Zev Radovan

Remembered twice, “Shlomsion mother of Yehoezer Goliath,” matriarch of the Goliath family is inscribed once in Greek, top, and once in Hebrew, lower right, on this first-century C.E. ossuary. Apparently, the family received the nickname Goliath—after David’s Philistine opponent (1 Samuel 17)—because of the exceptional height of some of its members. More than half the Goliath family epitaphs are in Greek. About 70 percent of all Jewish funeral inscriptions found thus far dating from 300 B.C.E.–500 C.E. are in Greek. Even in Jerusalem, about 40 percent are in Greek, indicating that for a large part of the Jewish population, Greek was probably their daily language.