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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 136


A CURSE ON THE MURDERERS OF HERAKLEA AND MARTHINE

Greek text:   IDelos_2532
Date:   c. 100 B.C.
Tags:     curses
Format:   see key to translations

These two identical imprecations were found on the island of Rheneia, near Delos. The appeal to 'God the Most High' is clearly Jewish; for an analysis of the text, see I.Salvo, "Sweet Revenge. Emotional Factors in Prayers for Justice", pp.237-244 ( academia.edu ).   The translation is taken from P. van der Horst, "Ancient Jewish Epitaphs", page 149 ( Google Books ).


[A]   I call upon and pray to God the Most High, the Lord of the spirits and of all flesh, against those who have treacherously murdered or poisoned the poor Heraklĕa, who died untimely, and who have unjustly shed her innocent blood; may the same happen to them who have murdered or poisoned her and to their children, Lord, you who see everything, and you, angels of God, for whom every soul humiliates itself on this day with supplications, hoping that you revenge her innocent blood and settle your account with them as soon as possible.

[B]   I call upon [and pray to God the] Most High, [the Lord] of the [spirits] and of all [flesh], against those who have treacherously murdered or poisoned [the] poor Marthinē, who died untimely, and who have [unjustly] shed her innocent blood; may the same happen to them who have murdered or poisoned her and to their children, Lord, you who see everything, and you, angels of God, for whom every soul humiliates itself on this day with supplications, hoping that you revenge her innocent blood and settle your account with them as soon as possible.

inscription 137


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