Παρασκευή, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Scholar translates 1700-year old Greek epitaph of a Jewish Egyptian woman


1700-year-greek-epitaph-jewish-egyptian_2Credit: Jaren Wilkey/BYU
A 1700-year old limestone epitaph slightly bigger than an iPad sheds light into the fusion of different religious entities prevalent in early 3rd century AD ancient Egypt. Salvaged from a collection of Greek and Coptic artifacts from University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library, this engraved object commemorates a woman named Helene. And while she is identified (in the epitaph itself) as a Jewish woman, Helene is also referred by a title that was usually associated with Christian women in this late-antiquity time period of Egypt, thus alluding to an inclusive societal scope.

The translation was made by BYU associate professor of ancient scripture Lincoln H. Blumell. The inscription reads like this –