Skip to comments.Deciphered Ancient Tablet Reveals Curse of Greengrocer
Posted on 12/24/2011 9:37:45 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Written in Greek, the tablet holding the curse was dropped into a well in Antioch, then one of the Roman Empire's biggest cities in the East, today part of southeast Turkey, near the border with Syria.
The curse calls upon Iao, the Greek name for Yahweh, the god of the Old Testament, to afflict a man named Babylas who is identified as being a greengrocer. The tablet lists his mother's name as Dionysia, "also known as Hesykhia" it reads. The text was translated by Alexander Hollmann of the University of Washington.
The artifact, which is now in the Princeton University Art Museum, was discovered in the 1930s by an archaeological team but had not previously been fully translated. The translation is detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik.
Reading a curse
"O thunder-and-lightning-hurling Iao, strike, bind, bind together Babylas the greengrocer," reads the beginning of one side of the curse tablet. "As you struck the chariot of Pharaoh, so strike his [Babylas'] offensiveness."
Hollmann told LiveScience that he has seen curses directed against gladiators and charioteers, among other occupations, but never a greengrocer. "There are other people who are named by occupation in some of the curse tablets, but I haven't come across a greengrocer before," he said.
The name Babylas, used by a third-century Bishop of Antioch who was killed for his Christian beliefs, suggests the greengrocer may have been a Christian. "There is a very important Bishop of Antioch called Babylas who was one of the early martyrs," Hollmann said.
The use of Old Testament biblical metaphors initially suggested to Hollmann the curse-writer was Jewish. After studying other ancient magical spells that use the metaphors, he realized that this may not be the case.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
The curse tablet calls on Iao, the Greek name for Yahweh, god of the Old Testament, to strike down Babylas who is identified as being a greengrocer. CREDIT: Photo courtesy Professor Alexander Hollmann
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Imagine if there had been used car salesmen back then.
Babylas the greengrocer probably tried to force his healthy veggies on the Antioch schoolchildren as mandated lunch fare.
Curse him indeed.
You must be old...
Don’t dispair, the boss sounds continue.
Head over to the south Jersey shore during any summer weekend. The Geater is still there. Had a gig in Sea Isle City on Saturday afternoons last year.
Per this web page http://geatorgigs.webs.com/ he’s in Atlantic City on New Years Eve.
Yep. You get that bag of potatoes home, and there’s the rotten one hidden in the middle of the bag. Curse you! Curse you, you apron-wearing leaf-cutting rascal!
I didn't know they had FReepers back then.
Cool! Thanks for the Info. I’ll check out his website.
Now if only Larry Ferrari was still living......
That guy sounds like he needed to hire a Walmart greeter!
Really the curse was put on him by another greengrocer, because he opened up that day’s version of Wal-Mart. Also he operated 24/7.
This curse didn’t happen to mention billy goats or the Cubs did it?
"O thunderand-lightning-hurling Iao, as you cut down the firstborn of Egypt, cut down his [livestock?] as much as..."
This could very well show that not only was Exodus a true event, but that it was common knowledge at the time. Anyone who's ever read the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc.)knows that according to those books, everyone at the time knew who God was. They were all aware of him, even those that worshiped other Gods.