Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Inscriptions on Apostates

I an currently reading Stephen Wilson's Leaving the Fold: Apostates and Defectors in Antiquity (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004). It includes some good epigraphic evidence for either Jewish acculuturation to pagan culture or for apostasy altogether:

Moschos, son of Moschion, a Jew, as a result of a dream [has set up this stele] at the command of the god Amphiaraos and Hygeia, in accordance with the orders of Amphiaraos and Hygeia to write these things on a stele and set [it] up by the altar.

Series of Inscriptions at the temple of the god Pan

Bless God! Theodotos [son] of Dorion, a Jew, rescued from the sea.

Ptolemaios [son] of Dionysios, a Jew, blesses the god.

And some others like this one from North Africa:

In memory [plus chi-rho symbol] of the blessed Istablicus who is also called Donatus. Installed by his brother Peregrinus, who is also called Mosattes, once a Jew.

This inscription from Italy in the fourth to fifth century implies a Jew's conversion to Christianity:

Here lies Peter, who is [also called] Papario, son of Olympus the Jew, and the only one of his family/people who has deserved to attain the grace of Christ.

See Wilson, pp. 52-65.

1 comment:

Richard Fellows said...

It is interesting that three of the six people that you mention had double names. Peter here is clearly a conversion name. Converts often took the names Peter or John at this time, just as converts to Judaism often took the names Judah or Sarah.