Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 255


Language:   Aramaic
Provenance:   Marisa
Date:   176 B.C. 
Format:   see key to translations

This contract was written on an ostracon, which is somewhat puzzling because the size of the dowry suggests that the families would have been able to afford a more formal writing material. All the men have names derived from Qos, the national god of the Edomites. The bride has a Greek name.

The translation is adapted from E. Eshel and A. Kloner, "An Aramaic Ostracon of an Edomite Marriage Contract from Maresha" ( IEJ 46, 1996 ). These editors point out that the marriage contract has clear similarities both with Egyptian demotic contracts and with later Jewish contracts found in the Judaean desert.

In the month of Simanu of the year 136 (of) Se[leucus, the king], Qosram, son of Qosyad, of his own free will, [. . . declared] to Qosyad, son of Qosyehab: There is (a woman), Arsinoe [her name], a previously unmarried woman. Now then: I am asking of you that [you give her to me that she may be] 5 my wife. Give (her to) me according to the custom of the daughters of [Edom (?)]. Male children whom I will have from her [shall inherit (?) . . .], and the masters of my house and my heirs, from . . .

Qosyad acceded with respect to what Qosram [had asked, and gave him] Arsinoe, his daughter, (as) wife. When he gave him [his daughter(?)], Qosyad gave to Arsinoe, 10 his daughter, provisions: clothing and utensil[s of... that are] worth 300 silver zuzim. She brought the provisions and entered the domicile of the same Qosram, her husband, in the presence of . . .


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