• r2-226-10
    Four joining fragments of large marble menorah with inscription (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-226-20
    Four joining fragments of large marble menorah with inscription (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-226-30
    Socrates menorah, restoration drawing. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Socrates Menorah

Date
1st half of 4th C. AD?, Roman
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
S63.050
Material
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture
Sculpture Type
Furnishing
Inscription Text
(a)	Σωκράτης [ -  -  -  -   το]ῦ οἴκου [ -  -  -  -  ]

(b)	[ -  -  -  ]ΣΙ[ -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  γ]λύφου.
Inscription Translation
(a) “Sokrates [ - - - ] of the house (i.e., the synagogue) [ - - - ]”
(b) “[ - - - ] of the sculptor.”
Inscription Comment
Text and translation of G. Petzl.
Site
Sardis
Sector
Syn
Trench
Syn 63
Locus
Syn MH Contents
B-Grid Coordinates
E58.6 - E59.1 / N4.2 *96.55 - 96.40
Findspot
Syn MH, S side; see Fig. 5. [See also S63.060, S63.063, IN63.078, and IN63.130 for additional findspot information]
Description

This was originally a seven-branched candlestick with a central vertical stem. Each branch, oval in section, has an incised lozenge pattern (L. 0.05, W. 0.022), carefully but monotonously cut. This pattern is to suggest stylized leaves of rhomboid shape. Between the branches is acanthus scroll open-work. This rinceau design starts and ends with flowers, arranged so that the long wave or stem rolls on to the next flower while a short arm curls inward to touch one of the two petals of the flower. The tops of the branches protruded through a cross bar, with a four-petalled rosette within the border on the end. The inscription is in the tabula, on two sides.

The work is highly competent, and the virtuosity of the open-work, done principally with the chisel, is outstanding. The surface is carefully smoothed but not glossy. Both epigraphic and archaeological evidence suggest the 4th C. A.D.

Condition

Large-grained white marble, reddish discoloration.

Outer two branches of candlestick on one side with part of horizontal inscribed cross bar; small fragments of two other branches, and piece of central stem preserved. Cement adheres to fragment of central stem.

Dimensions
H. 0.565; radius of outer branch 0.47; second branch 0.34; section of branch 0.057; distance between branches 0.085. Inscription L. 0.17; H. of letters 0.032.
Comments
See Also
M14, No. 556
Bibliography
Published BASOR 174, 36-38, fig. 20; Hanfmann-Detweiler, Surprising Discoveries II, 432, fig. 4; Mitten, New Look 65. Mitten, Ancient Synagogue, fig. 11. The inscription and the archaeological evidence will be treated by J.H. Kroll and A.R. Seager in a forthcoming volume in this series on the Syn.
Author
NHR