Aberkios inscription

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Replica of the Aberkios epitaph, Museo della Civiltà Romana

As inscription of abercius is Zeilige 22-a, in ancient Greek written grave inscription of a abercius of hieropolis from Hierapolis in Phrygien designated. The metric inscription from the end of the 2nd century , in the form of the Hellenistic mystery being, with symbolic expressions incomprehensible to the uninitiated, indicates Christian teachings and cult secrets.

The two fragments of the inscription are now in the Vatican Museums in Rome . A second inscription from the year 216, in which the original inscription was quoted, and the life of Bishop Aberkios of Hierapolis made it possible to completely reconstruct this inscription. It is an important testimony to early Christianity and of great religious historical importance.


I have built this for a chosen city citizen,
since i'm still alive that i would have its time for
my body here a place.
I am Aberkios by name, who is who is a disciple
of a pure shepherd,
who grazes the flocks of sheep on mountains and fields,
the eyes have enormous, which look down everywhere;
because he taught me. . . unmistakable signs.
Who sent me to Rome to see a king
and to see a queen in a golden robe and
golden sandals;
but I saw a stone there with a shining stamp.
And I saw the land of Syria and all its cities; I passed
the Euphrates and saw Nisibis. But everywhere I won cult comrades;
Paulos was my (companion?). Nestis directed me everywhere
and got me food everywhere, a fish from spring water
very large and pure, whom a pure virgin had captured,
and she always allowed the comrades to eat it
and donated wine well mixed with bread.
I have this Aberkios under my own supervision
to write.
I really accomplished the seventy-second year.
Anyone who understands this, please for Aberkios, every comrade.
But no one should go into my grave or any other above
to bury it.
If he does, he should donate to the Roman Fiscus
two thousand gold pieces
and the good hometown of Hierapolis a thousand gold pieces.
Translation after Albrecht Dieterich .


  • Albrecht Dieterich : The grave inscription of Aberkios , Teubner, Leipzig 1896 digitized .
  • Vera Hirschmann : Investigations into the grave inscription of Aberkios . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , Volume 129 (2000), pp. 109–116 ( online (PDF) , accessed July 28, 2015). ( With research history, Greek text and German translation. )
  • Eckhard Wirbelauer : Aberkios, the pupil of the Pure Shepherd, in the Roman Empire of the 2nd Century , Historia 51 (2002), pp. 359–382 ( online (PDF) , accessed July 28, 2015). ( With research history, Greek text and German translation. )
  • Vera Hirschmann: Unsolved Riddles? Again to the funerary inscription of Aberkios . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Volume 145 (2003), pp. 133-139.


  1. ^ Text and translation by Franz Joseph Dölger : Ichthys 2. , Münster 1922, pp. 457–459 and Hermann Strathmann , Theodor Klauser : Aberkios. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christianentum 1 (1950), Sp. 13-14; also Armand Abel : Étude sur l'inscription d'Abercius. In: Byzantion 3 (1926), pp. 321-411.