established at Acmonia in Phrygia, was no less than a priestess of the imperial cult under Nero. The building was refurbished by three men bearing the Roman tria nomina. Since such philanthropy was a two-way process, we may conclude that some Jewish communities were groups to be reckoned with in the civic context. The diaspora synagogue here emerges as an outward-looking institution serving to foster engagement with the world outside.39

That there was a more permanent route by which outsiders could mark an affiliation to the Jewish group which fell short of full membership is suggested by the widespread use of the description 'God-fearer', found in variant forms, either as theosebeis (literally 'godly pious' found in some inscriptions) or as phoboumenoi or sebomenoi ton theon (literally 'fearers' or 'fearers of God', the latter in the book of Acts40 and other epigraphy), but surely referring, in both cases, to sympathisers who had not undergone conversion. The interest of such persons in Judaism may, again, have been determined as much by social factors as by religious or spiritual inclination. Whether or not this appellation declares that its holder belongs to a formal and universally recognised category of affiliates to Jewish communities is a puzzle around which inconclusive debate continues. It is at all events clear that Judaising was a highly visible phenomenon, and one in which Josephus takes pride and pleasure. He claims that every city in Syria had both its Jews and its Judaisers (BJ 2.462-3), and also that a large number of the citizens of Antioch in Syria were attracted by Jewish practices and incorporated 'in a way' into the body of the Jews (BJ 7.45). In Damascus, men were concerned by the effect on their wives (BJ 2.560). Certain regional groups of inscriptions, notably Lycian curse texts, show elements of Judaism (or Christianity) so thoroughly mixed with the local pagan formulae that it is not easy to say whether we should speakof conscious Judaising by those who wrote them, of traces of Jewish influence or perhaps simply of a religious mix whose exponents were not even aware of the Judaic elements in their traditions. Worshippers of 'the Most High God', a designation used both for the God of the Hebrews and for Zeus, include the authors of the manumission inscriptions from the Crimean Bosphorus, where the manumitted slaves retain residual obligations 'to the synagogue'.41

It would be simplistic to assume that the designations 'God-fearer' and 'Judaiser' always served to identify individuals travelling part of a difficult road towards conversion but stopping short at a particular point. Rather, such

39 Rajak, in Jewish dialogue, 463-78.

41 Mitchell, 'The cult ofTheos Hypsistos'; Gibson, Jewish manumission inscriptions, 96-123;

Levinskaya, Book of Acts, 83-116.

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