that in the last years of Dura the garrison of Dura lived its normal life as regards the regular bookkeeping.62

The same must be said of the life of the civil population. The evidence is slight but suggestive. We possess for example a fragmentary deed of divorce (D.P. go) dated A.D. 254 (second consulate of Valerian and first of Gallienus) of regular form and duly registered. 63 We have a few sherds of pottery with painted inscriptions of the dates A.D. 252/3 and perhaps 256. 64 More important are the Pehlevi inscriptions of the Synagogue of A.D. 255 mentioned above. If they are signature of artists, as suggested by Professor Pagliaro, and supported with some reservations by Professor Geiger (above, n. 61) their evidence is conclusive. Shortly before the siege the Jews of Dura were quietly busy finishing the painted decoration of their synagogue. 64a

Professor Pagliaro's theory is not accepted by other specialists in the field. The inscriptions may have another meaning. In any case they show that somebody in Dura in A.D. 255 had time, leisure and the required quies to paint on the newly completed frescoes of the synagogue long, elaborate and carefully written inscriptions. I may add that the language and dates of the inscriptions show that those who wrote them stood in close relations to the Sassanian Empire. They may perhaps have been subjects of Shapuhr I and not of Valerian, who in one or another capacity resided temporarily or permanently at Dura.

A hint in the same direction - continued relations between Persia and Dura during the rule of Shapuhr I - may be derived from one of the green glazed vases with two handles found at Dura.65 Its decoration consisted of an appliqué figure of a seated Sassanian king, in all probability not Ardashihr but Shapuhr I. The amphora may have been imported or may have been made in Dura. In any case the original mould for the appliqué figure was certainly made in Persia. This shows that the commercial relations between Persia and Dura were not entirely interrupted during the rule of Shapuhr I. 65a

62. On D.P. A (or verso) which is not yet published, see Dura Rep. V, pp. 296 f.; M. Rostovtzeff, Münch. Beitr. XIX, 1934, pp. 370 ff.; J. F. Gilliam, The Dux Ripae at Dura, TAPA LXXII, 1941, p. 157. 1 may draw the attention of the reader to the fact that the list of equites was written on the verso of the acta diurna of the time of Alexander Severus. It may suggest that in Dura in the year of the document there was a shortage of papyrus, which of course was imported to Dura from Egypt via Antioch.
63. C. B. Welles, Dura Rep. VI, p. 437 ; Münch. Beitr. XIX, 1934, pp. 398 f., no. 12.
64. Dura Rep. VI, p. 251, nos. 748 and 750, and p. 251, no. 751. Dates occur very rarely in the many inscriptions painted in red or black on the jars. I know of two groups only: one quoted above found in and near Wall Street by towers 18 and 19, and the other (unpublished) unearthed in the praetorium of the dux (see the forthcoming Dura Rep. IX). In these two groups no dates earlier than the third century are represented. The known dates are 247/8,


248/1), 249/50 and 252/3. The date 256 A.D. is doubtful: it is written which is not unique (cf. Dura Rep. VI, p. 256, no. 777) but certainly occurs rarely. Of earlier dates only two are known: Sel. 520 (praetorium of the dux) and Sel. 521 (Dura Rep. VI, no. 777). I have no explanation for the above mentioned chronological limitation of dated jar inscriptions.
64a. This interpretation of the Pehlevi inscriptions is supported by the observation of H. Pearson that some of the synagogue paintings were finished shortly before the siege of Dura: "so soon before the building was engulfed," he says, "that paint drops on the floor had not yet been worn away." Cf. the ingenious reconstruction of the building history of the synagogue by J. Obermann, Berytus, VII, 1942, pp. 128 ff.
65. N. Toll, "The Green-glazed Pottery," The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report IV, 1, i, pp. 9 ff., fig. J and pl. XX.
65a. I may quote also several painted inscriptions


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