Dura-Europos synagogue

The Dura-Europos synagogue (or "Dura Europas", "Dura Europos" etc.) was an ancient synagogue uncovered at Dura-Europos, Syria, in 1932. The last phase of construction was dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244 CE, making it one of the oldest synagogues in the world. It was unique among the many ancient synagogues that have emerged from archaeological digs as the structure was preserved virtually intact, and it had extensive figurative wall-paintings, which came as a considerable surprise to scholars. These paintings are now displayed in the National Museum of Damascus.

Dura-Europos was a small garrison and trading city on the river Euphrates, and usually on the frontier between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Parthian and finally the Sassanid Empires of Persia. It changed hands at various points but was Roman from 165 CE. Before the final Persian destruction of the town in 256-257 CE, parts of the synagogue which abutted the main city wall were apparently requisitioned and filled with sand as a defensive measure. The city was abandoned after its fall and never resettled, and the lower walls of the rooms remained buried and largely intact until excavated. The short measure of time during which it was used ensured that it would have limited impact upon Judeo-Christian art. The excavations also discovered very important wall-paintings from places of worship of Christianity at the Dura-Europos church,. In addiction, there were wall paintings edifying Mithraism, and fragmentary Christian texts in Hebrew.

In the Syrian Civil War, the site was occupied by ISIL, and what was left there appears to have been destroyed.

Dura-Europos Synagogue
Doura Europos synagogue courtyard
Courtyard, western porch and prayer hall
Dura-Europos synagogue is located in Syria
Dura-Europos synagogue
Shown within Syria
Coordinates34°44′51″N 40°43′38″E / 34.7474°N 40.7272°E
Site notes


Because of the paintings adorning the walls, the synagogue was at first mistaken for a Greek temple, though this was quickly corrected by the vice-director of excavations Robert du Mesnil du Buisson in Les peintures de la synagogue de Doura-Europos (Rome, 1939). Mesnil also made detailed comparisons of the friezes from the Dura synagogue with those of the mithraeum, the Christian baptistery, and the temple of the Palmyrene gods.[1]

The synagogue contains a forecourt and house of assembly with painted walls depicting people and animals, and a Torah shrine in the western wall facing Jerusalem. The paintings cover the walls of the main "Assembly Room", using three levels of pictures over a dado frieze of symbols in most places, reaching a height of about 7 metres. The scenes depicted are drawn from the Hebrew Bible and include many narrative scenes, and some single figure "portraits"—58 scenes in total, probably representing about 60% of the original number. They include the Sacrifice of Isaac and other Genesis stories, Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law, Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt, the visions of Ezekiel, and many others. The Hand of God motif is used to represent divine intervention or approval in several paintings. Scholars cannot agree on the subjects of some scenes, because of damage, or the lack of comparative examples.

Stylistically they are provincial versions of contemporary Graeco-Roman style and technique; several different artists seem to have worked on them. Technically they are not fresco (paint fused into wet plaster) but tempera over plaster. Earlier parts of the building have decorative painting with no figures. Some of the paintings have figures whose eyes have been scratched out, especially those in Persian costume.

Consecration of the tabernacle

Consecration of the Tabernacle

Dura Europos fresco Moses from river

Moses in the River

Dura Europos fresco worshipping gold calf

Worshipping of the Golden Calf

Dura Synagogue WC3 David anointed by Samuel

David anointed by Samuel

Dura Synagogue ciborium

The Ciborium

Scholars think the paintings were used as an instructional display to educate and teach the history and laws of the religion. Some think that this synagogue was painted in order to compete with the many other religions practiced in Dura Europos; the new (and considerably smaller) Christian church (Dura-Europos church) appears to have opened shortly before the surviving paintings were begun in the synagogue. The large-scale pictorial art in the synagogue came as a surprise to scholars, although they already suspected that there was a tradition of Jewish narrative religious art at this period, which had all been lost, leaving only traces in later Christian art. The discovery of the synagogue helps to dispel narrow interpretations of Judaism's historical prohibition of visual images.

Herod's Temple wall painting

Herod's Temple
View of Herod's temple from the Mount of Olives

Located on the western wall of the synagogue, just left of the Torah niche, is a mural depicting the courtyard of Herod's Temple. In this particular work, Aaron is depicted standing just to the right of the temple door in the inner court of the temple surrounded by fellow priests. He is denoted by the inscription (ΑΡΩΝ) which translates to Aron in the English alphabet. Aaron's anachronistic appearance symbolizes the priesthood being passed down by his descendants.[2]

To the bottom left, there is a young priest leading a heifer. based upon the trajectory of the priest and the geography of the city of Jerusalem, where Herod's temple was located, it is presumed that he is leading the heifer up the Mount of Olives in order to sacrifice it for the atonement of the sin of the people. The low masonry wall depicted in the mural allowed the priest in charge of the sacrifice to look into the temple itself, which was much taller, while performing the sacrifice itself.[2]

Just above the temple door, we see what appears to be a star but is actually in fact the lamp of queen Helene of Adiabene. The lamp caught and reflected the rays of the sun by way of its superior polish[2]. The lamp shone so much that in Bar-Kokhba coins, which depicted the courtyard of the same temple, the lamp is depicted as a star. The rays reflected off of the lantern are depicted as lines radiating from the lamp on the three borders of the temple's pediment.[2]

The two animals just to the left of Aaron, a bull and a ram, are atonement sacrifices for Aaron to be made on Yom Kippur.[2]

Relationship to early Christian art and late Jewish art

Sacrifice of Isaac at Dura-Europos
The sacrifice of Isaac according to the Dura synagogue
Sacrifice of Isaac in the Leon bible
The sacrifice of Isaac according to the Leon Bible

The synagogue of Dura-Europos offers negligible influence on later Christian and Jewish artwork[3]. The time that the Dura-Europos synagogue was active was not long as it was buried as part of the Roman defense against Sasanian troops in 256 A.D. [4]The Dura-Europos Synagogue remains the earliest example of Judeo-Christian artwork available for study.[3] It contains not only Hellenistic and Roman influences, but Sasanian as well.[5]

The layout of the paintings suggest that they were inspired by a copybook with examples and formulae.[5] While there are similarities to other works of antiquity, The differences between each work bear too much difference in order for one to be considered influential. There have been attempts to link these works, but they have proven largely unsuccessful.

The Leon Bible, as an example, which was written ca. 960, had in common with Dura-Europos the scene of the sacrifice of Isaac. However, the Leon Bible showed key differences. Their position in the Leon Bible shows them facing the viewer, whereas Dura Europos they are not. In the Leon Bible, the Hand of God bestows the benedictio latina, whereas in Dura-Europos it makes an appearance with no such manuscript. The Dura painting shows Abraham's hand free of Isaac's hair, whereas in The Leon miniature, it is grasping it. Finally, in the Dura painting, Abraham is using knife as opposed to the sword he uses in the Leon Bible.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Guitty Azarpay Sogdian Painting: The Pictorial Epic in Oriental Art 1981 Page 147 "For a comparison of the arrangement of the friezes from the Dura synagogue and those of the mithraeum, the Christian baptistery and the temple of the Palmyrene gods, see Comte R. Du Mesnil du Buisson, Les peintures de la synagogue de ..."
  2. ^ a b c d e RENOV, I.; Avi-Yonah, M. (1970). "A View of Herod's Temple from Nicanor's Gate in a Mural Panel of the Dura-Europos Synagogue". Israel Exploration Journal. 20 (1/2): 67–74. JSTOR 27925212.
  3. ^ a b Elsner, Jaś; Elsner, Jas (2003). "Archaeologies and Agendas: Reflections on Late Ancient Jewish Art and Early Christian Art". The Journal of Roman Studies. 93: 114–128. doi:10.2307/3184641. ISSN 0075-4358. JSTOR 3184641.
  4. ^ a b Gutmann, Joseph (1988). "The Dura Europos Synagogue Paintings and Their Influence on Later Christian and Jewish Art". Artibus et Historiae. 9 (17): 25–29. doi:10.2307/1483314. ISSN 0391-9064. JSTOR 1483314.
  5. ^ a b Rachel, Hachlili (1998). Ancient jewish art and archaeology in the diaspora. Brill. ISBN 978-9004108783. OCLC 470279305.

Further reading

  • Hachlili, Rachel. Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Diaspora, Part 1, BRILL, 1998, ISBN 90-04-10878-5, ISBN 978-90-04-10878-3, Google books
  • Kessler, Edward in Sawyer, John FA. The Blackwell companion to the Bible and culture, Wiley-Blackwell, 2006, ISBN 1-4051-0136-9, ISBN 978-1-4051-0136-3 Google books
  • Kraeling, C H, The Synagogue, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1956
  • Gutmann, Joseph, ed., The Dura Europos Synagogue: A Re-evaluation (1932-1992), Scholars Press, 1992 (with a new introduction);
  • Weitzmann, Kurt, ed., Age of spirituality : late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century, no. 341 & 358, pp. 366–370, 1979, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ISBN 9780870991790; full text available online from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries.
  • Young, Penny, 2014 Dura Europos A City for Everyman, Twopenny Press

External links

1932 in archaeology

The year 1932 in archaeology involved some significant events.


The 240s decade ran from January 1, 240, to December 31, 249.

== Events ==

=== 240 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The Roman Empire is threatened on several fronts at the same time. Africa revolts and tribes in northwest Germania, under the name of the Franks, are raiding the Rhine frontier.

====== Asia ======

April 12 – Shapur I becomes co-emperor of the Sasanian Empire with his father Ardashir I.

Maharaja Sri-Gupta becomes Emperor of Gupta.

Siege of Hatra (240-241) by the Sasanians

The Kushan Empire falls.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

At the court of Ardashir I, Mani, a young mystic of Ctesiphon, proclaims himself a prophet and preaches his doctrine, Manichaeism, throughout the Persian Empire.

=== 241 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Winter – Emperor Gordian III reaches Antioch and prepares with his army an offensive against the Persians.

Timesitheus becomes Praetorian Prefect.

Approximate date – The Dura-Europos church is converted from a house in Syria, the earliest surviving Christian church building.

====== Persia ======

Shapur I succeeds his father Ardashir I as king of Persia.

The ancient city of Bagram (Afghanistan) is abandoned.

Shapur I annexes parts of the Kushan Empire.

Fall of Hatra to Shapur I

====== Europe ======

November 1 – The Battle of Samhain is fought in Ireland.

=== 242 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Gordian III begins a campaign against king Shapur I; the Greek philosopher Plotinus joins him and hopes to obtain first-hand knowledge of Persian and Indian philosophies.

Gordian III evacuates the Cimmerian cities in the Bosphorus (Crimea), as the territory is now controlled by the Goths.

====== Persia ======

Shapur I makes a pre-emptive attack on Antioch to drive out the Romans. Gordian's father-in-law, Timesitheus, leads a Roman army to defeat the Persians at Carrhae and Nisibis.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Patriarch Titus succeeds Patriarch Eugenius I as Patriarch of Constantinople.

=== 243 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Battle of Resaena: A Roman army under Timesitheus defeats the Persians at Resaena (Syria); King Shapur I is forced to flee to the Euphrates.

Timesitheus becomes ill and dies under suspicious circumstances. Shapur I retreats to Persia, giving up all the territories he conquered.

Emperor Gordian III appoints Philip the Arab as his new praetorian prefect and proceeds with his campaign in Mesopotamia.

Cohors I Ubiorum, the garrison at castra Capidava in Scythia Minor, is replaced by Cohors I Germanorum civium romanorum until the end of the 3rd century AD.

=== 244 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Between January 13 & March 14 – Battle of Misiche: King Shapur I of the Sasanian Empire delivers a counter-attack near Fallujah (Iraq) and defeats the Roman army upstream of the Euphrates.

February 11 – Emperor Gordian III is murdered by mutinous soldiers in Zaitha (Mesopotamia). A mound is raised at Carchemish in his memory.

Philip the Arab (Marcus Julius Philippus) declares himself co-emperor and makes a disgraceful peace with the Sasanian Empire, withdrawing from their territory and giving Shapur 500,000 gold pieces. The Sasanians occupy Armenia.

Philip the Arab is recognized by the Roman Senate as new Roman Emperor with the honorific Augustus. He nominates his son Philippus, age 6, with the title of Caesar and heir to the throne; gives his brother Priscus supreme power (rector Orientis) in the Eastern provinces; and begins construction of the city of Shahba (Syria) in the province of his birth.

The vassal Upper Mesopotamian kingdom of Osroene is absorbed into the Roman Empire, its last ruler being Abgar (XI) Farhat Bar Ma’nu.

====== Asia ======

The Goguryeo–Wei War is fought between the Korean kingdom Goguryeo and the Chinese state Cao Wei.

The Battle of Xingshi is fought between the Chinese states of Cao Wei and Shu Han.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

Plotinus, Greek philosopher, escapes the bloodshed that accompanies the murder of Gordianus III and makes his way to Antioch. Back in Rome he founds his Neoplatonist school and attracts disciples like Porphyry, Castricius Firmus and Eustochius of Alexandria.

244–249 – Bust of Philip the Arab (in Braccio Nuovo, Vatican Museums, Rome).

====== Commerce ======

The silver content of the Roman denarius falls to 0.5 percent under emperor Philippus I, down from 28 percent under Gordian III.

====== Religion ======

244–245 – Last phase of construction of the house-style Dura-Europos synagogue in Syria, one of the oldest to survive (wall-paintings in the National Museum of Damascus, Syria).

=== 245 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Philip the Arab entrusts Trajan Decius with an important command on the Danube.

In Britain many thousands of acres of modern-day Lincolnshire are inundated by a great flood.

The philosopher Plotinus goes to live in Rome.

====== Asia ======

Lady Triệu, a Vietnamese warrior, begins her three year resistance against the invading Chinese.

=== 246 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Emperor Philip the Arab fights the Germans along the Danube.

First of the two Councils of Arabia in the Roman Christian Church is held in Bostra, Arabia Petraea.

====== Asia ======

The Korean Baekje kingdom, under King Goi, attacks the Chinese commandery of Daifang.

=== 247 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Rome becomes 1,000 years old.

Marcus Julius Philippus Augustus and his 10-year-old son Marcus Julius Philippus Caesar become Roman Consuls.

The Goths appear on the lower Danube frontier; they invade the Ukraine and Romania.

Emperor Philip the Arab marks the millennium of Rome by holding the Ludi Saeculares.

The last of the two Councils of Arabia in the Roman Christian Church is held in Bostra, Arabia Petraea.

====== Asia ======

Himiko of Yamataikoku, in Japan, begins a war against Himikoko, the King of Kunukoku.

=== 248 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

The revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia and Iotapianus in Syria are put down by senator Decius, by order of emperor Philip the Arab.

The Roman Empire continues the celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the city of Rome, with the ludi saeculares, organized by Philip the Arab.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Cyprian becomes bishop of Carthage.

Origen writes an eight-volume work criticizing the pagan writer Celsus.

=== 249 ===

==== By place ====

====== Roman Empire ======

Trajan Decius puts down a revolt in Moesia and Pannonia. Loyal legionaries proclaim him emperor and he leads them into Italy. At the Battle of Verona, he defeats and kills Philip the Arab.

Decius begins persecuting the Christians and others refusing to participate in Emperor worship.

====== Asia ======

February 5 – Incident at Gaoping Tombs: In the Chinese state of Cao Wei, the regent Sima Yi, in a coup d'état, forces his co-regent Cao Shuang to relinquish his power after taking control of the capital city of Luoyang and issuing a memorial which listed out the various crimes he and his associates had committed.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

In Alexandria, the populace pillages the homes of Christians.


Year 244 (CCXLIV) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Armenius and Aemilianus (or, less frequently, year 997 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 244 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Aniconism in Judaism

Aniconism in Judaism covers a number of areas. The portrayal of YHWH in any kind of human or concrete form is not encouraged.


Dagon (Phoenician: 𐤃𐤂𐤍, translit. Dāgūn; Hebrew: דָּגוֹן‎, Tib. /dɔːgon/) or Dagan (Sumerian: 𒀭𒁕𒃶, translit. dda-gan) is an ancient Mesopotamian and ancient Canaanite deity. He appears to have been worshipped as a fertility god in Ebla, Assyria, Ugarit and among the Amorites.

The Hebrew Bible mentions him as the national god of the Philistines with temples at Ashdod and elsewhere in Gaza.A long-standing association with a Canaanite word for "fish" (as in Hebrew: דג‎, Tib. /dɔːg/), perhaps going back to the Iron Age, has led to an interpretation as a "fish-god", and the association of "merman" motifs in Assyrian art (such as the "Dagon" relief found by Austen Henry Layard in the 1840s). The god's name was, however, more likely derived from a word for "grain", suggesting that he was in origin associated with fertility and agriculture.

Divine countenance

The divine countenance is the face of God.

Dura-Europos church

The Dura-Europos church (also known as the Dura-Europos house church) is the earliest identified Christian house church. It is located in Dura-Europos in Syria. It is one of the earliest known Christian churches, and was apparently a normal domestic house converted for worship some time between 233 and 256, when the town was abandoned after conquest by the Persians. It is less famous, smaller, and more modestly decorated than the nearby Dura Europos synagogue, though there are many other similarities between them.

Although the fate of the church structure is unknown after occupation by ISIS, its famous frescos were removed after discovery and are now preserved at Yale University Art Gallery.


Eben-Ezer (Hebrew: אבן העזר‎, ’eḇen hā-‘ezer, "the stone of help") is the name of a location that is mentioned by the Books of Samuel as the scene of battles between the Israelites and Philistines. It is specified as having been less than a day's journey by foot from Shiloh, near Aphek, in the neighbourhood of Mizpah, near the western entrance of the pass of Bethoron. However, its location has not been identified in modern times with much certainty, with some identifying it with Beit Iksa, and others with Dayr Aban.


Europos or Europus (Greek: Εὐρωπός) can refer to :

Europus, a son of the mythological Makedon and Oreithyia

Finding of Moses

The Finding of Moses, sometimes called Moses in the Bullrushes, Moses Saved from the Waters, or other variants, is the story in chapter 2 of the Book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible of the finding in the River Nile of Moses as a baby by the daughter of Pharaoh. The story became a common subject in art, especially from the Renaissance onwards.

Depictions in Jewish and Islamic art are much less frequent, but some Christian depictions show details derived from extra-biblical Jewish texts. The earliest surviving depiction in art is a fresco in the Dura-Europos Synagogue, datable to around 244 AD, whose motif of a "naked princess" bathing in the river has been related to much later art. A contrasting tradition, beginning in the Renaissance, gave great attention to the rich costumes of the princess and her retinue.

Moses was a central figure in Jewish tradition, and was given a variety of different significances in Christian thought. He was regarded as a typological precursor of Christ, but could at times also be regarded as a precursor or allegorical representation of things as diverse as the pope, Venice, the Dutch Republic, or Louis XIV. The subject also represented a case of a foundling or abandoned child, a significant social issue into modern times.

God the Father in Western art

For about a thousand years, in obedience to interpretations of specific Bible passages, pictorial depictions of God in Western Christianity had been avoided by Christian artists. At first only the Hand of God, often emerging from a cloud, was portrayed. Gradually, portrayals of the head and later the whole figure were depicted, and by the time of the Renaissance artistic representations of God the Father were freely used in the Western Church.God the Father can be seen in some late Byzantine Cretan School icons, and ones from the borders of the Catholic and Orthodox worlds, under Western influence, but after the Russian Orthodox Church came down firmly against depicting him in 1667, he can hardly be seen in Russian art. Protestants generally disapprove of the depiction of God the Father, and originally did so strongly.

Halo (religious iconography)

A halo (from Greek ἅλως, halōs; also known as a nimbus, aureole, glory, or gloriole) is a crown of light rays, circle or disk of light that surrounds a person in art. It has been used in the iconography of many religions to indicate holy or sacred figures, and has at various periods also been used in images of rulers or heroes. In the sacred art of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity, among other religions, sacred persons may be depicted with a halo in the form of a circular glow, or flames in Asian art, around the head or around the whole body—this last one is often called a mandorla. Halos may be shown as almost any color or combination of colors, but are most often depicted as golden, yellow or white when representing light or red when representing flames.

Hand of God (art)

The Hand of God, or Manus Dei in Latin, also known as Dextera domini/dei, the "right hand of God", is a motif in Jewish and Christian art, especially of the Late Antique and Early Medieval periods, when depiction of Jehovah or God the Father as a full human figure was considered unacceptable. The hand, sometimes including a portion of an arm, or ending about the wrist, is used to indicate the intervention in or approval of affairs on Earth by God, and sometimes as a subject in itself. It is an artistic metaphor that is generally not intended to indicate that a hand was physically present or seen at any subject depicted. The Hand is seen appearing from above in a fairly restricted number of narrative contexts, often in a blessing gesture (in Christian examples), but sometimes performing an action. In later Christian works it tends to be replaced by a fully realized figure of God the Father, whose depiction had become acceptable in Western Christianity, although not in Eastern Orthodox or Jewish art. Though the hand of God has traditionally been understood as a symbol for God's intervention or approval of human affairs, it is also possible that the hand of God reflects the anthropomorphic conceptions of the deity that may have persisted in late antiquity.The largest group of Jewish imagery from the ancient world, the 3rd century synagogue at Dura-Europas, has the hand of God in five different scenes, including the Sacrifice of Isaac, and no doubt this was one of the many iconographic features taken over by Christian art from what seems to have been a vigorous tradition of Jewish narrative art. Here and elsewhere it often represents the bath Kol (literally "daughter of a voice") or voice of God, a use also taken over into Christian art.

The hand may also relate to older traditions in various other religions in the Ancient Near East. In the art of the Amarna period in Egypt under Akhenaten, the rays of the Aten sun-disk end in small hands to suggest the bounty of the supreme deity. Like the hamsa amulet, the hand is sometimes shown alone on buildings, although it does not seem to have existed as a portable amulet-type object in Christian use. It is found from the 4th century on in the Catacombs of Rome, including paintings of Moses receiving the Law and the Sacrifice of Isaac.There are numerous references to the hand, or arm, of God in the Hebrew Bible, most clearly metaphorical in the way that remains current in modern English, but some capable of a literal interpretation. They are usually distinguished from references to a placement at the right hand of God. Later rabbinic literature also contains a number of references. There are three occasions in the gospels when the voice of God is heard, and the hand often represents this in visual art. Gertrud Schiller distinguishes three functions of the hand in Christian art: as symbol of either God's presence or the voice of God, or signifying God's acceptance of a sacrifice.


Hebrews (Hebrew: עברים or עבריים, Tiberian ʿIḇrîm, ʿIḇriyyîm; Modern Hebrew ʿIvrim, ʿIvriyyim; ISO 259-3 ʕibrim, ʕibriyim) is a term appearing 34 times within 32 verses of the Hebrew Bible. While the term was not an ethnonym, it is mostly taken as synonymous with the Semitic-speaking Israelites, especially in the pre-monarchic period when they were still nomadic. However, in some instances it may also be used in a wider sense, referring to the Phoenicians, or to other ancient groups, such as the group known as Shasu of Yhw on the eve of the Bronze Age collapse.By the time of the Roman Empire, Greek Hebraios could refer to the Jews in general, as Strong's Hebrew Dictionary puts it, "any of the Jewish Nation", and at other times more specifically to the Jews living in Judea. In early Christianity, the Greek term Ἑβραῖος refers to Jewish Christians as opposed to the gentile Christians and Judaizers (Acts 6:1 among others). Ἰουδαία is the province where the Temple was located.

In Armenian, Italian, Modern Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, Romanian, and a few other modern languages, there is a pejorative connotation associated with the word corresponding to the word Jew; because of that, in each of these languages, the primary word used is that which corresponds to "Hebrew". The translation of "Hebrew" is used also in the Kurdish language and was once used also in French.

With the revival of the Hebrew language and the emergence of the Hebrew Yishuv, the term has been applied to the Jewish people of this re-emerging society in Israel or anything associated with it.

León Bible of 960

The León Bible of 960 or Codex Biblicus Legionensis is a Bible manuscript copied and illuminated in 960 at the monastery of Valeránica in Tordómar. It is now held in the library of the Basílica de San Isidoro, León - why it moved there is unknown, though the monastery in which it was produced disappeared at the end of the 10th century and so it could have been given to the Basilica during the 11th century by Ferdinand I of Leon and his wife Sancha, the main patrons of the basilica.Its colophon shows it was completed in the monastery of Valeránica on 19 June 960, copied and illuminated by a copyist named Sanctus and his master Florentinus, though it is difficult to distinguish between the two men's work. They are shown together toasting its completion beneath a large omega (f.514r), which may have been influenced by Islamic scenes of the heavenly banquet in Islamic art.Its text is in two columns of Visigothic minuscule, usually used in Spanish manuscripts between the 8th and 12th centuries. It contains a high number of glosses in Latin and Arabic. It begins with a large full-page image showing Christ and the four symbols of the evangelists in medallions. This is followed by ten pages of tables showing Christ's descent from Adam and Eve. The Old Testament is decorated with 80 images within the columns, illustrating the passages immediately above them. The New Testament is less decorated, with ten pages of canon tables and small miniatures of saint Paul at the start of the epistles. The illuminations' style is close to that of Beatus manuscripts of the same era and of Spanish High Medieval illuminated manuscripts.


Mizrah (Hebrew: מִזְרָח, Modern: mizrāḥ, Tiberian: mizrɔħ, east) is the Hebrew word for "east" and the direction that Jews in the Diaspora west of Israel face during prayer. Practically speaking, Jews would face the city of Jerusalem when praying, and those north, east, or south of Jerusalem face south, west, and north respectively.In European and Mediterranean communities west of the Holy Land, the word "mizrach" also refers to the wall of the synagogue that faces east, where seats are reserved for the rabbi and other dignitaries. In addition, "mizrach" refers to an ornamental wall plaque used to indicate the direction of prayer in Jewish homes.

National Museum of Damascus

The National Museum of Damascus (Arabic: المتحف الوطني بدمشق‎) is a museum in the heart of Damascus, Syria. As the country's national museum as well as its largest, this museum covers the entire range of Syrian history over a span of over 11 millenia, and displays various important artifacts, relics and major finds most notably from Mari, Ebla and Ugarit, three of Syria's most important ancient archaeological sites. Established in 1919, during King Faisal's Arab Kingdom of Syria, the museum is the oldest cultural heritage institution in Syria.Among the museum's highlights are, arguably, the Dura-Europos synagogue, a reconstructed synagogue dated to 245 AD which was moved piece by piece to Damascus in the 1930s and is noted for its vibrant and well preserved wall paintings and frescoes, also textiles from central Palmyra, and statues of the Greek goddess of victory from the south. The museum houses over 5000 cuneiform tablets, among them is the first alphabet in history, written down on a clay tablet, the Ugaritic alphabet. The museum is further adorned by 2nd-century murals, elaborate tombs, and the recently restored Lion of al-Lat, which originally stood guard at the National Museum of Palmyra but was whisked away to Damascus for safeguarding.The museum closed its doors in 2012 after the Syrian Civil War engulfed Damascus and threatened its rich cultural artifacts. The museum authorities quickly unloaded more than 300,000 artifacts and hid them in secret locations to safeguard Syria's cultural heritage from destruction and looting. After 6 years, the museum reopened 4 of the museum's 5 wings on October 29, 2018.

Pharaoh's daughter (Exodus)

According to the Book of Exodus, Pharaoh's daughter (Hebrew: בַּת־פַּרְעֹה bath-parʿōh; Greek: ἡ θυγάτηρ Φαραὼ hē thugátēr Pharaṑ) saved the infant Moses from extermination under the oppression of her father, after finding Moses hidden in the rushes on the banks of the Nile in Egypt. This act, the "drawing out" (מָשָׁה māšāh) of Moses from the water, is given as the origin of Moses's name (מֹשֶׁה Mōšeh).Her story has been much expanded in Abrahamic tradition, and the drawing up of Moses from the water by Pharaoh's daughter has been a popular subject in art.

World to come

The world to come, age to come, and heaven on Earth are eschatological phrases reflecting the belief that the current world or current age is flawed or cursed and will be replaced in the future by a better world, age, or paradise. The concept is related to but differs from the concepts of heaven, the afterlife, and the Kingdom of God in that heaven is another place or state generally seen as above the world, the afterlife is generally an individual's life after death, and the Kingdom of God could be in the present (such as realized eschatology) or the future.

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