Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Honors by Palmyrene and Greek Merchants for Yedibel (19 CE) Palmyra - Syria and Phoenicia

Palmyra (Syria and Phoenicia, Greater Syria and the East — Pleiades map), 19 CE
IPalmyra 24 = IOriente 83 = CIS 3924 = PHI 314526 = AGRW ID# 9103
Copenhagen Inventory info: 621


Slab of stone found reused in the temple of Bel, now in Palmyra (A 34). Cf. Gregoratti 2010, 23-24 (with a translation of the Aramaic). This is the earliest of numerous inscriptions attesting to merchants and merchant caravans consisting of Palmyrenes, some of which were centerd in Spasinou Charax or Vologesias. The inscriptions say nothing of what goods were transported, but many of them hint at the routes taken by Palmyrene caravans, which traveled from Palmyra towards the Euphrates and down towards Vologesias before approaching Spasinou Charax near where the Euphrates and Tigris emptied into the Persian Gulf. From there, the goods could be transferred to ships that made a stop-over on the island of Tylos (modern Bahrain) in the Persian Gulf before continuing on to India. See also Gawlikowski 1994.

. . . the Palmyrene and Greek (?). . .  merchants (emporoi). . . in Seleukeia (?) . . . set up the statue for Yedibel son of Azizu, Palmyrene from the tribe of Mattabol, since he paid serious attention . . . to the foundation (?) . . . of the temple of Bel.

(Palmyrene translation follows).

Translation by: Harland

[․․․․ οἱ ἐν Σελευ]|[κείᾳ ἔμπ]οροι Πα[λμυρηνοὶ] | [καὶ Ἕλλην]ες ἀνέστησαν | [τὸν ἀνδριάν]τα Ἰεδειβήλῳ || [Ἀζίζου Παλ]μυρηνῷ φ[υλῆς] | [Μανθαβω]λείων ἐπεὶ | [κατεσπο]ύδασεν εἰς τὴν | [κτίσιν τ]οῦ ναοῦ Βήλου. {Palmyrene text}

IOriente 83: Squeeze from CIS II 3924, plate XV.
Public domain.

Temple of Bel at Palmyra.
Photo by Bernard Gagnon.
Creative Commons Licence.


Item added: January 4, 2013
Item modified: March 18, 2021
ID number: 9103
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