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DORA Israel.

An important city on the Palestinian coast, the capital of a satrapy in the Persian period. According to Skylax (first half of 4th c. B.C.), Dora was a Tyrian colony. By the middle of the 3d c. B.C. there was a royal fortress there (I Macc. 15:11-14). When the Seleucid kingdom of Syria began to decline, Dora and nearby Strato's Tower were ruled by the tyrant Zoilus, from whom Alexander Jannaeus obtained Dora through negotiation (Joseph. AJ 13.324-35). After the conquest of Palestine by Pompey in 64 B.C., Dora became autonomous and was rebuilt by Gabinius (Joseph. BJ 1.156, 409). During the Roman period there still was a strong fortress there (AJ 13.223-24.324; 14.76; 15.333). On the eve of the Revolt against the Romans, the emperor's statue was placed in the local synagogue (Joseph. Vit. 31). In the early 3d c. A.D. Septimius Severus annexed it to Phcenicia. In the Byzantine period Dora became part of Palestina Prima. Eusebius (Onom. 78.9) refers to Dora as a town in ruins, a description later confirmed by the pilgrim Paula (Hieron. Pregr. Paulae 5).

Its remains consist of the ancient mound. Trial excavations have produced traces of continuous occupation from the Late Bronze Age to the Persian period. The remains of the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine towns are by far the most extensive and cover a large area. Close to the coast are the imposing remains of a Roman temple and theater. The city had a double harbor, the division made by a natural cliff, on which was built a massive tower. To the Byzantine period belong remains of a large church.


J. Garstang & J. W. Phytian-Adams, Bulletin of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem 4 (1924) 35-45, pls. I-III; 6 (1924) 65-73; G. M. Fitzgerald, ibid. 7 (1925) 80-98; M. Avi-Yonah, The Holy Land from the Persian to the Arab Conquests (536 B.C. to A.D. 640). A Historical Geography (1966).


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