Angelos Chaniotis

SUPPORTING THE SYNAGOGUE. Standing more than 9 feet high, this massive marble pillar may have originally functioned as a doorjamb at the main entrance of the Jewish synagogue of Aphrodisias. Two of its faces are inscribed in Greek with the names of at least 120 donors who commissioned the memorial, making it one of the longest Jewish inscriptions written in Greek that has ever been found. But while many Jewish names appear on the stone, a surprising number of donors to the synagogue identified themselves as recent converts to Judaism (proselytes) or as theosebeis, “Godfearers,” a little-known group of gentiles and even Christians who were sympathetic to Judaism and participated in synagogue life.