Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[46] Donation of a Judean Synagogue by Polycharmos (II-III CE) Stobi - Macedonia

Stobi (Macedonia, Greece and Macedonia — Pleiades map), II-III CE
AGRW 46 = GRA I 73 = IJO I Mac1 = CIJ 694 = PHI 150506 = AGRW ID# 2294


Column of marble, now in the Belgrade National Museum (inv. no. 18/IV). The inscription was found inside a fifth-century Christian basilica, which is built upon a synagogue, itself built upon a smaller synagogue, which was, in turn, a renovation of a private villa. This earliest stratum is likely the house of Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos.

Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos, also called Achyrios, the father of the synagogue in Stobi, who has conducted his whole life according to Judean custom, in fulfillment of a vow has donated the rooms (oikoi) to the holy place and the dining room with three benches (triclinium), along with a portico with four rows of columns (tetrastoon), from his own resources without touching the holy revenues at all. All authority over all the upper rooms and the ownership is retained by me, Claudius Tiberius Polycharmos, and by my heirs as long as they are alive. Whoever wants to introduce a novelty against my decision shall pay 250,000 denarii to the patriarch. For this seemed good to me. The repair of the roof tiles of the upper rooms will be done by me and my heirs.

Translation by: Ascough

[ἔτους τιαʹ(?) {ριαʹ(?)}] | [Κλ(αύδιος)] Τιβέριος Πολύ|χαρμος, ὁ καὶ Ἀχύρι|ος· ὁ πατὴρ τῆς ἐν || Στόβοις συναγωγῆς | ὃς πολειτευσάμε|νος πᾶσαν πολειτεί|αν κατὰ τὸν ἰουδαϊ|σμὸν εὐχῆς ἕνεκεν || τοὺς μὲν οἴκους τῷ | ἁγίῳ τόπῳ καὶ τὸ | τρίκλεινον σὺν τῷ | τετραστόῳ ἐκ τῶν | οἰκείων χρημάτων || μηδὲν ὅλως παραψά|μενος τῶν ἁγίων, τὴν | δὲ ἐξουσίαν τῶν ὑπε|ρώων πάντων πᾶσαν | καὶ τὴν <δ>εσποτείαν || ἔχειν ἐμὲ τὸν Κλ(αύδιον) Τιβέρι|ον Πολύχαρμον καὶ τοὺς | {καὶ τοὺς} κληρονόμους | τοὺς ἐμοὺς διὰ παντὸς | βίου, ὃς ἂν δὲ βουληθῇ || τι καινοτομῆσαι παρὰ τὰ ὑ|π’ ἐμοῦ δοχθέντα, δώσει τῷ | πατριάρχῃ δηναρίων <μ>υριά|δας εἴκοσι πέντε· οὕτω γάρ | μοι συνέδοξεν, τὴν δὲ ἐπι||σκευὴν τῆς κεράμου τῶν | ὑπερώων ποιεῖσθ<α>ι ἐμὲ | καὶ κληρονόμους | ἐμούς.

Pillar from Stobi regarding the donation of Polycharmos.
BCH 56 (1932), plate 19, public domain.

Item added: August 6, 2012
Item modified: August 6, 2018
ID number: 2294
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