Ancient Greek inscription names bureaucrats





A recently deciphered ancient Greek stele (inscribed stone slab) is currently on display at the Israel Museum. The stele was produced in 178 B.C.E. in Israel at a time when the region was ruled by the Hellenistic Seleucid empire...

The inscription describes King Seleucus IV's appointment of senior Greek clerk Olympiodorus to oversee sanctuaries in Israel and surrounding areas. In the first letter, King Seleucus IV informs his deputy Heliodorus of the appointment and the second and third announces more minor appointments.

"The Seleucids had a highly organized bureaucracy," explains David Mevorah, curator of archaeology at the Israel Museum. "They took pains to publicize all correspondence pertaining to appointments of senior clerks on columns placed in sites under the jurisdiction of those same clerks."


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