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Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community and State Formation

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Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community and State Formation
  • Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community and State Formation
  • Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community and State Formation
19 990 Ft

In social, economic, and cultural terms, the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire was vastly complex, which has fueled considerable debate among scholars concerning the nature of the interactions between Romans and natives in the Near East. Notions of imperialism, specifically "cultural" imperialism, frame much of the debate. Through a detailed analysis of Palmyrene identity and community formation, Andrew M. Smith II presents a social and political history of Roman Palmyra, the oasis city situated deep in the Syrian Desert midway between Damascus and the Euphrates river. This city-state is unique in the ancient world, since it began as a humble community, probably no more than an isolated village, and grew--due in part to its role in the caravan trade--into an economically powerful, cosmopolitan urban center of Graeco-Roman character that operated outside of Roman rule, yet under Roman patronage. The book therefore focuses on two aspects of Palmyrene civilization during the first three centuries of the Common Era: the emergence and subsequent development of Palmyra as a commercial and political center in the desert frontier between Rome and Parthia (and later Persia), and the "making" of Palmyrenes. This study is thus concerned with the creation, structure, and maintenance of Palmyrene identity and that of Palmyra as an urban community in a volatile frontier zone. The history of Palmyra's communal development would be wholly obscure were it not for the archaeological and epigraphic materials that testify to Palmyrene achievements and prosperity at home and abroad. These, complemented by the literary evidence, also provide insight into the relatively obscure historical process of sedentarization and of the relationships between pastoral and sedentary communities in the Roman Near East. In addition to examining Palmyra as a frontier community, the book will move beyond Syria to explore the development and maintenance of Palmyrene identity in diaspora settings in Italy, north Africa, and Europe. This study is thus concerned with the creation, structure, and maintenance of Palmyrene identity and that of Palmyra as an urban community in a volatile frontier zone.

 

Andrew M. Smith II specializes in the social and cultural history of the Greek and Roman Near East. His current research concentrates in Syria, where he is examining social transformations and urban development at the oasis city of Palmyra during the Roman period. Dr. Smith is also an field archaeologist, having worked on surveys and excavations in Greece, Austria, Israel, and Jordan, where he has worked since 1989. Currently, he directs the excavations and survey of the Roman fort at Bir Madhkur (as part of his larger Bir Madhkur Project), a site that also served as the first major caravan stop west of Petra on the ancient Spice Route. The author of several articles, Dr. Smith is currently writing a monograph on his work in Syria.

http://departments.columbian.gwu.edu/cnelc/people/112

 

  • Andrew M. Smith II
    Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community, and State Formation
    angol nyelvű
    Kiadó: Oxford University Press, USA
    Kiadás éve: 2013
    Oldalszám. 320
    ISBN-10: 0199861102
    ISBN-13: 978-0199861101

  • Cikkszám
    706275
    Státusz
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