|Temple Warning Inscription|
The inscription in its current location
|Created||c. 23 BCE – 70 CE|
|Present location||Istanbul Archaeology Museums|
The Temple Warning inscription, also known as the Temple Balustrade inscription or the Soreg inscription, is an inscription that hung along the balustrade outside the Sanctuary of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Two of these tablets have been found. A complete tablet was discovered in 1871 by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau and published by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Following the discovery of the inscription, it was taken by the Ottoman authorities, and it is currently in the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. A partial fragment of the inscription was found in 1936 by J. H. Iliffe in Jerusalem's Lions' Gate, and is held in the Israel Museum.
The inscription was a warning to pagan visitors to the temple not to proceed further. Both Greek and Latin inscriptions on the temple's balustrade served as warnings to pagan visitors not to proceed under penalty of death.Two authentic tablets have been found, one complete, and the other a partial fragment with missing sections, but with letters showing signs of the red paint that had originally highlighted the text. It was described by the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1872 as being "very nearly in the words of Josephus".
The inscription uses three terms referring to temple architecture:
The tablet bears the following inscription in Koine Greek:
|Original Greek||In minuscles with diacritics||Transliteration||Translation|
|Μηθένα ἀλλογενῆ εἰσπο- |
ρεύεσθαι ἐντὸς τοῦ πε-
ρὶ τὸ ἱερὸν τρυφάκτου καὶ
περιβόλου. Ὃς δ᾽ ἂν λη-
φθῇ, ἑαυτῶι αἴτιος ἔσ-
ται διὰ τὸ ἐξακολου-
|Mēthéna allogenē eispo[-] |
reúesthai entòs tou pe[-]
rì tò hieròn trypháktou kaì
peribólou. Hòs d'àn lē[-]
phthē heautōi aítios és[-]
tai dià tò exakolou[-]
|No stranger is to enter |
within the balustrade round
the temple and
enclosure. Whoever is caught
will be himself responsible
for his ensuing
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It was so satisfactory that skilful natives promptly forged several duplicates