Sonia Halliday Photographs

A fountain of peace. The fountain in the forecourt of Sardis’s synagogue is listed in an inscription as one of the city’s public places. Since Christians and Jews could go there, relations between people of these two faiths must have been better than literary accounts from the Byzantine period generally indicate. Sardis’s synagogue was also in as prominent a location as the city’s most important church and underwent repairs despite laws forbidding such activity. If Jews and Christians at Sardis ignored such laws and worked and lived together without restrictions, respecting each others symbols and centers of worship, then perhaps anti-Semitism, at least in this corner of the Byzantine world, was not as deep a problem as has been believed.