Episode B44 – Edessa

Synopsis:  After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Shapur, Valerian joins tens of thousands of Roman captives deported to the heartland of Persia. 

“Going without consideration to Shapur with a small retinue, to treat for a peace, (Valerian) was presently laid hold off by the enemy, and so ended his days in the capacity of a slave among the Persians, to the disgrace of the Roman name in all future times.” – Zosimus, The History
“Whatever treatment the unfortunate Valerian might experience in Persia, it is at least certain that the only emperor of Rome who had ever fallen into the hands of the enemy, languished away his life in hopeless captivity.”  – Gibbon, History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter X, Part IV

6 thoughts on “Episode B44 – Edessa

  1. "Zosimus describes him as effeminate and decadent." I don't know why, but this made me laugh.

    Also I enjoyed hearing about Ahura Mazda again. I remember you touching on Zoroastrianism way back in the original series and wanting to know more so this is fantastic.

  2. Yeah, I think Zoroaster was in Ep 30 of the original series, in the context of Darius usurping Cyrus' dynasty. It was interesting reading about Manichaeism for this new Ep as well. Glad you're enjoying it, take care! – Scott

  3. There is a very good book about Edessa. Probably you already know it, but let me refer to it anyways:

    Title: Edessa, the blessed city
    Author: J. B. Segal
    Year: 1970

    Unfortunately, Edessa (or Urfa) today is a hotbed of religious fanaticism which is famous for "honour killings" and small scale wars between kurdish tribes. Population is almost entirely kurdish with a sprinkling of arabs. It is probably the most backwad city in Turkey.

  4. Thanks for the book recommendation. I actually visited Sanliurfa in July of 2015. This was about 1 month before the ISIS suicide bombing of the Kurdish youth group in the nearby city that began the past 2 years of increased violence. I even had the tour guide drive me to Harran/Carrhae near the border, since it was such a historic location! My main memory of Sanliurfa is the new archaeological museum & the mosaic museum, both of which were wonderful. Take care! – Scott

  5. I too remember our joint visit to Sanliurfa. What amazing history there and an amazing museum. I wasn’t aware at the time that the region was so contentious. Thanks for continuing your blog. Kathy and I continue to enjoy it and become educated by it. Ralph Rydell

  6. Hi Ralph! So great to hear from you and Kathy. That trip together was one of the high points of my travels, and I also enjoyed reading your blog on the remainder of your trip around the world. Great memories of our times together. Glad you're enjoying the blog. Have you listened to any of the audio files/podcasts? I'm currently telling the story of the Syrian Queen Zenobia. Hope things are well, take care! – Scott

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *