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because it certainly was not at all. When we look at a plan of the city as it was in the Roman period, it is clear that though the building lay on the fringes of Dura-Europos, it was actually located in a fairly active sector. Directly across the street was the Temple of Adonis, and the Temple of the Dura Tyche was situated in the next block. Three blocks to the southeast of the synagogue was the Temple of Zeus Kyrios. Dura's public baths were only a short walk away, and the main gate, site of much military and trading activity, was also nearby. In fact, the military took over a private residence on the same block as the synagogue in order to house soldiers.74 It is clear, then, that despite Seager's assertions, Dura's Jewish community was a thriving one, located in the very thick of the small city's civic and religious life.

At this point it seems that there should be ample evidence to allow for more than just a sketch of the Jewish community in our city, but it has been very difficult for scholars dealing with Dura-Europos to put a face on the city's Jews. Graffiti and inscriptions dating to the first phase of the synagogue emphasize the indigenous Syrian or Mesopotamian character of the community before the mid-3rd century C.E. Aramaic names, with Syrian and other local inflections, dominate, suggesting that the assumption made earlier about the nature of the Jews at Dura is correct.75 Had any of the most prominent Jews also been Roman citizens they would have had Aurelius, or later Septimius, as part of their names, but no such names have ever been associated with the synagogue.76 Inscriptions in both Aramaic and Greek honoring the sponsors of the second renovation have been found in the building.77 One example gives credit to a community member named Uzzi for the newly painted Torah shrine.78 The same inscription also names Joseph, who apparently had a hand in the redecoration of the synagogue, as well.79 The grand patron behind the complex renovation and redecoration at Dura seems to have been a man called Samuel. Two ceiling tiles with Aramaic inscriptions refer to him as priest and as archon, and they celebrate his role as "the builder" of the synagogue.80 It is probable that this Samuel, along with being the ostensible spiritual leader of the community, also owned the building itself and, together with a group of community leaders, designed, funded, and implemented its expansion and redecoration in 245 B.C.E.81 Another Aramaic inscription


74. Matheson, 24; Perkins, 29-30; Welles, 259.
75. White, 94.
76. Rostovtzeff (1932), 206.
77. White, 95.
78. Hachlili, 406.
79. Ibid.
80. Hachlili, 405; White, 77, 97.
81. Jensen, 181; White, 77, 97.

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