Installed 03 Aug 2010. Latest update, 10 Aug 2012.
Changes or additions are in bold.
Elusa Theatre Inscription
Limestone plaque found in the theatre at Elusa, Israel. Picture by E. Jerry Vardaman
The plaque was found (about 30 feet to the left of the center of this view) during excavations in 1980 on behalf of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Exploration Society and Mississippi State University, under the direction of Avraham Negev.(1)
Here are two different translations of the plaque's text. Words underlined above are rendered differently in the translations.
During the governorship of the most magnificent and most glorious Flavius Demarchus was made the pavement of the old theatre, up to the old pavement, by the charge of the citizen Abraamius son of Zenobius. In year 349.
Year 349 A.E. = A.D. 454/5.
In the time of Mayor Flavius, the most magnificent and most glorious governor, was made the pavement in front of the theatre, up to the old pavement, by the charge of Abraamius Zenobius, Citizen. In year 349.
Zenobius, a native of Elusa and renowned teacher of rhetoric in Antioch, Syria, died in Antioch in A.D. 355. The plaque dates from A.D. 454/455. According to Professor Negev, those two facts allow us to speculate that the pavement mentioned was laid to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Zenobius.
Here is a site map of Elusa showing where the plaque was found. The map is a tracing from an aerial photograph. (The scale is approximate.) 1980 excavation areas are shown in green. Camp facilities (cleared out ruins) are shown in orange. [Added 7 Feb 2012.]
Elusa Archaeological Site in 1980 (2)
(2) Negev, Avraham, Nabatean Archeology Today, New York
University Press, 1986 (in English). The publishing codes for this book are
DS 154.22.N45 also ISBN 0-8147-5760-X. (Figure 63)
Contact: R.S. Fritzius at: