Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

Building: Sanctuary of Aphlad (I CE) Doura Europos - Mesopotamia


Doura Europos (Mesopotamia, Greater Syria and the East — Pleiades map),
Hopkins 1934, 98-130 = Nielson 2014, 144-145 (with figure 102)  = ID# 23468


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Relevant inscriptions on this site: Hopkins 1934, 112-120 (nos. 416 and 418).

Description: Located in the southwestern end of Doura Europos (adjacent to the city wall), the sanctuary of Aphlad (also spelled Apalados or Aphalados in Greek) was built by 54 CE at the latest and measured 38 x 34 metres.  The sanctuary consists of a series of rooms (1-8) around an open courtyard, where a number of altars (9-10, 15-17) and two bases (perhaps for statues) stood (12-13).  There were two main buildings, both facing east (1 and 2).  One building which may have been the earlier of the two was divided in two, likely a forecourt (pronaos) and temple proper (2a-b); the interior of this building was also decorated with frescoes.  There was a bowl built into the floor right at the doorway to this building, which may have been used for ritual purifications of some sort.  The other building (1) had benches on three sides, an altar with an incense dish, and, on one of the walls, a somewhat basic painting of a cult-scene depicting a large bird on an altar.  An inscription indicates that this building was dedicated (in 54 CE) as a “banqueting hall” (andrōn) by an “association” (hetaireia) consisting of eleven members (on this website, see Hopkins 1934, no. 418; this building is called the “shrine” in the archeological report).  One of the members of this same association named Hadadiabos also set up a relief depicting the god Aphlad in Parthian garb on the right and a worshipper (likely Hadadiabos himself) offering sacrifice on the left (see Hopkins 1934, no. 416).  So clearly associations like this one made use of the sanctuary.  Two other rooms in this area (5 and 6) likewise had benches that may suggest use as banqueting rooms.

Translation by: Harland



Plan of Dura Europos showing the temple of Aphlad, the Christian Building, the Synagogue, and the Mithraeum.Yale University Art Gallery. Public domain.

Plan of Dura Europos showing the sanctuary of Aphlad, the Christian Building, the Synagogue, and the Mithraeum.
Yale University Art Gallery. Public domain.

Plan of the area of the sanctuary of Aphlad from the archaeological report, showing the banqueting hall (andrōn = room 1), the temple (2 a + b), and other banqueting rooms (5-6).Hopkins 1934, plate 1.

Plan of the area of the sanctuary of Aphlad from the archaeological report, showing the banqueting hall (andrōn = room 1), the temple (2 a + b), and other banqueting rooms (5-6).
Hopkins 1934, plate 1.

Photo of building 1 (the banqueting-hall or "shrine" in the report).Hopkins 1934, plate 10.1.

Photo of building 1 (the banqueting-hall or “shrine” in the report).
Hopkins 1934, plate 10.1.

The monument of Hadadiabos found in the temple of Aphlad with a depiction of the god in Parthian style dress (right) alongside the dedicator sacrificing (left).Yale University Art Gallery 1932.1213. Public domain.

The monument of Hadadiabos found in the sanctuary of Aphlad with a depiction of the god in Parthian style dress (right) alongside the dedicator sacrificing (left).
Yale University Art Gallery 1932.1213. Public domain.

Item added: March 10, 2016
Item modified: March 31, 2016
ID number: 23468
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=23468

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