Letter height: 6.5-9 cm
CIJ I2, 643a = Noy I, no. 8
daei), and that he was “the only one of his people who deserved to arrive at the grace of Christ” (solusque / ex gente sua /ad XP̅I̅ meruit / gratiam perveni/re). Some debate has considered what is intended by ex gente sua here; it might reasonably be translated as “of his family” or indeed “of his race” or “people,” meaning the Jewish community. While the former suggestion certainly cannot be dismissed, the use of gens in epigraphy at this date typically refers to ‘race,’ leading David Noy to propose that this statement is in reference to the Jews of Grado, rather than to all the Jews of the empire (Noy, Jewish Inscriptions of Western Europe I, p. 15). That he “reached the grace of Christ” is a phrase common to baptism in this period; Cyprian had stated that the Jews would lose but that the Christians would be given “bread and the chalice of Christ and all of his grace” (Treatise to Quirinus I.22: panem et calicem Christi et omnem gratiam eius). David Noy has again rightly suggested that the version of the phrase given by this inscription may in fact be an echo of the Aquileian bishop Chromatius, who had made a very similar statement in his Sermon commenting on the gospel of Matthew (Sermo X.4; Noy, Jewish Inscriptions of Western Europe I, p. 15). Whatever the origin, it is clear that Petrus had been baptised, and had received a new Christian name as a result; that he was “buried in this sacred house, deservingly” (gratiam perveni/re et in hanc sanctam / aulam digne sepul/tus est) is a again a common feature of Christian inscriptions in this period, although the qualification that it was done so “deservingly” (digne) is unusual, and is perhaps indicative of the prestige and esteem in which his burial was held.
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