I am curious about this statement:

Sura was under Roman control in the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) and Ptolemy (c. 100-170 CE) but was conquered by the Sasanian king Shapur I in 253 CE.

What is it refering to during Pliny, Ptolemy, and Shapur I? The only thing that I am aware of is the conquest of Trajan.

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    How is that misleading? It was either under Roman control during the period or not; so that statement is either true or false. Are you just challenging its factual accuracy? – Semaphore Mar 12 '18 at 13:34
  • @Semaphore Saying that it was Roman until 253. – John Dee Mar 12 '18 at 13:40
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    That's not misleading, that's a clear direct statement. Sounds like you're just disputing its correctness. – Semaphore Mar 12 '18 at 13:48
  • @Semaphore It's not clearly saying that it was under Roman Control from the 1st century to 253. It says that it was during the [whole?] lifetime of two people, 1 hundred years apart, as well as in 253. It seems like typical wikipedia pasting. – John Dee Mar 12 '18 at 13:56
  • @JohnDee: I always read gaps in dates as "these reliable sources mention related events, so we're very sure about these particular dates but aren't sure what happened in between those dates" – Giter Mar 12 '18 at 14:39

Sura, or at least that area, was within the Roman province of Mesopotamia as of the reign of Septimius Severus when he conquered the area around 200CE. The province fell to the Sasanians, as you mentioned, about 50 years later.

Trajan conquered the area north of Sura about a hundred years earlier and created the original province of Mesopotamia; however, his successor Hadrian relinquished Roman control of areas that far east when he became emperor. Severus reconquered the area and recreated the (now larger) province of Mesopotamia in 198CE, though it was a frequent source of conflict.

However, during the un-creatively named Crisis of the Third Century, Rome had some trouble keeping control of its empire. This crisis included several civil wars, invasions, and a single year in which six Roman emperors rose and fell. Understandably, Rome's neighbors took advantage of the situation, including the somewhat recently formed Sasanian Empire which took much of the eastern Roman provinces in the mid/late 3rd century CE.

  • What about during Pliny? I suspect it was through a client like Osroene. – John Dee Apr 6 '18 at 21:17

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