Another Corinthian Erastus Inscription -- By: Andrew D. Clarke

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 42:1 (NA 1991)
Article: Another Corinthian Erastus Inscription
Author: Andrew D. Clarke


Another Corinthian Erastus Inscription1

Andrew D. Clarke

Ever since the Corinthian discovery in 1929 of a mid-first century AD pavement dedicated by a Roman official named Erastus there has been much speculative discussion as to the likelihood of there being a common identity between the Erasti mentioned in the New Testament and the Erastus of the Corinthian pavement.2 Since the archaeological discovery of the Erastus pavement, it has been agreed amongst those who discuss the problem in relation to the epigraphic evidence that there is just the one inscription, the pavement, and the New Testament evidence which draw attention to an Erastus in Corinth.3

Erastus Vitellius

In addition to the famous pavement, however, a further Corinthian inscription mentioning an Erastus was found in 1960 which has not as yet been brought into discussion of the biblical Erastus. The inscription was originally discovered not far from the northern cemetery of Corinth, in a region locally known as Skoutéla — immediately north of the centre of Corinth and half-way between the plateau and the site of the ancient city itself. This was

published at a later date by D.I. Pallas and S.P. Dantes.4 Their partial restoration of the text of the inscription reads:5

This translates as:

[The] Vitellii,

[Fro]ntinus

[and E]rastus

(dedicate this ) [to] -

[- - -]

The plaque is made of white marble with existing dimensions 0.275 (width) x 0.28 (height) x 0.027 meters (thickness). The height of the lettering is 0.040 - 0.045 meters, with width of 0.025 meters. The style of the lettering has suggested a second century AD dating.6

The slab is complete on its right side, but the whole of the left side is missing which poses some problems for reconstruction.7 The οἱ from the first line is questionable, and

may as easily have been the initials ΛΛ, for the praenomina of the two brothers. The nomen Βιτέλλι...

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