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Tation, daughter of Straton

July 14, 2012

It was not only Christian women who acted as patrons and benefactors but also Jewish. Phil Harland has posted this inscription. (Ross Kraemer writes about Tation here.) 

Tation daughter of Straton, son of Empedon,
having built the building (or: house; oikos) and the open-air enclosure from her own resources,
granted them to the Judeans. The synagogue of the Judeans honored Tation daughter of Straton, son of Enpedon,
with a gold crown and with the front seats.

Τάτιον Στράτωνος τοῦ Ἐν|πέδωνος
τὸν οἶκον καὶ τὸν πε|ρίβολον τοῦ ὑπαίθρου κατασκευ|άσασα ἐκ τῶ[ν ἰδ]ίων ||
ἐχαρίσατο τ[οῖς Ἰο]υδαίοις.
ἡ συναγωγὴ ἐ[τείμη]σεν τῶν Ἰουδαί|ων Τάτιον Σ[τράτ]ωνος τοῦ Ἐνπέ|δωνος
χρυσῷ στεφάνῳ | καὶ προεδρίᾳ.

Like Opramoas, Tation was granted “front row seats” and like Junia Theodora “a gold crown.” Being a benefactor was a recognized role which crossed ethnic and religious boundaries and gender lines.

Being a benefactor transcends religion and sex. It is about the strong giving for the weak, the haves for the havenots, in whatever way we are rich, whether in material goods, or in our occupations, or any other resource, wealth or benefit that we may bestow on others. When we think of God as our benefactor, and we think of how to emulate that, we do not need to concern ourselved with a gendered God or with gendered behaviour. We simply assess that way in which we are rich and give out of that to others.


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