was a great "face to face" or "frontal"15 battle,16 and Emperor Gordian was killed, and we annihilated the Roman army, and the Romans proclaimed Philip emperor, and Emperor Philip entered into negotiations and paid to us 500,000 denars as ransom for the life of his friends, and became our tributary, and we therefore called Misiche Peroz-Sapur."17

The battle in Mesichise is never mentioned in our historical sources, Greek, Latin, and Oriental, and the location of Mesichise and Misiche is a matter of conjecture. However the battle cannot be an invention. It may have been contemporary with the murder of Gordian and may have been a partial success of Shapuhr over one part of the Roman army fighting perhaps in the North. This success was grossly exaggerated by Shapuhr in his report. The report on the death of Gordian is ambiguous. Shapuhr does not say expressis verbis that Gordian was killed in the battle. The report, it must be kept in mind, is written in the traditional Oriental style and is at the same time a short summary.18

There follows the report on the second campaign, ll. 10 ff. I may here transcribe the Greek version as read by Sprengling:

There follows the list of the fortresses and cities, 3,5 in number: Anath , Birtha Asporacou, Sura, Barbalissus, Hierapolis, Beroea, Chalcis, Apamea, Rephanaeae, Zeugma, Urima, Gindarus, Larmenaza,

15. This is how I understand which I connect with not with For similar use of and see Liddell and Scott, s.v. and
16. in the inscription of Shapuhr always means "battle" and not war.
17. Re-naming of captured cities is a common trait in the ancient Orient, see for example the re-naming of Til-Barsip and other cities by Shalmaneser III, Luckenbill, op. cit. I, p. 218, no. 602.
18. How little we know of the conditions which reigned in Syria during Gordian's expedition is shown by an inscription on a grave-stele found near Hama by J. Lassus (Inventaire Archéologique de la Région au Nord-Est de Hama (Doc. d'Études Or., Institut de Damas IV), 1935, 1, P. 131, no. 74). The stele, according to Lassus, belongs to an improvised graveyard perhaps of a group of men who fell by hands of robbers (members of a caravan?) or in a military engagement. The date, Sel. 555, month Dystros (March, A.D. 244), shows that Syria was not yet pacified shortly before the death of Gordian and the peace-treaty between Philip and Shapuhr (the exact date of these events is not known).
    The evidence supplied by this inscription, vague as it is, is supported by the well known inscription (in Palmyrene) of the same year (Sel. 555-A.D. Oct. 243-Oct. 244) found at Palmyra (H. Ingholt, Syria, VII, 1926, p. 140. In this inscription a symposiarch of a religious thiasos says that he distributed for a whole year to the members of the thiasos old wine "from his own house," "and wine in skins he has not brought from the West." It is probable that he usually distributed to the members Syrian wine imported from the West, but in A.D. 243/244 was not able to do so and replaced the imported wine by old wine from his own cellar (or from his own estates?). The reason was probably (see R. Dussaud, Rev. Hist. Rel. XCV, 1927, P. .203) either the destruction of vineyards in Syria by the Persians during their raid of A.D. 242/3 or more probably the interruption of commercial relations between Palmyra and the wineproducing regions of Syria, i.e., the disturbed status of Syria in this year. On import of wine to Palmyra see the famous "tarif" of Palmyra, ICR, III, 1086, III b, c. 10 ; CIS, 11, 3, 1, 3913. It was Professor H. Ingholt who reminded me of the thiasos inscription and of the suggestion of Dussaud.


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