Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travel Quiz


Today i visited a very important place and saw this inscription. Help me decipher it. Where do you think it is from and what does it say?

Clue: the name on the first row

7 Comments:

The White Man said...

It's not all there, but I'd say the name is probably Abraham.

Brice Jones said...

I believe this inscription would be at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. I am not sure of the translation, but can at least give a whack at a transcription:

"[O] AGIE ABRAAM ABWMTHI TON DOYLON [S]O[Y]NILONTON D MARMARARHN KAI AGATHE MERON KAI YGIAN KAI WMBASIN KAI THWMASIAN KAI ABLALA KAI ANASTASIAN"

My tranlsation is rough, so I will let someone else piece this together. There are about 4 words I cannot determine, and it could be that I have divided the words incorrectly.

Tommy Wasserman said...

Brice is absolutely right! I was there yesterday. The inscription is now in the Ibrahimi Mosque above the graves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_the_Patriarchs

another photo of the inscription:

http://tinyurl.com/yz87eau

The White Man said...

Another try on the transcription, from the clearer photo:

[]AGIEABRAAMABWHQITONDOU
LONSOUNILONTONDMARMA
RARHNKAIAGAQEMERON
KAIUGIANKAIWMABISKAIQW
MASIANKAIABLALAKAIANA
STASIAN

There also appears to be vertical writing left of the margin, but it's obscured by the frame.

Anonymous said...

Isn't anybody going to translate this?

Daniel Buck said...

Assuming that most of the transcription is a list of supplicants (alternating male and female), it comes out to something like:

"Holy Abraham, come to the aid of your servant, Nilos the marble-carver, as well as:
Agathemeros
Hygia
Omabis
Thomasia
Ablala
Anastasia."

So, a prayer to Abraham. To this day, Judeans travel to Rachel's tomb to pray to her.
Any ideas on the date?
And that's not actually marble, is it?

Daniel Buck said...

One more possibility:
"Saint Abraham, come to the aid of your servant, Nilos the Marmararian, as well as:
Agathemeros
Hygia
Omabis
Thomasia
Ablala
and Anastasia."

Some of the names, and form of address, date it as Byzantine. But there does seem to be some Semitic influence in the vocative.