Loquis: The Jewish Catacombs of Venosa

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The Jewish Catacombs of Venosa


Published on:  2019-03-05 00:51:00

  Kosher Life

The interior of the hill of La Maddalena, located near Venosa, houses catacombs built in tuffaceous stone, by the Jewish community of Venosa for the remains of their members and is an important testimony of the cult of the dead in the ancient Roman city around the fifth century. Officially discovered in 1853, they are presented as a network of underground tunnels organized around three main corridors from which branch small side rooms. In them, an arch-shaped niche has frescoes of symbols such as the menorah, flanked by shofar, lulav, etrog, and a vial of oil. The more than 75 funerary inscriptions from the catacombs give us the best cross-section of southern Jewish society between late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages and allow us to draw a fairly detailed picture of the internal organization of the prosperous Jewish community of Venus.

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