Dura (dŏrˈə) [key] or Europus yŏrōˈpəs, 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. 165 it was taken by Rome. It remained a Roman city until it was seized (c.A.D. 257) by Shapur I of Persia. Dura was then abandoned to the desert. Excavations since Dura was rediscovered by accident in 1920 have yielded rich finds, supplying much information on life, history, and art in Mesopotamia from Hellenistic through Roman times. The name is also spelled Doura. The modern village of Salihiye is on the site.
See M. I. Rostovtzeff et al., Excavations at Dura-Europos (reports, 1929–59); M. I. Rostovtzeff, Dura-Europos and Its Art (1938).
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