrew form; the strokes and curves of the ב, כ, ד, and ר are turned upward instead of being on the left side as in the Aramaic; the י has the shape of a hook; while the ס has an angular form. The inscription of the Bene Ḥezir is believed to date from the first century B.C.

From about the same period date the ossuaries or stone sarcophagi which are found in great numbers in Palestine. However uninteresting their details may be, they are of great value for the study of the development of the square characters. In them is noticeable the attempt to give to the letters such forms as would admit of a whole word being written with the minimum number of breaks, each letter being gradually made to approach as near as possible the following one. Thus the perpendicular lines which originally formed part of the letters ץ, ף, ן, and ד were bent toward the left; but when one of these letters stood at the end of a word it retained its original downward stroke.

Galilean Synagogues.

To the inscriptions dating from the second half of the first century of the common era probably belong the following: the two-lined inscription discovered on the Mount of Olives, of which only a few letters can be identified with certainty; that found in the subterranean canal which served as an outlet for the waters used in the Temple; the boundary-stones discovered by Clermont-Ganneau, among which is one indicating the municipal limits of the city of Gezer beyond which no one was allowed to pass on Sabbath; the short legend , written both in Syriac and in Hebrew, on a sarcophagus belonging, according to Renan, to a princess of Adiabene. All these inscriptions, in spite of the insignificance of their contents, are very interesting for the study of the Hebrew paleography. Several fragmentary inscriptions found in Jerusalem and vicinity may be assigned to the first centuries of the common era. Especially interesting is the two-lined inscription found in a synagogue at Kafr Bir'im in Galilee, northwest of Safed, which reads as follows: ("May peace abide within this place [synagogue ?] and in all places [synagogues ?] of Israel! Jose ha-Levi, son of Levi, erected this lintel; blessing attend his works [?]"). Here some letters occur several times in various shapes. The left line of the "alef" is perpendicular instead of being bent to the left as in the earlier inscriptions. The ב is distinguished from the כ by an upward stroke. The left line of the ה sometimes is fastened to the upper cross-bar, and sometimes it is separated. The ו is distinguished from the ו by its length; the ן has a little stroke on the right. Two small strokes, one upward and the other downward, distinguish the ב from the כ, which has only one downward stroke. The ס has the shape of a triangle; the stem of the ק is joined to the horizontal line, and the middle stroke of the ש is oblique. To a somewhat later date seems to belong another inscription found in Kafr Bir'im; this record contains only a proper name, and is written in more cursive characters. From about the beginning of the sixth century dates the inscription engraved on the monolith in the caves of the Al-Aḳṣa mosque. It contains the names of a married couple of Sicily, Jonah and his wife Shabbataya.

The oldest inscriptions that have been discovered outside of Palestine are the short legends daubed with red lead on the walls of the catacombs of Venosa. They belong probably to the period between the second and fifth centuries, and present the oldest examples of cursive script. Longer texts in cursive characters are furnished by the clay bowls discovered by Layard in Babylonia and bearing exorcisms against magical influences and evil spirits. They date from the seventh or eighth century, and some of the letters are written in a form that is very antiquated. Of about the same date are the papyri discovered at Fayum, which contain hymns and prayers. They have been described and explained by Steinschneider (in Stade's "Zeitschrift," 1879; Berliner's "Magazin," 1880).

In Southern Italy.

All the Hebrew inscriptions that have been found in Europe are on gravestones. Of these the oldest are those of Italy, some of which are believed to belongto the fifth or sixth century. They have been described and explained by A. G. Ascoli in his "Iscrizione Inedite o Mal Note Greche, Latine, Ebraiche in Antichi Sepolcri Giudaici del Napolitano" (Turin and Rome, 1880). The following inscription discovered at Brindisi and bearing date of 832 will serve as a specimen of the style and eulogies employed:

"Here lies Lea, daughter of Yefeh Mazal [may her soul be in the bundle of life!] who died in the year seven hundred and sixty-four from the destruction of the Temple, at the age of seventeen. May the Holy [blessed be He!] grant that she be resurrected with the pious [women], and may she enter into peace and repose in her resting-place. Guardians of the treasures of the Garden of Eden! Open for her the gates of the Garden of Eden that she may enter the Garden of Eden. Open for her the gates of the Garden of Eden [that she may have] delightful things to her right and sweet things to her left. This Thou shouldst answer and tell her: 'This is my beloved, my companion.'"

In France and Spain.

The oldest epitaph discovered in France is at Narbonne and dates from 688. It is written in Latin, but contains the Hebrew eulogy (T. Reinach, in "R. E. J." xix. 75-83; Schwab, "Rapport sur les Inscriptions Hébraïques en France," p. 147). Not much less ancient is an epitaph at Vienne, Dauphiné, which contains the name of a certain Samuel ben Justus (). Of a later date is the epitaph, found at Arles, of a certain Meïr. To the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries belong the epitaphs found at Mantes, Senneville, Orléans, and other localities ("R. E. J." xvii. 150, xxii. 294). They are all written in the same style; the preferred expression for "died" seems to have been ("He departed for paradise"). About ten small inscriptions are engraved on the walls of the Tour Blanche, Issourdin. They are believed to belong to the time of Philip the Fair and to have been executed by the Jewish prisoners who had been confined by that monarch in order to extort money from them (ib. xx. 283).

An interesting epitaph is that written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew which has been discovered at Tortosa. It reads as follows:

"Peace on Israel! This tomb is that of Meliosa, daughter of Judah and of Mrs. (?) Miriam; may her memory be blessed! May her spirit [that of Meliosa] pass to eternal life, and her soul remain in the bundle of living! Amen! Peace!"

The epigraphists are divided as to the approximate date of this inscription. According to some it belongs to the sixth century, it being held that after that time Greek was no longer used by the Jews of Spain; while others assign it to a much later date because of its relatively modern forms of eulogies. To the ninth century belongs the epitaph found at Calatayud (Fidel Fita, in "Boletin Acad. Hist." xii. 17; Isidore Loeb, in "R. E. J." xvi. 273), and probably also that of Coruña (Isidore Loeb, ib. vi. 118).

The following dated inscription was found at Leon:

"This tomb is that of R. Joseph, son of 'Aziz, the goldsmith, who died at the age of sixty-five, on Sunday, the 15th of the month Kislew, in the year eight hundred sixty-one according to the computation of the city of Leon [1100 C.E.]. May the Holy [blessed be He!] grant him favor, forgive him his sins, pass over his failures, have pity on him, make him stand in his lot at the end of the days [allusion to Dan. xii. 13] and resuscitate him for the life of the future world" (see Soave in "Bulletino Italiano degli Studii Orientali," 1877, No. 24).

The epitaphs of the cemetery of Toledo have been described by Joseph Almanzi in a work entitled "Abne Zikkaron" (Prague, 1841). The oldest of them is that of Joseph ben Solomon ibn Shoshan, which dates from 1205.

In Germany and Holland.

Fourteen Alsatian inscriptions, among which are several dedications of synagogues, have been examined paleographically by J. Euting (in "Festschrift zur Feier des 350Jährigen Bestehens des Protestantischen Gymnasiums," pp. 227-246, Strasburg, 1888). The oldest of them dates from the twelfth century; the most modern, from 1391. The oldest epitaphs found in Germany are those of Worms. Of these, sixty have been described by L. Lewyson in his "Nafshot ha-Ẓaddiḳim" (Frankfort-on-the-Main," 1855). The most ancient of them dates from 905. Among other German epitaphs which have been published are those of Erfurt (Philip Kroner, in "Monatsschrift," xxxiii. 349; idem, "Geschichte der Juden in Erfurt"); Coblenz and Cologne (Gildemeister, in "Jahrbücher des Vereins von Alterthumsfreunde ins Rheinlande," l., lii.; the dates given there are certainly wrong; the epitaphs are much more modern); Frankfort-on-the Main (M. Horovitz, "Die Inschriften des Alten Friedhofes der Israelitischen Gemeindezu Frankfurt," 1901); and Berlin (Landshuth, "Sefer ha-Ḥayyim," Berlin, 1867). Among the epitaphs found in Austria which have been published are those of Vienna (Frankl, "Inschriften des Alten Jüdischen Friedhofes in Wien," 1855); Prague (Foges, "Alterthümer der Prager Josefstadt," i. 855, Prague; Lieben, "Gal 'Ed," with an introduction by S. Rapoport, Prague, 1856); and Lemberg (Gabriel ben Naphtali, "Maẓebet Ḳodesh," Lemberg, 1860-69).

Of the epitaphs found in Holland, the oldest dates from 1614, in which year the first Dutch cemetery was dedicated. It is in verse and has this particularity that the words are put into the mouth of the dead. It reads as follows:

"In this place I rolled myself in dust. After a short life I quitted the world and dedicated the cemetery. In the year 374 (1614) I departed for the Eden. My name which I abandoned was Joseph, son of David Senior—his name is my glory! In this tomb I was interred the second day of the month of Iyyar."

Many old Holland epitaphs have been published by De Castro and in various Dutch periodicals.

In Russia and Africa.

A discussion which greatly promoted the study of Hebrew paleography was that concerning the epitaphs of the Crimea published by Abraham Firkovich under the title "Abne Zikkaron" (Wilna, 1872). Chwolson (in "Mémoires de l'Académie de St.-Pétersbourg," ix. 1866) defended the dates given by Firkovich, and assigned some of these texts to the time of Jesus, while Harkavy ("Altjüdische Denkmäler aus der Krim," 1876) endeavored to demonstrate that the dates had been forged and that all the texts belonged to the thirteenth century. Among other Russian epitaphs the most noteworthy are those of Wilna, published by Fuenn in his "Ḳiryah Ne'emanah" (Wilna, 1860). Eighty-eight epitaphs, ranging from 1083 to 1553, from various European countries were published under the title "Gal Abanim" by Aaron Luzzatto (Triest, 1851).

With the exception of the ossuaries of Alexandria, which date from the first centuries of the common era, very few ancient epitaphs have been found in Africa. The oldest one known seems to be that of Volubilis, which has been published by Philippe Berger, who assigns it to one of the early centuries of the common era ("Rapport sur une Inscription Punique Trouvée à Linus et sur une Inscription Juive Ancienne de Volubilis," Paris, 1892). A collection of Algerian epitaphs, ranging from the fifteenth century to the end of the eighteenth, was published by I. Bloch ("Les Inscriptions Tumulaires des Cimetières d'Alger," Paris, 1892).

The British Museum possesses five epitaphs from an old cemetery of Aden. Among these is one which was published by Jacob Safir in "Ha-Lebanon" (iii.) and which bears date of the year 29 of the Seleucid era (283 B.C.). As this date is absolutely impossible, there can be no doubt that the sign denoting "thousand" was omitted by the lapidary; accordingly, if the remainder of the date is correct, the epitaph would be of the year 717 of the common era; but considering the modernity of the style and of the formulas employed, even this latter date is considered by some scholars to be altogether too early. For the various forms of eulogies see Invocation. See, also, Manuscripts.

  • Moabite Stone: C. Clermont-Ganneau, La Stèle de Dhiban ou Stèle de Mesa, Roi de Moab, Paris, 1870;
  • T. Nöldeke, Die Inschrift des Königs Mesa von Moab, Kiel, 1870;
  • K. Schlottmann, Die Siegessäule Mesa's Königs der Moabiter, Halle, 1870;
  • R. Smend and A. Socin, Die Inschrift des Königs Mesa von Moab, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1886;
  • Lidzbarski, Eine Nachprüfung der Mesainschrift, in Ephemeris für Semitische Epigraphik, i. 1 et seq.;
  • idem, Handbuch der Nordsemitischen Epigraphik, i. 39.
  • Siloam Inscription: E. Kautzsch, Die Siloahinschrift, in Z. D. P. V. iv. 102 et seq., 260 et seq.;
  • H. Guthe, Die Siloahinschrift, in Z. D. M. G. xxxvi. 725 et seq.;
  • E. J. Pilcher, The Date of the Siloam Inscription, in Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. xix. 165 et seq.
  • Inscriptions in Square Characters: Chwolson, C. I. H. St. Petersburg, 1882;
  • Babelan and Schwab, in R. E. J. iv. 165 et seq.;
  • Hyvernat, in Zeitschrift für Keilschriftforschung, ii. 113 et seq.;
  • Grünbaum, ib. pp. 217 et seq.;
  • Nöldeke, ib. pp. 295 et seq.;
  • Schwab, in Revue d'Assyriologie, i. 117 et seq., ii. 136 et seq.; Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch. xii. 292 et seq., xiii. 583 et seq.;
  • Harkavy, in Memoirs, Oriental Section, St. Petersburg Arch. Soc. iv. 83 et seq.;
  • idem, Altjüdische Denkmäler aus der Krim, in Mémoires de l'Academie de St. Pétersbourg, ix. 1876;
  • Lacan, in Revue d'Assyriologie, iii. 49 et seq.;
  • Wahlstein, in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, ix.
  • Hebrew Papyri: Steinschneider, Hebräische Papyrus Fragmente aus dem Fayyum, in Stade's Zeitschrift, 1879;
  • idem, in Berliner's Magazin, 1880;
  • Erman and Krebs, Aus den Papyrus der Königlichen Museem, p. 290, Berlin, 1899;
  • M. de Vogué, in various numbers of the Revue Archéologique and in Le Temple de Jerusalem;
  • Silvestre, Paleographie Universelle, i., Paris, 1841;
  • Lenormant, Essai sur la Propagation de l'Alphabet Phenicien, i. 173 et seq.;
  • P. Berger, Histoire de l'Ecriture dans l'Antiquité, 2d ed., pp. 188 et seq., Paris, 1892;
  • Leopold Löw, Graphische Requisiten und Erzeugnisse bei den Juden, ii. 38 et seq., Leipsic, 1871.
  • Epitaphs: Zunz, Z. G. pp. 304 et seq.;
  • see Cemeteries.
  • A complete list of the works on Hebrew paleography has been published by Steinschneider.
J. I. Br.