Temple Warning inscription

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Temple Warning Inscription
Jerusalem Temple Warning Inscription.jpg
The inscription in its current location
Material Limestone
WritingGreek
Createdc. 23 BCE – 70 CE [1]
Discovered1871
Present location Istanbul Archaeology Museums
Identification2196 T

The Temple Warning inscription, also known as the Temple Balustrade inscription or the Soreg inscription [2] , is an inscription that hung along the balustrade outside the Sanctuary of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Two of these tablets have been found. [3] A complete tablet was discovered in 1871 by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau and published by the Palestine Exploration Fund. [1] 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. [1] [4]

Baluster architectural element; moulded shaft

A baluster—also called spindle—is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, cut from a rectangular or square plank, one of various forms of spindle in woodwork, made of stone or wood, and sometimes of metal or plastic, standing on a unifying footing, and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase.

Second Temple Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BC and 70 AD

The Second Temple was the Jewish holy temple which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was conquered and part of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Contents

Inscription

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. [3] [5] 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. [5] It was described by the Palestine Exploration Fund in 1872 as being "very nearly in the words of Josephus". [6] [7] [8]

Paganism non-Abrahamic religion, or modern religious movement such as nature worship

Paganism is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene, gentile, and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian.

Koine Greek, also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire, and the early Byzantine Empire, or late antiquity. It evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

The inscription uses three terms referring to temple architecture: [9]

Translation

The tablet bears the following inscription in Koine Greek:

Original GreekIn minuscles with diacritics Transliteration [10] Translation [11]
ΜΗΘΕΝΑΑΛΛΟΓΕΝΗΕΙΣΠΟ

ΡΕΥΕΣΘΑΙΕΝΤΟΣΤΟΥΠΕ

ΡΙΤΟΙΕΡΟΝΤΡΥΦΑΚΤΟΥΚΑΙ

ΠΕΡΙΒΟΛΟΥΟΣΔΑΝΛΗ

ΦΘΗΕΑΥΤΩΙΑΙΤΙΟΣΕΣ

ΤΑΙΔΙΑΤΟΕΞΑΚΟΛΟΥ

ΘΕΙΝΘΑΝΑΤΟΝ

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-

θεῖν θάνατον.

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[-]

thein thánaton.

No stranger is to enter

within the balustrade round

the temple and

enclosure. Whoever is caught

will be himself responsible

for his ensuing

death.

Forgeries

A copy of the inscription at the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome. XV04 - Roma, Museo civilta romana - Lapide del Tempio - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto 12-Apr-2008.jpg
A copy of the inscription at the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome.

Several forgeries were promptly prepared following the 1871 discovery. [12] Clermont-Ganneau was shown a similar artifact at the Monastery of St Saviour, which was later shown to be a forgery created by Martin Boulos. [13]

Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau French orientalist and archaeologist

Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau was a noted French Orientalist and archaeologist.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, Jerusalem, Part 1, Walter de Gruyter, 2010, ISBN   9783110222203], page 42
  2. Magness, Jodi (2012). The Archaeology of the Holy Land: From the Destruction of Solomon's Temple to the Muslim Conquest. Cambridge University Press. p. 155.
  3. 1 2 Bickerman, Elias J. “The Warning Inscriptions of Herod's Temple.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 37, no. 4, 1947, pp. 387–405.
  4. Israel Museum, ID number: IAA 1936-989
  5. 1 2 Llewelyn, Stephen R., and Dionysia Van Beek. “Reading the Temple Warning as a Greek Visitor.” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period, vol. 42, no. 1, 2011, pp. 1–22.
  6. Palestine Exploration Fund (1872). Quarterly Statement - Palestine Exploration Fund. Published at the Fund's Office. pp. 121–.
  7. "Josephus: Of the War, Book V". penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 2018-03-03. Upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another; declaring the law of purity, some in Greek and some in Roman letters; that no foreigner should go within that sanctuary. For that second [court of the] temple was called the sanctuary: and was ascended to by fourteen steps from the first court.
  8. DE LATINISMEN IN HET GRIEKS VAN HET NIEUWE TESTAMENT, p.15: διὰ τούτου προϊόντων ἐπὶ τὸ δεύτερον ἱερὸν δρύφακτος περιβέβλητο λίθινος, τρίπηχυς μὲν ὕψος, πάνυ δὲ χαριέντως διειργασμένος: ἐν αὐτῷ δὲ εἱστήκεσαν ἐξ ἴσου διαστήματος στῆλαι τὸν τῆς ἁγνείας προσημαίνουσαι νόμον αἱ μὲν Ἑλληνικοῖς αἱ δὲ Ῥωμαϊκοῖς γράμμασιν μηδένα ἀλλόφυλον ἐντὸς τοῦ ἁγίου παριέναι (BJ 5.2.2, §193-194) [transliterated: diá toútou proïónton epí tó défteron ierón drýfaktos perivévlito líthinos, trípichys mén ýpsos, pány dé chariéntos dieirgasménos: en aftó dé eistíkesan ex ísou diastímatos stílai tón tís agneías prosimaínousai nómon ai mén Ellinikoís ai dé Romaïkoís grámmasin midéna allófylon entós toú agíou pariénai]; Also at Perseus
  9. Bickerman, 1947, pages 387–389: "To begin with, there are three terms referring to the architectural complex of the Temple. Το ίερόν, "holy place," is the designation of the consecrated area, to which the fore-court led. This area was called by the Jews "sacred," mikdosh (הַמִּקְדָּשׁ). The word ίερόν was common in this sense in Greek and applied to pagan cults. For this reason it was avoided by the Alexandrian translators of the Scripture who use the term το άγιον in referring to the Temple of Jerusalem. But after the Maccabean victory, the Jews had less scruples about using a technical term from Greek heathenism. On the other hand, the word το άγιον which had become fashionable for Oriental holy places, was no longer a distinctive term in Herod's time. Accordingly, Philo and Josephus use both words, ίερόν and άγιον to designate the Temple of Herod. The περίβολος was the wall which encompassed the holy terrace within the outer court. Josephus, Philo and the Septuagint use this Greek word, technical in this connotation, to describe the enclosure of the Temple. The τρύψακτος, the Soreg in the Mishna, was a stone barrier which stretched across the outer court to protect the flights of stairs leading up to the inner court. As we said, the warning inscriptions were fixed on this rail."
  10. Note: The original text is written in scriptio continua ; the "[-]" symbol in the transliteration represents the Greek words which are broken across two lines
  11. Discovery of a Tablet from Herod's Temple
  12. Cadbury, Henry J. (1 October 2004). The Book of Acts in History. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 96–. ISBN   978-1-59244-915-6. It was so satisfactory that skilful natives promptly forged several duplicates
  13. "Quarterly statement | Palestine Exploration Fund, 1884". archive.org. Retrieved 2015-11-15.

External references