ZOOR0024 Zoora, May 18, 363 CE. Tombstone. Epitaph.


[no diplomatic]
μνημεῖον Σαμάκωνος ἀ-
μνημεῖον Σαμά-
κωνος Ζάβδα
ἐτῶν μʹ ἐν τῷ
σεισμῷ ἔτους μνηʹ
μηνὸς Ἀρτεμισίου
ηκʹ θάρσει οὐδείς ἀθάνατος
ἡμέρᾳ Σελήνης
Monument of Samakon, (the) archdeacon, who died... Monument of Samakon, (son) of Zabdas, (the) archdeacon, who died (at the age) of 40 years during the earthquake, in (the) year 258, on (the) 28th (day) of (the) month Artemisios. Be of good cheer, no one (is) immortal. (He died) on the day of (the) Moon (Monday).

The inscription provides the date as the 28th day of the month Artemisios on the day of the Moon in the year 258 according to the Era of the Province of Arabia, that is, Monday May 18, 363 CE. The tombstone is one of about 700 discovered in Byzantine Zoora, and was discovered in two fragments. The majority of the Greek tombstones from this location have been identified as Christian. The inscription contains spelling and grammatical errors, and is recorded in a round alphabet. The author indicates that the letter cutter seems to have begun the inscription only to realize during the second line that he left out the patronymic. The tombstone was then (it seems) rotated 180 degress, at which point the lettercutter began again. The first text is engraved only, while the second text is engraved and painted red. The age, year and month day numneral are all indicated with a horizontal bar above them. The word ἡμέρᾳ is abbreviated with the initial eta and a ligature of the consonents mu and rho. In this epitaph, as well as in zoor0022 and zoor0023, the cause of death is indicated to have been the earthquake, recorded by many ancient writers, which took place on May 18th, 363 CE. These three inscriptions are, so far as we know, the only epigraphical records of the date and occurrence of an earthquake in this region. The earthquake seems to have caused damage throughout most of Transjordan and Palestine, and in many accounts is seen to have been divine retribution for the Emperor Julian's attempt to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The author indicates that archdeacon was an important role, the title indicating that Samakon was the senior deacon of his bishopric. The author notes that the deceased named in Zoor00023, Obbe, may be the daughter of Samakon. This is based upon the patronymic found in Zoor0023 as well as the relative ages of the two figures.


H: 56 cm.; W: 38 cm.; D: 7 cm. Letter Height: 0.8-2.5 cm.

363 CE to 363 CE

Zoora, Negev. An Naq, cemetery.
Found by local inhabitants in the northwest corner of the Bronze Age, Byzantine and Islamic cemetery in the An Naq neighborhood south of the Wadi al-Hasa, probably in secondary use in later graves.

Department of Antiquities of Jordan

Not Available

Not available

('IIP-520', 'insc', '24')

('IIP-520', 'insc', '24')

    IIP-520 insc. 24 )

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The project can be cited as: Satlow, Michael L., ed. 2002 - . “Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine.” Brown University. https://doi.org/10.26300/PZ1D-ST89

This inscription can be cited as: "Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine," [inscription id],[today's date]. https:doi.org/10.26300/pz1d-st89