Jessica van 't Westeinde

Urban Sacred Spaces: Interaction in the Neighbourhoods of Roman Dura-Europos

Jahrgang 6 () / Heft 2, S. 181-205 (25)
Publiziert 05.03.2021

Roman Dura Europos' (165 CE-256 CE) urban topography, especially the conglomeration of sacred spaces, is most inviting for a study of cross-cultural and interreligious interaction in the city's neighbourhoods. This article focuses on the Jewish edifice: its location, the remains and finds from the excavations, and the traces left by the people who frequented the place. The wall-paintings in the Jewish edifice as well as in other buildings in this quarter seem to bear evidence of shared aesthetic and cultural values, social interaction, or at least the hiring of the same workshops. The article offers a comparative study of the wall-paintings and inscriptions, trying to discern expressions of self-representation of commissioners and perception of onlookers. The consideration of these paintings and inscriptions within their larger urban context will offer refreshing insights into Jews entangled in a complex composition of a multicultural and multi-religious Dura-Europos.

Jessica van 't Westeinde 2016 PhD from Durham University, UK; currently Junior Research Fellow at the Department of Ancient History, University of Bern (IRC Religious Conflict and Coping Strategies), and the Department of Ancient History, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.