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125 B.C.E. Synagogue Dedications

Athribis Roman SettlementIn the latter part of the reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (145-116 B.C.E.), thus two synagogues were founded In Xenephyris, near Damanhur, and in Nitriai (modern Wadi Natrun or, more probably, el-Barnugi) in the Western Delta (CIJ II, Nos. 1441-1442; Horbury-Noy, Nos. 24-25). Other synagogues were founded by individuals, either personally or in affiliation with a group; families occasionally furnished the necessary equipment for a house of prayer. These cases are illustrated by two inscriptions from Athribis (today Tell Atrib, near Benha) in the Delta, dating from the second or the first century B.C.E.

Synagogue in Athribis

CIJ II, Nos. 1443

On behalf of King Ptolemy VIII and Queen Cleopatra, Ptolemaios (e.g. III) son of Epikydes, chief of police, and the Jews in Athribis [dedicated] the proseuche to God the Most High.

CIJ II, Nos. 1444

On behalf of King Ptolemy and Queen Cleopatra and their children, Hermias and his wife Philotera and their children [gave] this place for sitting for the proseuche. (e.g. Prayer)

Source: Stern, Menahem. Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism. Volume I (p. 222)


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