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Biblical Archaeology Review 48:2, Summer 2022

Epistles: Second Life for the Psalms

By Dimitrios Papanikolaou

Biblical Archaeology Review

Many psalms enjoyed a second life in post­classical and medieval Greek epigraphy (inscriptions). Hundreds of Greek inscriptions from the first to 15th centuries A.D. preserve verses—or entire psalms—taken from the Book of Psalms of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) compiled in the third and second centuries B.C. Alongside the ornate manuscripts sponsored by church authorities or medieval magnates, these inscriptions might appear rugged. Yet they constituted an important cultural element in the Greek-speaking world of the long-lived eastern Roman Empire, from the beginnings of Christianity up until the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

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