Mud-brick architecture, but its siege works and walls had the dramatic remains that combined with the precipitous views on the Euphrates green valley that made for the striking sight (Olin 10). Being a cosmopolitan society, the Dura-Europos exhibited many inscriptions of different origins, including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Safaic and the Palmyrenean. Among the Dura Euporos homes, there were three that were converted for religious purposes. For instance, the Mithraem was dedicated to Mithras god worship, and another one had its structure modified to create a synagogue for the Jews (Feugere 723). Both the church and the synagogue are the oldest to have existed, and they are equally remarkable since they were built so close to each other, at almost the same period.The walls of the synagogue were painted, with the roof tiled from baked bricks; which were transported for more than 300 miles across the desert, to Damascus, thus becoming the national museum centerpiece. On the other hand, the church in Europos was the oldest of its kind, and it occupied the upper-class house of the Romans that was centered around the column courtyard that had an open room referred to as the atrium, and the center of the courtyard had a pool called impluvium. The opposite end of the church entrance was the tablinum, an arena raised for use by the family for ceremonial practices and as for reception (Davies and Whitehead 179). There are speculations that the congregation of the time gathered around the pool and it was used for baptismal purposes. Bishops sat in the tablinum for the celebration of the Eucharist on the table, and it is on the basis of this liturgical arrangement that the basilica churches were eventually designed.The church house had a space that could probably host sixty worshippers at a time and had its walls extensively painted. The paintings on the walls portrayed images of the baptism rites, the original sin, and salvation, with all these themes considered particularly relevant to the early church for the Christians that was actively seeking for the new converts
Davies, Surekha, and Neil Whitehead. “From Maps to Mummy-Curses: Rethinking Encounters, Ethnography and Ethnology.” History & Anthropology 23.2 (2012): 173-182. Print.
Feugere, Michel. “The Excavations at Dura-Europos Conducted by Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Lettres, 1928 to 1937: Final Report VII, the Arms and Armour and Other Military Equipment.” Antiquity 79.305 (2005): 723-725. Print.
Neusner, Jacob. “Judaism at Dura-Europos.” History of Religions 4 (1964): 81-102. Print.
Olin, Margaret. “Early Christian Synagogues and Jewish Art Historians. The Discovery of the Synagogue of Dura-Europos.” Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 27 (2000): 7-28. Print.
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