Theodotos Inscription

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Dana Murray
published on 29 August 2015

This dedicatory building inscription was excavated near the Temple Mount and dates to the First Century BCE. An important find, it demonstrates that synagogues existed before the destruction of the Temple. Although they existed during that time, synagogues had not yet become substitutes for the Temple and its rites, but rather filled other religious and social roles.

Recorded in Greek, it reads:

"Theodotos, son of Vettenos, priest and head of the synagogue, son of the head of the synagogue, who was also the son of the head of the synagogue, build the synagogue for the reading of the Law and for the study of the precepts, as well as the hospice and the chambers and the bathing-establishment, for lodging those who need them, from abroad; it (the synagogue) was founded by his ancestors and the elders and Simonides."

Limestone dedicatory inscription currently housed in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

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About the Author

Dana Murray
Researcher with interest in the art, architecture and religion of ancient Greece and the Near East.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Murray, D. (2015, August 29). Theodotos Inscription. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Murray, Dana. "Theodotos Inscription." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified August 29, 2015.

MLA Style

Murray, Dana. "Theodotos Inscription." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 29 Aug 2015. Web. 04 Feb 2023.