garrison of Dura at that time or whether after the last reinforcement by Gallus (above, p. 44) it was reinforced again or not. The history of the siege of Dura of A.D. 256 shows that the city had a strong garrison, sufficient to withstand the Persian attack for a comparatively long time and to offer the heroic resistance revealed by the excavations. It may be that new units were thrown into the city in anticipation of a new Persian attack. However it is almost certain that nothing else was done to protect the city. The garrison waited until the beginning of the siege to reinforce the old and weak fortifications of the city. The balance of evidence causes me to regard it as probable that the siege of Dura came as a surprise both to Dura and to the Roman Empire. There may have been an understanding between Valerian and Shapuhr after the campaign of A.D. 253. This would account for the quiet and normal conditions of the life in Dura in A.D. 254-56.

Expected or unexpected, the attack came soon after the first invasion of Syria. It is evident that the siege and capture of Dura in A.D. 256 were the beginning of a new campaign of Shapuhr, which was planned as a repetition of the previous one. Shapuhr apparently intended to proceed, as in A.D. 253, up the Euphrates road. Dura with its strong garrison was a serious obstacle to his advance on the right bank of the Euphrates and he decided not to pass it by as in A.D. 253, but to besiege and take it. This operation was successful. Dura fell. Why is this never mentioned in the inscription of Shapuhr? Why did not Shapuhr follow up his success and why he did not advance farther up the Euphrates? The gate was open. In all probability he did not do so because he was stopped by Valerian in A.D. 257. The title Parthicus which Valerian took in this year is regarded by many modern scholars as a mere boast. I doubt it. It is quite possible, as I said above, that Valerian met Shapuhr's army somewhere north of Dura and defeated it. Stopped on the Euphrates road, Shapuhr changed his plans. When in 259/60 he decided to renew his attack it was the northern Mesopotamian road he took, that of Nisibis, Rhesaena, Carrhae, Edessa. The result was the battle of Edessa, the capture of Valerian, the new invasion of Syria and Asia Minor. I come to the conclusion of this long paper. I have presented the reader with the facts and have ventured several possible interpretations of them. My interpretations are of course highly hypothetical. New evidence may help us to come to less hypothetical solutions. In any case however the combination of the data of the inscription of Shapuhr with those of our literary, archaeological and numismatic evidence has enabled us to shed at least a little more light on the events which took place in Syria in the years A.D. 253-60.




Weekly, XXVI, 1942, p. 63). I doubt however that Dura in Roman times ever had a regular militia under the command of the strategos. Nor can I accept the interpretation of the horseman as being an image of a god. Gods on horseback are not unknown in Iranian and Syrian iconography (see my paper: "Statuette d'un cavalier," etc., Mon. et Mém. Piot.     XXVIII, 1927, pp. 4 ff.) but it is perplexing to find a god dressed just like a Palmyrene grandee and paying homage to Jarhibol, as shown in the composition. It is certain that the Roman tribune is sacrificing to Jarhibol alone and that it was Jarhibol who was the deus invictus.


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