Volubilis was a Roman city located at the southwest extremity of the Roman Empire in modern-day Morocco. Several Jewish gravestone inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, likely from the 3rd century CE, have been found there. One of them belongs to “Protopolites Kaikilianos, the head of a Jewish congregation (synagogue
)”, and it indicates the presence of a relatively big Jewish community in the city. The Hebrew inscription of “Matrona, daughter of Rabbi Yehuda” is unique occurrence of using the Hebrew language in such a remote region. The Latin inscription belongs to “Antonii Sabbatrai”, likely a Jew. In addition, two lamps decorated with menorahs, one from bronze and one from clay, were found in Volubilis. In nearby Chellah, a Jewish inscription in Greek was also discovered. We revisit these inscriptions including their language, spelling mistakes, and their interpretations. We relate epigraphic sources to archaeological evidence and discuss a possible location of the synagogue in this remote city, which was the first synagogue in Morocco.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited