To Educational Foundation of the National Bank of Greece, the “Panorama” Cultural Society and the Museum of Byzantine Culture invite you cordially to a lecture by the researcher Kadio Kolymva, titled From Dura Europos of polytheism to Christian Kalaat Saman, birthplace of the Stylites, and the islamisized descendants of the ancestral god of the Arabs, Doussari.
The port of Dura Europos, founded by Seleucus I, the Nicator, on the west bank of the Euphrates – its name is a synthesis of the ancient Semitic toponym (Dura) and of the Greek name of Seleucus’ birthplace (Europos) – gathered for six centuries merchants, sailors and members of military garrisons who belonged to dozens of ethnic and religious communities. The archaeological excavations yielded to the study of religions and to the history of cults so many different shrines, among which one synagogue and the oldest Christian House with a Baptistery, that the city on Euphrates resembles a living index. There existed also the cult cave of the ancient Iranian god Mithras. His cult had arrived early in Upper Mesopotamia, northern Syria and eastern Asia Minor. From there the Hittites received it. God kept his basic characteristics, when his cult was spread in the Roman Empire. But this cult is nothing but the Hellenized Zoroastrianistic version of the Mediterranean mysteries, based on oral traditions and rituals. Two centuries later, and while Christianity has become the official state religion, the various forms of asceticism developed in the East. Between Antioch and Aleppo, Simeon Stylites, after he lived some years of ascetism, he raised a column on the top of a hill and lived over there for the rest of his life, to be closer to God and create a new type of Departure.