Monday, July 13, 2009

Greek Inscriptions from Israel 6

Kudos to Tyler Smith for his work on the Beit Alpha Synagogue Inscription.

Inscription 6 is from the magnificent Nabataean city of Avdat in the Judaean wilderness:

In one end of the Avdat fortress... a Byzantine church....

...with this burial inscription:

After you have transcribed and translated the inscription, let me know what you think the markings at the end are.


Joshua said...

Ooh, I know this one:
"Here lies Bob. Friends, wine maker, and all around good guy."

At the bottom someone appears to have graphitised:
"Gaius was here" accompanied with some gang sign.

...oh, those ancient graffiti artists...

Tyler Smith said...

Transcription: Εζησεν ο μακαριος Γερμανος Αλεξανδρου ετη ιζ και μηνας ζ και ετελευτησεν αγαμος εν μηνι Διου θ ετους υμε

Wooden: He lived the blessed Germanos of Alexander years 17 and months 7 and he died unmarried in month of Dios 9 ***** years 445.

Better: The blessed Germanos, son of Alexander, lived 17 years and 7 months, and died unmarried on the ninth day of the month of Dios ***** the year 445.

Notes: The letters with superscript lines (which I couldn’t represent in my transcription) are numbers.

The biggest problem for me is what to do with ΙΝΔΙΣ. I’m sure something funny is going on here because the sigma (if that’s even what it is!) is written differently from the others in this text. Maybe something to do with India? Maybe an abbreviation? Maybe the “sigma” is a space-holder or a decorative scroll mark?

Tyler Smith said...

Oh, and I'm not sure what the + signs are for, but the other symbol in the last line looks a lot like a menorah.