Palmyra (Syria and Phoenicia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), 117 CE
= Moritz Sobernheim, "Palmyrenische Inschriften II," Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft 10 (1905) 17–73, at 14 (no. 7 and Taf. IV)
= ID# 9452
Monument on the console of a column with an Aramaic inscription, found west of the southern stoa. Several inscriptions attest to a marzeah, which is here translated "banqueting-society" but was sometimes used in reference to the "banquet" or "festival" itself. The membership of this particular group consisted of priests of Bel. See IPalmyra 6 (193 CE), 9 (140 CE), 14 (II CE), 15, and 434 (after 162 CE), where the accompanying Greek inscriptions designate the leader of this society a συμποσιάρχης. Nine of the 1200 or so small clay or bronze tokens found in the temple of Bel at Palmyra also make reference to a marzeah or to a leader of a marzeah. There were also such banqueting-societies held by the priests of Belastor and Baal Shamim at Palmyra (PAT 991 [I CE]). However, priests were not the only ones who formed or participated in such banqueting-societies: on this site, see PAT 326 from Palmyra, two inscriptions from Nabatea (at Petra and Oboda), and the Phoenician text that accompanies IG II² 2946 from the Piraeus (cf. PAT 2743 [243 CE], 1358 and 2812 [272-273 CE]). For the notion of the god Yarhibol testifying or witnessing on behalf of a person, see also IPalmyra 223 (ὑπὸ Ἰαριβ[ώ]λου | [τοῦ π]ατρ[ῴ]ου θ[ε]οῦ μαρτ[υ]|ρηθῆναι) and IPalmyra 224. For further discussion of the marzeah and for bibliography, see, most recently, McLaughlin 2001, 35-64 and Kaizer 2002, 213-260.
This is the statue of Zebida, son of Shoadu and grandson of Taimoshamash, which the Council made for him to honor him – the god Yarhibol has testified about him – during his leadership of the banqueting-society (marzēaḥ) of the priests of Bel in the month of Nisan, year 428.
Translation by: John L. McLaughlin
צלמא דנה די זבידא בר שעדו
תימשמש די עבדת לה בולא
לי]קרה וסהד לה ירחבול אלהא]
ברבנות מרזחותה די כמרי בל
(428) בירח ניסן שנת
Item added: January 14, 2013
Item modified: July 2, 2013
ID number: 9452
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