Temple of the Gadde

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The Temple of the Gadde is a double temple in the Syrian city of Dura-Europos, located near the agora (insula H1). It was dedicated to the protective deities (Gaddē – Gad means 'the Lord') of Dura-Europos and the nearby city of Palmyra. It was excavated between 1934 and January 1936 by the French/American expedition of Yale University, led by Michael Rostovtzeff.

Description[edit]

The female protective deity of Palmyra
Relief with the protective deity (Gad) of Dura Europos in the centre.
Relief with figure of Iarhibol

The age of the temple complex is unknown. It was repeatedly expanded and rebuilt over time. In total, four phases of construction can be discerned. The final phase (IV) is dated to AD 159, since two relief sculptures have inscriptions dating them to this year. Phase III must have ended around AD 150. The two earlier phases (II & I) must have fallen in the previous century, but the exact dates are not known. After AD 159, the temple experienced no further noteworthy additions. Numerous small altars were set up in the temple and a platform was built at the main entrance.[1]

The temple complex takes up much of the eastern section of insula H1. It measures about 42 metres north-south and 22 metres east-west. It has two parts, each accessed from the road to the east. The southern part is the main courtyard with the chief sanctuary. In the north, there is a further courtyard with various adjoining rooms. A propylon leads into the southern courtyard, on the opposite side of which there is a pronaos and cella (Naos 3) with further rooms. The pronaos is 11.05 m wide and 5.1 m deep. The interior room was originally about 8 m high and decorated with wall paintings, which only survived in tiny fragments. The cella is 4.48 m wide and 4.12 m deep. There were three niches on the western side (opposite the entrance). One part of the room was decorated solely with figural wall paintings, but little of this survives. To the north of the pronaos was a hall with several rows of benches (known as a salle à gradins).[1][2] Past this hall was the north courtyard, which contained another cella. A foundation deposit was found beneath the sanctuary, consisting of 21 amulets.[3]

The temple contained a large number of graffiti, all made by inhabitants of Palmyra. The temple thus appears to have been built by Palmyrenes for Palmyrenes living in or visiting Dura-Europos.[4] Palmyrenes are attested in the city from AD 33 onwards.[5] Greek and Latin graffiti have also been found.[6]

Relief sculpture[edit]

The modern name of the temple derives from two dedicatory reliefs, which were found in the temple, in the main cella (Naos 3). These reliefs were originally located on the side walls of the cella, so they do not actually depict the primary god of the sanctuary, which was probably Malakbel.[7]

One of them shows the female protective deity of Palmyra in a guise modelled on the Tyche of Antioch. She sits between two figures, wearing a mural crown and Greek clothing. On her left is the dedicator of the relief, depicted as a priest, and on her right a Nike. The relief is made of Palmyrene limestone. A dedicatory inscription in the Palmyrene language says: "The Gad of Palmyra, made by Hairan bar Mailwa bar Nasor."[8] A second inscription gives a date, "in the month of Nisan, year 470 [= AD 150]."[9]

On the other relief, by contrast, there is the male protective deity of Dura-Europos. He is bearded and wears a tunic. He very closely resembles Zeus Megistos. At his right is Seleucus Nicator, as the Palmyrene inscription indicates,[10] and on the left is the dedicator of the relief. Dura Europus was founded in the reign of Seleucus (311-280 BC), so even several centuries later he was the object of special veneration in the city. The relief is probably the product of a Palmyrene workshop.[11] It was dedicated by the same donor in the same year as the first relief. The dedicatory inscription states: "The god, Gad of Dura; made by Hairan bar Maliku Nasor, in the month of Nisan, year 470 [AD 159]."[12]

The cella also contained a relief that depicted the Semitic god Iarhibol. An inscription records "Bani Mitha, the archers" as the donors.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven u. a. 1939, pp. 256–257.
  2. ^ Baird, Jennifer (2018). Dura-Europos. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 104. ISBN 9781472522115.
  3. ^ Baird, Jennifer (2018). Dura-Europos. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 99. ISBN 9781472522115.
  4. ^ M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 257–258.
  5. ^ Lucinda Dirven: Strangers and Sojourners: the religious behavior of Palmyrenes and other foreigners in Dura Europos in Lisa R. Brody, Gail L. Hoffman (ed.): Dura Europos, Crossroads of Antiquity. Boston 2011, ISBN 978-1-892850-16-4, S. 204.
  6. ^ Baird, Jennifer (2018). Dura-Europos. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 74. ISBN 9781472522115.
  7. ^ Baird, Jennifer (2018). Dura-Europos. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. p. 24. ISBN 9781472522115.
  8. ^ Delbert R. Hillers, Eleonora Cussini: Palmyrene Aramaic texts. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5278-1, p. 172, no. 1097 (Doura 31).
  9. ^ M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 278–279; Delbert R. Hillers, Eleonora Cussini: Palmyrene Aramaic texts. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5278-1, p. 172, no. 1094 (Doura 28).
  10. ^ Delbert R. Hillers, Eleonora Cussini: Palmyrene Aramaic texts. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5278-1, p. 172, no. 1095 (Doura 29).
  11. ^ M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 258–262, Table XXXIII.
  12. ^ M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 277–278.
  13. ^ M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 279–280.

Bibliography[edit]

  • M. I. Rostovtzeff, F. E. Brown, C. B. Welles: The excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Report of Seventh and Eighth Season of Work 1933–1934 and 1934–1935. Yale University Press, New Haven 1939, pp. 218–283.
  • Delbert R. Hillers, Eleonora Cussini: Palmyrene Aramaic texts. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 1996, ISBN 0-8018-5278-1, S. 172–173, Nummer 1094–1100 (Doura 28–34).

Coordinates: 34°44′51″N 40°43′51″E / 34.747401°N 40.730809°E / 34.747401; 40.730809