It’s not all ephemeral: a novel celebration of culture

On Sunday, 7 April 2019, the Jewish Museum of Greece (JMG) participated in an event titled “It’s not all ephemeral”, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and held in the Ziller Building of the National Theatre. The JMG was invited by the ministry to take part in this novel celebration of culture, along with 15 other museums and ministry directorates, which presented the important programmes and reports of the various participants in 2018.

The JMG presented a long-term project that began in 2000 with the idea of identifying, collecting and recording the early history of Jewish sites in Greece through the inscriptions stored in the warehouses of the country’s museums and archaeological authorities. With the substantial cooperation and support of the Ministry of Culture and its services, it proceeded to collect and decrypt regional and unknown material, thus documenting the origins of the Jewish presence in Greek territory.

Last year, this JMG research programme, entitled Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum Graeciae, completed the identification, recording and photographing of epigraphic documents from across Greece, dating from the late 4th century BCE/BC to the 15th century CE/AD. This material, published in a volume of the same name, documents the beginning of the Jewish presence in Greece about 75 years earlier than previously thought. The language of the inscriptions from the end of the 4th century BC to the 5th century AD is Greek, followed by a few bilingual examples, while from the 7th to 8th centuries Hebrew was used.

As JMG Director Zanet Battinou said in concluding the museum’s presentation, “it is our aim to provide a detailed juxtaposition of the epigraphic material, which will be followed, in the near future, by broader, comparative study and synthesis of the data and by the publication of the printed text in digital form, thus ensuring the flexibility of intangible cultural goods. Moreover, we are preparing an exhibition of selected epigraphic documents from all over Greece, in cooperation with other museums and institutions.”

View the JMG presentation here: