M. Ali Dogenci; Aphrodisias Excavations

Tumbled monuments to vanished glory crowd Aphrodisias’s ancient agora, or marketplace. Tucked in a secluded valley in southwest Turkey, Aphrodisias, since 1966, has been the target of a massive excavation by Kenan Erim.

One of the most important finds of the recent excavations was a third-century A. D. Jewish inscription in Greek listing Greek citizens under the heading kai hosoi theosebeis, “and those who are God-fearers.” Scholars point to this inscription as evidence for the existence of gentile “sympathizers” with Judaism known as “God-fearers” who, although they did not formally convert, took part in the life of the Jewish community and observed many Jewish religious customs.