2,000-year-old inscription dedicated to Roman emperor unveiled

Discovery made in Jerusalem of rare stone dedicated to Roman Emperor Hadrian currently on display in Jerusalem

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Israel Antiquities Authority have found official and extremely rare stone fragment engraved with an official Latin inscription in dedication to the Roman Emperor Hadrian in Jerusalem close to the Damascus Gate. It was unveiled at Rockefeller Museum in east Jerusalem this week and currently on display.

The Latin inscription was dedicated by Legio X Fretensis to the Emperor Hadrian in the year 130 B.C. and reads “To the Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, son of the deified Traianus Parthicus, grandson of the deified Nerva, high priest, invested with tribunician power for the 14th time, consul for the third time, father of the country (dedicated by) the 10th legion Fretensis Antoniniana.”

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Avner Ecker, who translated the text stated, “The fragment of the inscription revealed by the IAA archeologists is none other than the right half of a complete inscription, the other part of which was discovered nearby in the late 19th century, and was published by the preeminent French archeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau.”

Dr. Rina Avner, who led the Antiquities Authority’s excavation north of Damascus Gate, the relic from the Roman period is among the most important Latin inscriptions that has ever been discovered in Jerusalem.

She stated that the name and title of Hadrian as well as a clear date is “a significant and tangible confirmation of the historical account regarding the presence of the 10th Legion in Jerusalem during the period between the two revolts, and possibly even the location of the legion’s military camp in the city, and of one of the reasons for the outbreak of the Bar-Kochba revolt several years later and the establishment of Aelia Capitolina.”

Emperor Hadrian is known most for his persecution of the Jewish people during the BarKokhba revolt. The events of the Bar Kokhba revolt are ascribed to the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Hadrian dictated imposing the persecution and forced conversions of Jews, referred to as the ‘Hadrianic decrees’.

The Bar Kokhba revolt led to the exile of the Jewish people.

Unveiled at the Rockefeller Center in Jerusalem

Unveiled at the Rockefeller Center in Jerusalem