DESKARTA (Diskarta, Daskarta ), Babylonian town on the river Diala, about 55 mi. (90 km.) northeast of Baghdad. Arab writers ascribe the establishment of the town to Hormizd i (reigned 272–3), though he probably only fortified an already existing village. The town was of great importance for trade with Persia, and it may be assumed that a Jewish community existed there from its reestablishment. The earliest definite references to such a community are from the fourth century. A certain Judah of Deskarta, a disciple of Rava and teacher of Pappa, is frequently mentioned. R. Huna of Deskarta was another disciple of Rava, which leads to the supposition that the Jewish community of Deskarta came under the influence of the academy of Maḥoza. At the time of Chosroes ii Parveg (590–628), the town became the Sassanid capital. It was destroyed by Heraclius in 628 and its ruins are still visible south of Shahraban. The name derives from Persian das ("district") and Aramaic karta ("town"), and is also used in talmudic literature as a name for a place in general, e.g., "the deskarta of slaves" (Git. 40a) and "the deskarta of the exilarch" (Er. 59a).
Neusner, Babylonia, 2 (1966), 247; J. Obermeyer, Landschaft Babylonien (1929), 146–7.
[Yitzhak Dov Gilat]