Lifshitz, Donateurs et Fondateurs, pp. 24–26, 31, 32. A number of other inscriptions appear to refer to this class of semi-Jews. An undated inscription, found in a Jewish setting (Frey, Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum [Vatican City, 1936], no. 228), refers to a woman Eparchia as theosebes; another (see Lifshitz, “Les Juifs a Venosa,” Rivista di Filologia 40 [1962], p. 368) refers to Marcus theuseves, likewise in Latin letters. These may be epitaphs of pious Jews, but more likely they are “sympathizers.” The fact that though these inscriptions are in Latin, yet the Greek word theosebes is transcribed in Latin letters would seem to indicate that the term is by this time a technical one. The goddess of the Sabbath, Sambathis, or the Jewish Sibyl, a semimythical prophetess called Sambethe or Sabbe (Tcherikover, “The Sambathions,” Corpus Papyrorum Iudaicarum III, pp. 49–52), was worshipped by a syncretistic association of Sabbath observers. It is easy to understand why newborn girls were named after the patron goddess. The name of the Jewish Sibyl, Sambathis, is definitely derived from the Sabbath (Tcherikover, “The Sambathions,” p. 51). No ancient Oriental goddess was ever associated with Sambathis, and consequently the only reason for pagans worshipping her must be sought in her name. It is precisely at Karanis in Egypt (where we find ostraca referring to the goddess of the Sabbath and to the Jewish Sabbatian Sibyl) where we also find a large number of people named Sambathion. Moreover, the fact that we find an inscription at Naukratis in Egypt, for example, referring to a Sabbatarian (Sambatike) association (sunodos) would indicate that the “sympathizers” were not merely individuals but were organized as a group.

We may also cite an inscription from Cilicia in Asia Minor (Wilhelm von Dittenberger, Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae [Leipzig, 1903–1905], p. 573), apparently dating from the reign of Augustus, which speaks of an “association of the Sambatistae” (hetairea ton Sambatiston) worshipping a god called Sabbatistes. They cannot be Jews, since, as Tcherikover (“The Sambathions,” p. 84) has correctly remarked, Jews would never refer to their God as “the God of the Sabbath,” and hence they are most likely “sympathizers.” Moreover, an inscription from Lydia (Tcherikover, “The Sambathions,” p. 85) in Asia Minor speaks of a woman named Ammias who offers a prayer to Sabathikos, who presumably is the deity of the Sabbath. We have likewise found in Italy inscriptions with the Sabbath-associated names of Junia Sabatis, Aurelia Sabbatia and Claudia Sabbathis (Frey, Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum, I, Appendix, nos. 63, 68, 71). The fact that the first was found on a columbarium and hence that the person had been cremated and that the last two inscriptions start with the heathen formula D.M. (Dis Manibus, “to the divine shades”), indicating a dedication to the deified souls of the dead, would show that they are the inscriptions of pagans and that they are most probably Sabbath-observing “sympathizers” or their children.