The Earliest Documented Jewish Epitaphs
from Ancient Rome
26. The following inscriptions, now lost, one in Greek and one in Latin, were fortunately recorded by Philippe de Winghe and Claude Menestrier in the late sixteenth century, although the first Jewish catacomb was not discovered until 1602: "Here lies Zosimos Life [Archon] of the Synagogue of the Agrippesians. In peace his sleep. Here lies . . . Archon (?), [aged] . . . years." The term "life archon" was probably an honorary title. The Synagogue of the Agrippesians might have been situated in the Transtiberine region and most likely was named after Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
"(Beturia) Veturia Paulina F (?) Settled in her eternal home, who lived 86 years, 6 months, a proselyte of 16 years, named Sara, Mother of the Synagogues of Campus and (Bolumnius) Volumnius. In peace her sleep." A convert to Judaism at the age of seventy, Veturia Paulina was honored with the revered position of Mother of the Synagogue in two congregations—an office, like that of its masculine counterpart, Father of the Synagogue (nos. 44, 49 and 50), conferred on the most highly respected individuals of the community and perhaps associated with charitable duties.
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