Joint Middle East Department/Palestine Exploration Fund lecture series
Ten days in the life of Dura-Europos: gods, cults and temples on the Seleucid, Parthian and Roman Euphrates

Thursday 23 October 2014,

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Dura-Europos, a small fortress town situated on a plateau looking out over the Middle Euphrates river, was under first Seleucid, then Parthian, and finally Roman control.

The rather clear-cut periodisation of Dura’s history has strong implications for the study of the town’s religious life. Excavations have revealed an astonishing variety of gods and goddesses, and among those who received a cult were traditionally Greek deities, indigenous and Roman ones, and gods from the nearby caravan city of Palmyra. Ted Kaizer, University of Durham, selects ten snapshots from the rich material evidence which will showcase the variety and development of Dura’s religious life, and attempt to reconstruct the town’s ritual calendar.

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The Euphrates from the walls of Dura-Europos. Courtesy of Ted Kaizer