K. Zangemeister, ZDPV MN 1, 1895, 22, fig. 4

TO A COMPOSITE GOD. This six-line Latin inscription dedicated to Serapis was recovered at the Old City’s Zion Gate. Reused as an ashlar block, the inscribed stone originally might have been part of an altar to Serapis or a statue of the god.1 Serapis was a Greco-Egyptian god invented in the third century B.C.E. under the direction of Ptolemy I to unify Greek and Egyptian religion. Although Serapis was Greek in appearance, iconography from numerous Hellenistic and Egyptian deities was combined to create Serapis’s cult. His very name is a fusion of the Egyptian gods Osiris, god of the underworld, and Apis, the bull deity of the Memphis region. This inscription can be dated to 116/117, the work of Roman soldiers whose presence in Jerusalem was likely connected to the Jewish uprisings.