Wed, 16 Dec | via Zoom

'An even more unexpected find' – The synagogue of Dura-Europos and its place in local society

Talk by Professor Ted Kaizer (Durham University)
Registration is Closed
'An even more unexpected find' – The synagogue of Dura-Europos and its place in local society

Time & Location

16 Dec 2020, 18:00 GMT
via Zoom

About the Event

Ever since its discovery in 1932, the painted synagogue of Dura-Europos has occupied a central place in scholarship, as arguably the main Jewish cycle from antiquity and in any case the only set of surviving wall paintings rather than floor mosaics, and has contributed to the reputation of Dura-Europos as a rather untypical town. It could be argued, however, that - although it is surprising that the many finds at the Euphrates stronghold are so well preserved and combine to create an unprecedented window onto local society - the finds themselves, including the synagogue, are not necessarily considered surprising. The unprecedented illustration of the Hebrew scriptures (in sharp contrast of course to the prescription of the Ten Commandments) in the form of uniquely preserved wall painting can be seen as evidence that Jewish communities living in the periphery of the Roman world, far away from their homeland, had much more leeway in the way they gave expression to their religion than the notion of an orthodox Judaism would suggest. This papers aims to locate what has recently been referred to (by Tessa Rajak) as “images of a competitive community” in their local and regional context.

Professor Ted Kaizer is Professor in Roman Culture and History at Durham University.


The talk will be held online. If you are not member of CAS (Edinburgh and South East Centre) please register for free here and we will send you the relevant details via email.

Registration is Closed

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