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most likely in the process of forming their own small religiously based group in imitation of the secular societies and guilds which were simultaneously coming together around them.16 Jews were often hired as mercenary soldiers during the Hellenistic period and may have even served as local government administrators, though admittedly, there is little evidence from Seleucid-controlled Syria to substantiate this.17 Some Jewish individuals may have even been granted citizenship rights, as Josephus tells us occurred at Antioch, but again, there is no evidence for this at Dura.18 Since Europos was located on the route which connected Babylon and Palestine, it is probable that during the Hellenistic period the growing Jewish community of the city was periodically augmented by the regular and documented movement of spiritual leaders between the two large centers of Judaism.19 In Ptolemaic Syria, some of the Jewish population was brought into the area as slaves20. This may have been the case in Seleucid-controlled Dura, as well. The effects of the Maccabean revolt of the mid-2nd century B.C.E. on the Jewish community at Dura, and its consequent antipathy between Jews and non-Jews in Syria, is unclear. Because the city fell under the religiously tolerant Parthian Persians during the years of turmoil, the Jews of our city may not have taken part in the uprising. However, we should maintain the possibility that Dura was split with religious and ethnic hatred for at least some period of time early in the city's era of Parthian occupation.

The Parthians held the city for 300 years until it fell again, this time in 165 C.E. to the Romans, who used it as a frontier military post.21 It was after the advent of Roman rule, rather than during the earlier Parthian period, that the city's name was changed from the Macedonian moniker, Europos, back to the original, Dura, an Assyrian term for "fort" (Dura-Europos is a modern construction).22 Dura remained an undistinguished outpost of the empire for about 50 years until it was made into a colony in 211 C.E. during the Severan dynasty of Roman rulers.23 Although the status of colony did mark a special relationship between the city and the emperor who granted the change and symbolized the city's adoption of a Roman constitution, by the 3rd century C.E. it did not confer any special benefits unless the emperor also granted the city "Italian rights."24 We do know that Septimius Severus awarded such privileges, which included


16. Kraabel (1987), 54.
17. Barclay, 244-245.
18. Ibid.
19. Kelley, 57; White, 93; Wischnitzer, 5.
20. Barclay, 244.
21. Kilpatrick, 215; Moon, 587. Rome's successful assumption of control of Europos in 165 actually followed three earlier failed attempts. In 55 B.C.E., Crassus, Julius Caesar, and Pompey attacked Parthia but were defeated at the Battle of Carrhae in 53.Twenty years later, Marc Antony attempted an invasion but quickly called it off. Trajan tried again in 113 C.E., leaving soldiers in the city, who were recalled only 4 years later by Hadrian. (Matheson, 17)
22. Matheson, 3; Rostovtzeff (1932), 93.
23. Kilpatrick, 215; Moon, 587.
24. Garnsey and Saller, 27. ". . . colonia became an honorific title conferred by special grant, linking a city in its title with an emperor but carrying no substantive privileges."

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