The University of Vienna is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. Recently, archaeologists that work there found an amulet inscribed with a Jewish prayer in a Roman child’s grave, dating for almost two milleniums, from the 3rd century.
They found it in the Austrian town of Halbturn. This amulet has a very big historical importance as it shows the fact that people of Jewish faith lived our days Austria since the Roman Empire. Jews have been known to settle in the ancient world at the latest since the 3rd century BCE.
The amulet was worn by a child of one or two years old and it was supposed to protect him from evil. Other non-Jewish amulets have been found in Carnuntum. One gold- and three silver-plated amulets with magical texts were found in a stone sarcophagus unearthed west of the camp of the Roman legion.
The inscription is written in Greek, but it is a Jewish prayer, something which was quite common back then. It reads “ΣΥΜΑ ΙΣΤΡΑΗΛ ΑΔΩNΕ ΕΛΩΗ ΑΔΩN Α“, which means “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one“.
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