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ancient city, Syria: see DuraDura
or Europus
, ancient city of Syria, E of Palmyra on a plateau above the Euphrates River. It is also called Dura-Europos or Dura-Europus. Founded (c.300 B.C.) by a general of Seleucus I, it prospered. In the 2d cent. A.D. the Parthians took Dura, and in A.D.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Doura-Europos), a city in the middle reaches of the Euphrates (near modern-day Qal’at es Salihiye), founded by King Seleucus I Nicator circa 300 B.C. In the second half of the second century B.C. the city passed to the control of the Parthian Kingdom, and in 165 B.C. it came under Roman rule. In 256 A.D., Dura-Europos was destroyed by the troops of the Sassanids.

The city was of a regular plan during the Seleucid period, from which date an agora, the remains of temples, and a citadel. A palace and the ruins of numerous temples (Baal, Artemis Nanaia, Atargatis, Zeus Curiosus, Zeus Theos, Palmyrene Gods) with frescoes and reliefs have survived from the Parthian period. Remains from the Roman period include fortifications, thermae, a Christian church, a synagogue, and the temple of Mithras, the last three with unique wall paintings. Excavations were conducted from 1922 to 1937 intermittently by F. Cumont and M. I. Rostovtsev. In addition to the remains of architectural monuments, documents in Greek, Latin, Aramaic, and other languages have been found (Dura-Europos was a major trade center and had an ethnically mixed population).


Shishova, I. A. “Dura-Evropos—krepost’ Parfianskogo tsarstva.” Uch. zap. Leningradskogo universiteta, no. 192. Seriia istoricheskikh nauk, issue 21, 1956.
Rostovtzeff, M. Dura-Europos and Its Art. Oxford, 1938.
The Excavations at Dura-Europos. New Haven, 1929-59.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: If you're looking for a resonant point of departure for contemporary art, you could do worse than Dura Europos.
"Saving Images" lifts up the visual imagery at the Dura Europos house church and elsewhere as a corrective to the supersessionist impulse in much Christian typology.
At the archaeological site of Dura Europos, a Hellenistic-Parthian-Roman city that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, satellite photos show evidence of heavy looting (bottom center) and shelling.
Among the damaged Jewish sites are the shrines of the prophets Daniel and Jonah, the Eliyahu Hanavi (prophet Elijah) shrine and synagogue in Damascus, the tomb of Yehezkel (Ezekiel) the prophet, and the Dura Europos synagogue, one of the oldest known synagogues.
Among the topics are Carian names and Crete, Lykophron's Alexandra and the Cypriote name Praxandros, a catalogue of officials of an association in a newly discovered inscription from Ptolemais in Cyrenaica, progress and problems revising Athenian Propertied Families, the onomastic evidence for Sparta's friends at Ephesos, onomastics and the administration of Italia, Greek personal names in Latin Dalmatia, new lead plaques with Greek inscriptions from East Crimea, an onomastic survey of the indigenous population of northwestern Asia Minor, an unnoticed Macedonian name from Dura Europos, and the personal name Kalandion as evidence for the diffusion of the Roman calendar in the Greco-Roman east.
In chapter eleven, Fine examines the art of the Dura Europos Synagogue and argues that its paintings must be interpreted within a liturgical context, something of which he believes can be reconstructed or projected from the albeit fragmentary Dura Europos Hebrew liturgical parchment.
El arco de veinticinco capitulos discurre de la domus ecclesia de Dura Europos y la de Juan y san Pablo al Monte Celio, hasta la capilla de Ronchamp, pasando por la basilica de la santa Sophia de Constantinopla, la catedral de Siracusa, la capilla palatina de Aquisgran y de Palermo hasta la cripta de la iglesia abacial de Maria Laach como lugar estrechamente relacionado con Ildefonso Herwergen, Odo Casel y, en general, el Movimiento liturgico.
Even so, some Jewish art implied the presence of God (normally a hand as in Dura Europos), and God was visible occasionally in the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g., Exod 33:23; 34:33-34; p.
Margaret Olin is an important art historian who here studies the actual experience of Jewish artists like the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, with its checkered history, as well as precedents going back to the famous Dura Europos Synagogue of the third century.
Other three-star sites like Apamea, Bosra, Krak des Chevaliers, Marqab, Palmyra, Sahyoun (since 1957 called Saladin castle by the Syrian government, though, as the author points out, he had nothing to do with its construction) and Saint Simeon are likewise given considerable coverage, as are two-star sites like Dura Europos, Ezraa, Husn Suleiman, Qalb Lozeh, Qanawat, Safita, Tartous and Ugarit.
This is how the American archaeologist, Clark Hopkins, described the 'sensational' discovery sixty-five years ago this month of the synagogue at Dura Europos in Syria.