Collection of the Israel Antiquities Authority/Photo by the Israel Museum
Keep out! A partial limestone slab (shown here, compare with photo of carving from above the entrance to sanctuary on isle of Delos) found in 1935 outside Jerusalem’s Old City bears a Greek inscription that has been reconstructed (based on a more complete version of the same text in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum) to read: “No man of another nation to enter within the fence and enclosure around the Temple. Anyone apprehended shall have himself to blame for his consequent death!” According to the first-century C.E. Jewish historian Josephus, similar warnings “some in Greek, some in Latin,” were posted at “regular intervals” along the soreg, a stone balustrade that separated the Temple’s outer Court of the Gentiles from the sacred inner precinct.