60 Nicaea

The Greek inscription below the menorah, a Jewish version of Psalm 136:25 (Psalm 135 in the Septuagint), was published in Berlin in 1943, with minor mention of the lampstand.

The place and date of publication may or may not be relevant; epigraphers often disregard the artifacts upon which their inscriptions appear. More important, though, is the fact that this large late antique artifact was reused, eventually as the lip of a rather large baptistery. It was reinscribed with a dedicatory inscription by King Michael III (842–867, who began a major building project in Nicaea in 857/8 CE), and the Jewish inscription was embedded in the city wall.


Close-up of the marble ashlar with the inscribed menorah, from Iznik, ancient Nicaea.

An exquisite menorah that had previously gone unnoticed.