Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

[134] Grave Near a Sambatheion in the Chaldean Quarter (ca. 200 CE) Thyatira - Lydia

Thyatira (Lydia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), ca. 200 CE
AGRW 134 = IJO II 146 = CIJ 752 = PHI 264573 = AGRW ID# 689


Coffin (sarcophagus) of marble. The building here designated a “Sambatheion” may or may not have some connection to the Judean “Sabbath” and, therefore, with a Judean association. Josephus uses the term “Sabbateion” in a decree attributed to Augustus; there it is used in reference to a place where sacred books and the collection for the temple taxes were stored by Judeans in Roman Asia (Josephus, Antiquities 16.164). The fact that this building is in the Chaldean quarter also suggests the possibility of some connection with Babylonian immigrants. See also the rule of the Sabbatists in Cilicia (AGRW 213).

Fabios Zosimos, having prepared the grave, placed it in a pure place outside the city by the Sambatheion in the Chaldean enclosure, alongside the public street, for himself and for his most sweet wife Aurelia Pontiane.  No one else has the authority to put anyone into this grave.  Now whoever dares or does these things will give 1,500 silver denarii to the city of the Thyateirans and 2,500 denarii to the most sacred treasury, also becoming liable under the law of grave–robbing.  This inscription was written twice, with the other copy being placed into the archive.  This was done by Menophilos son of Julianus, public official, in the most brilliant city of the Thyateirans under the proconsul Catillius Severus, on the 13th day of the month Audnaios.

Translation by: Harland

Φάβιος Ζώσιμος κατασκευάσας σορὸν ἔθετο ἐπὶ τόπου καθαροῦ ὄντος πρὸ τῆς πόλεως πρὸς τῶι Σαμβαθείωι ἐν τῶι Χαλδαίου περιǀβόλωι παρὰ τὴν δημοσίαν ὁδὸν ἑαυτῶι ἐφ’ ᾧ τεθῇ καὶ τῆι γλυκυτάτηι αὐτοῦ γυναικὶ Αὐρηλίᾳ Ποντιανῆι, μηδενὸς ἔχοντος ἑτέρου ǀ ἐξουσίαν θεῖναί τινα εἰς τὴν σορὸν ταύτην· ὃς δ’ ἂν τολμήσῃ ἢ ποιήσῃ παρὰ ταῦτα, δώσει εἰς μὲν τὴν πόλιν τὴν Θυατειρηνῶν ἀρǀγυρίου δηνάρια χείλια πεντακόσια, εἰς δὲ τὸ ἱερώτατον ταμεῖον δηνάρια δισχείλια πεντακόσια γεινόμενος ὑπεύθυνος ἔξωθεν ǀǀ τῆς τυμβωρυχίας νόμωι. ταύτης τῆς ἐπιγραφῆς ἐγράφη ἁπλᾶ δύω, ὧν τὸ ἕτερον ἐτέθη εἰς τὸ ἀρχεῖον. ἐγένετο ἐν τῆι λαμπροτάτῃ ǀ Θυατειρηνῶν πόλει ἀνθυπάτωι Κατιλλίωι Σεβήρωι μηνὸς Αὐδναίου τρισκαιδεκάτηι ὑπὸ Μηνόφιλον Ἰουλιανοῦ δημόσιον.

AGRW 124. Photo courtesy of Jason Borges.

Item added: December 1, 2011
Item modified: March 16, 2023
ID number: 689
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