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There are now five ancient Jewish cemeteries that have been excavated

1. In the year 1602, in the Monte Verde, near the Porta Portuensis, Bosio discovered one, and details are given in his Roma Sotteranea, page 191.

2. On 1st May, 1859, Father Garrucci excavated a very large Jewish cemetery in the Via Appia, and has written a valuable work: Cemetero degli antichi Ebrei scoperto recentemente un Vigna Randanini, 1862.

3. The third discovery was in the vineyard of Count Cimarra, and a full account is given in the Bulletino di Archeologia Cristiana, 1867. No. 1.

4. A fourth cemetery was found in the Via Labicana, dating from the Antonine period. This discovery was in 1883, and the credit is due to Prof. Orazio Marruchi, and he works out full particulars and details in a treatise called: Di un nuovo cimitero guidaico scoperta sulla Via Labicana, 1887.

5. In 1885 Dr. N. Muller found another cemetery in the Via Appia Pignatelli, but as yet he has only given a short paper on the subject, "In den Mitteilungen des Kaiserlich Deutschen Instituts," Band 1, S. 49–56; but we hope to have more information on some important points revealed in inscriptions now for the very first time.-Rénan and the Abbé Perreau have attached the highest historical importance to these discoveries.


1. Gerusiarch. We find the term used in inscription 107. Quintianus Gerusiarch, of the Synagogue of Augustus; likewise Asterius, Ursacius Theophilus, Pancharius, these are all described as Gerusiarchs. These were the chief of the Gerusia, or council, which each Synagogue appointed to direct its secular affairs.

2. Archont he was the executive officer to carry out the decrees of the Gerusia, and to inquire into the needs of the poor.

3. Archisynagogus was the chief presbyter, who was responsible for the religious services.

4. Pater Synagogæ, his function was to look after the sick and dying, to superintend the burial services, and to console the bereaved.

Mater Synagogæ had similar functions, so far as regards women, but she had also to look after orphan girls, as well as poor maidens who were about to get married, and to help them with material comfort and advice.

5. Euperetes, or Inspector, his office was to be attached in all functions to the archisynagogus and pater Synagogæ; they were generally men of legal training, to see that no rite or ceremony should infringe the Roman laws.

6. Grammateus, Nepios, and Mello-grammateus were lawyers and students attached to the congregation.

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8. Madethes Sophon were men, eloquent and learned in the law, and students who could speak as well as teach.

9. Prostates; in Latin, Patronus. We find this term in inscription 52 (Here lies Gaius, the pious prostates; he lived 72 years). His office was to act as the legate from the Synagogue to the Roman Government; he was recognised by both as the official medium to conduct negociations between the Synagogue and the State.

10. Praefectus, or Mounna, he was the trustee of the Synagogue, in whom was vested the property of the community; and probably acted as general public trustee for the entire congregation, individually as well as collectively.


We find by dint of these inscriptions evidence of the site of synagogues, their existence hitherto being merely traditionary folk


1. The Synagogue of Augustus.-The spot is supposed to be occupied now by the Church of Salvatore. Lately, in dredging the Tiber near the Porta Settimiana, a tablet was found bearing the name of JASON DIS ARCHON, evidently being a portion detached from the walls of the Synagogue of Augustus, and in memory of the Archon JASON.

2. The Synagogue of the Agrippans, probably named after Marcus Agrippa, a Roman Governor, and a benefactor of the Jews. Josephus mentions this incident in his Antiquities, xvi, 2, 3.

3. Synagogue Campus was situated in the Campius Martius, and is often mentioned in epitaphs, therefore it seems to have been an important congregation.

4. The Synagogue Campus and Bolumnus. We often find the names of two districts attached to a synagogue. The inference seems to be by experienced archeologists, that the Bolumnus Synagogue may have become impoverished, joined or amalgamated with a sister synagogue, and incorporated the name of the former community.

5. Synagogue of the Siburesians was situated in the old district of Suburra, the centre of the commercial world of the old Romans, like Lombard Street in London, or Castle Street, Liverpool. The synagogue was also known as the Synagogue of the Emperor Severus, probably in memory of his benefactions. This emperor bore the nickname in Rome of Archisynagogus, from his friendly disposition to the Jews; just like the anti-Semites in our day nicknamed the late Emperor Frederick of Germany the Emperor of the Jews.

6. The Synagogue of Velia. This was situated near the Palatine Hill.

7. The Synagogue of the Hebrews. So called because it was the place of worship founded by Little Jewry from Jerusalem, and those who could speak neither Latin nor Greek; and it was probably also the place of worship of Samaritans, numbers of whom lived in Rome. They called themselves Hebrews, and not Jews, because they were not of Jewish blood. This synagogue was extra muros, outside the Portuensis gate.

8. The Synagogue of the Calcarians, situated near the Circus Maximus.

9. The Synagogue of the Rhodians. We are unable to trace the locale of this community, although it seems to have been a very important one.

These appear to be the important Synagogues referred to in the inscriptions from the catacombs, but there is good evidence to show that there may have been more than a hundred meeting-houses (or chapels, as we should term them now) all over the city, branches of the various important synagogues. The population of the Jews in the Roman metropolis has been variously estimated-some say 80,000; others estimate the number as high as 125,000, but the probable number would be between the various conflicting statements. It would be safer to consider from 90,000 to 100,000 the probable Jewish population of the capital of the Empire.





JUST as a pebble thrown into a pond excites surface ripples, which can heave up and down floating straws under which they pass, so a struck bell or tuning-fork emits energy into the air in the form of what are called sound waves, and this radiant energy is able to set up vibrations in other suitable elastic bodies.

If the body receiving them has its natural or free vibrations violently damped, so that when left to itself it speedily returns to rest, then it can respond fully to notes of almost any pitch. This is the case with your ears and the tones of my voice. Tones must be exceedingly shrill before they cease to excite the ear at all.

If, on the other hand, the receiving body has a persistent period of vibration, continuing in motion long after it is left to itself, like another tuning-fork or bell for instance, then far more facility of response exists, but great accuracy of tuning is necessary if it is to be fully called out; for if the receiver is not thus accurately syntonised with the source, it fails more or less completely to resound.

Conversely, if the source is a persistent vibrator, correct tuning is essential, or it will destroy at one moment motion which it originated the previous moment.


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