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Reading the Temple Warning as a Greek Visitor

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The interpretation of the temple warning (CIJ 2.1400) has focused on the question of authorship rather than of readership. The present paper seeks to redress this oversight. The question is approached in terms of Hellenistic practice, Herod’s architectural innovations and the inscription’s language. It is argued that the inscription shows no trace of “translation” Greek, but rather that in terms of pragmatics, grammar and lexicography, the reader would naturally assume that its concepts are those of Hellenistic law. The reader’s assumption would be further confirmed by the architecture of the outer court. In other words, the Greek visitor would assume that the inscription was issued on the authority of the king, and not that of the priest.


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