Synagogue at Hammat Tiberias
Date: Later fourth through fifth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Israel
Description: The surviving pavement from a synagogue at Hammat Tiberias (Israel) includes two lions flanking a framed donor plaque in which the building's patrons are named in Greek inscriptions. Above this panel is the nave's central imagery: the personified sun riding a quadriga (four-horse chariot), surrounded by signs of the zodiac, organized counterclockwise and labeled in Hebrew. Female personifications of the four seasons appear a the four corners of this section, similarly identifiable by their attributes and Hebrew inscriptions. The top panel features the image of a Torah shrine, evoking the future rebuilt Temple. To either side of the doors are menorahs and other ritual objects, including lulavs (palm branches), citrons, and shovels for incense. The menorahs echo a marble example found on the site.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 2
Image Credits: Zev Radovan/BibleLandPictures/Alamy Stock Photo; Navid Jamali
Tags: Works in textbook, Late Antique, Mediterranean, Western Asian, Jewish, Access to the sacred, Connections to the past, Ideology, Status and identity, Animals, Astronomy and astrology, Personifications, Greek, Hebrew