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DIONYSIAS (Soueida) Syria.

Town in the Hauran on the road from Damascus S to Bostra. The few visible remains include four columns of a peripteral temple of Nabataean times, on the main street. Their Corinthian capitals carry figurines carved above the corbel, and the entablature is adorned with vine branches.

Farther W are the remains of a large basilica with five naves, and sections of a Roman theater now hidden under houses. There are also a monumental arch, a marble fountain (dated to the time of Trajan by an inscription), and a water tower (built under Commodus), the terminal for aqueducts coming from nearby springs. The tomb of Hamrath stood on a hill beyond the ravine crossed by the ancient bridge. The tomb is now destroyed, but a bilingual Greek and Aramaic inscription dates it to the 1st c. B.C. It was a massive cube adorned with Doric pilasters, between which were sculptured helmets, breastplates, or shields; it was crowned by a Doric frieze and a stepped pyramid. A funerary tower stood at the W exit of the town.

Numerous basalt sculptures, notably a Minerva, some winged Victories, and fine mosaics are now in the Soueida and Damascus museums.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

M. de Vogüé, Syrie centrale, Architecture civile et religieuse (1865-77)I; H. C. Butler, AAES Pt. II, Architecture and other Arts (1903)MPI; R. E. Brünnow & A. v. Domaszewski, Die Provincia Arabia III (1909)MPI; M. Dunand, Le Musée de Soueida (1934)I.

J.-P. REY-COQUAIS

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