Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften

Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften (in English, Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions), or KAI, is the standard source for the original text of Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions not contained in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.[dubious ]

It was first published from 1960 to 1964 in three volumes by the German Orientalists Herbert Donner and Wolfgang Röllig, and has been updated in numerous subsequent editions.[1]

The work attempted to "integrate philology, palaeography and cultural history" in the commented re-editing of a selection of Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions, using the "pertinent source material for the Phoenician, Punic, Moabite, pre-exile-Hebrew and Ancient Aramaic cultures."[2] Röllig and Donner had the support of William F. Albright in Baltimore, James Germain Février in Paris and Giorgio Levi Della Vida in Rome during the compilation of the first edition.[3]


The 4th edition was published between 1966-69, and a 5th edition was published in 2002. However, the 5th edition only comprised the first volume (showing the texts in modern Hebrew script), expanding the previous edition by 40 texts. An updated version of the third volume (a brief bibliography of all the texts in Volume 1) was proposed.[4]

The first edition was intended to represent all the known texts of significant importance, but not to be a complete collection to replace the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. With respect to Aramaic inscriptions, all stone inscriptions until the Achaemenid Empire were included, whereas Imperial Aramaic inscriptions are only partially represented. Less emphasis was put on Aramaic papyri, ostraca and clay tablets, as such collections either already existed or were being prepared elsewhere. The included papyri and ostraca were chosen in order to provide and objective rounding of the picture, such as if they were published in a remote location. Nabataean and Palmyrene inscriptions were excluded, as were most of the Elephantine papyri.[5]

The inscriptions were ordered geographically, and then chronologically within each geography; a division was made between “Punic” and “Neo Punic” that was acknowledged to be subjective.[6]

In the second edition, four new texts were added - the fourth of the Karatepe inscriptions (KAI 26), and the three new texts (KAI 277-279). In the fifth edition, 40 new texts were added, primarily because they were only discovered or published after the appearance of the original edition or - like the Agrigentum inscription (KAI 302) - were given a new relevance due to a recent interpretation.[7]

Two groups of new texts were not included in the fifth edition: new Hebrew inscriptions, which were considered to have been well summarized in J. Renz / W. Röllig, Handbuch der Althebraische Epigraphik (Darmstadt 1995-2002) and the Imperial Aramaic texts from Egypt, which were considered to have been well summarized in B. Porten / A Yardeni, Textbook of Aramaic documents from ancient Egypt Vol. 1-4 (1986-1999).[8]

Phoenician inscriptionsEdit

A.I: From "the Motherland" (KAI 1-22, 280-286)Edit




Umm al-Amad


Tel Miqne

A.II: From Syria and Asia Minor (KAI 23-29, 287)Edit



Çebel Ires Daǧı

A.III: From the islands (KAI 30-47, 288-292)Edit


The Kition Inscriptions, published by Richard Pococke in 1745. In describing Kition, Pococke wrote: "the walls seem to have been very strong, and in the foundations there have been found many stones, with inscriptions on them, in an unintelligible character, which I suppose, is the antient [sic] Phoenician..."[10]


  • KAI 44-45: Rhodes inscriptions




  • KAI 291: Tekke Bowl Inscription (Knossos)


  • KAI 292: Hellenistic Greek-Phoenician bilingual

A.IV: From Egypt (KAI 48-52)Edit

  • KAI 48: Memphis inscription (RES 1)
  • KAI 49: Abydos inscription (CIS I 99-110)
  • KAI 50: Saqqara inscription
  • KAI 51-52 (origin unknown)

A.V: From Greece (KAI 53-60, 293)Edit

  • KAI 53-55: Athens inscriptions (CIS I 115-117)
  • KAI 56-60: Piraeus inscriptions (CIS I 118-120)
  • KAI 293: Demetrias inscription

A.Addition: From mainland Europe (KAI 277, 294)Edit

Punic inscriptionsEdit

B.I: From the islands (KAI 61-68, 295-301)Edit

B.II. From mainland Europe (KAI 69-72)Edit

B.III. From Africa (KAI 73-116, 302-305)Edit


Neopunic inscriptionsEdit

C.I: From Africa (KAI 117-171)Edit

C.II: From Sardinia (KAI 172-173)Edit

D. Moabite and Ammonite inscriptions (KAI 181, 306, 307-308)Edit

E. Hebrew inscriptions (KAI 182-200)Edit

F. Aramaic inscriptionsEdit

F.I: From Syria, Palestine and the Arabian Desert (KAI 201-230, 309-317)Edit


Tell Afis


  • KAI 214–215: Panamuwa inscriptions — in a distinctive language now known as Samalian.



Tell Fekheriye

Tel Dan

Deir Alla

F.II: From Assyria (KAI 231-257)Edit

F.III: From Asia Minor (KAI 258-265, 278, 318-319)Edit

F.IV: From Egypt (KAI 266-272)Edit

F.V: From the outlying areas (KAI 273-276, 279, 320)Edit


Appendix I. Phoenician and Punic inscriptions in Greek script (KAI 174-177)Edit

Appendix II. Latin-Libyan inscriptions (KAI 178-180)Edit


  1. ^ Röllig 1995, p.204-205
  2. ^ Röllig 1995, p.204-205
  3. ^ Röllig 1995, p.204-205
  4. ^ Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften [Band I, Harrassowitz]
  5. ^ Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften. Vol. I. 1961.
  6. ^ Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften. Vol. I. 1961.
  7. ^ Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften. Vol. V. 2002.
  8. ^ Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften. Vol. V. 2002.
  9. ^ Inscription phénicienne de Byblos d'époque romaine, René Dussaud, Syria. Archéologie, Art et histoire, volume 6, issue 3, pp. 269-273
  10. ^ Pococke, v. II pg. 213
  11. ^ Honeyman, A. (1939). The Phoenician Inscriptions of the Cyprus Museum. Iraq, 6(2), 104-108. doi:10.2307/4241651


See alsoEdit