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From Augustus to Constantine, the Roman Empire in the Near East expanded step by step, southward to the Red Sea and eastward across the Euphrates to the Tigris. In a remarkable work of interpretive history, Fergus Millar shows us this world as it was forged into the Roman provinces of Syria, Judaea, Arabia, and Mesopotamia. His book conveys the magnificent sweep of history as well as the rich diversity of peoples, religions, and languages that intermingle in the Roman Near East. Against this complex backdrop, Millar explores questions of cultural and religious identity and ethnicity--as aspects of daily life in the classical world and as part of the larger issues they raise. As Millar traces the advance of Roman control, he gives a lucid picture of Rome's policies and governance over its far-flung empire. He introduces us to major regions of the area and their contrasting communities, bringing out the different strands of culture, communal identity, language, and religious belief in each. The Roman Near East makes it possible to see rabbinic Judaism, early Christianity, and eventually the origins of Islam against the matrix of societies in which they were formed. Millar's evidence permits us to assess whether the Near East is best seen as a regional variant of Graeco-Roman culture or as in some true sense oriental. A masterful treatment of a complex period and world, distilling a vast amount of literary, documentary, artistic, and archaeological evidence--always reflecting new findings--this book is sure to become the standard source for anyone interested in the Roman Empire or the history of the Near East.
This is a collection of studies on the Roman Near East and Judaea, on Jewish history in the Roman period and on the Roman army in general. It includes papers on literary sources and inscriptions. Newly published material and recent studies are discussed and evaluated.
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Public sculptures were the "mass media" of the Roman world. They populated urban centers throughout the empire, serving as a "plastic language" that communicated political, religious, and social messages. This book brings together twenty-eight experts who otherwise rarely convene: text-based scholars of the Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian realms from the fields of classics, history, and religion and specialists in the artistic traditions of Greece and Rome as well as art historians and archaeologists. Utilizing the full spectrum of ancient sources, the book examines the multiple, at times even contradictory, meanings and functions that statues served within the complex world of the Roman Near East. Moreover, it situates the discussion of sculpture in the broader context of antiquity in order to reevaluate long-held scholarly consensuses on such ideas as the essence of Hellenism (the culture that emerged from the encounter of Greco-Romans with the Near East) and the everlasting "conflict" among paganism, Christianity, and Judaism.
This atlas provides students and scholars with a broad range of information on the development of the Ancient Near East from prehistoric times through the beginning of written records in the Near East (c. 3000 BC) to the late Roman Empire and the rise of Islam. The geographical coverage of the Atlas extends from the Aegean coast of Anatolia in the west through Iran and Afghanistan to the east, and from the Black and Caspian Seas in the north to Arabia and the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in the south. The Atlas of the Ancient Near East includes a wide-ranging overview of the civilizations and kingdoms discussed, written in a lively and engaging style, which considers not only political and military issues but also introduces the reader to social and cultural topics such as trade, religion, how people were educated and entertained, and much more. With a comprehensive series of detailed maps, supported by the authors’ commentary and illustrations of major sites and key artifacts, this title is an invaluable resource for students who wish to understand the fascinating cultures of the Ancient Near East.
This book considers how languages, peoples and cultures in the Near East interacted over the millennium between Alexander and Muhammad.
Preaching Christology in the Roman Near East focuses on a poetic genre of early Christian literature from the Middle East that has challenged historians for decades: the metrical sermons or homilies written in Syriac, a dialect of the Aramaic language. It develops a rigorous methodology to approach such works by examining processes by which they went from spoken word to texts that circulated in manuscripts. The case study on one of the most celebratedpoets of the Syriac tradition demonstrates how such poetic works help answer questions both of intellectual and social history.
This book brings together thirty separate studies of the complex religious, communal and religious history of the Roman Near East in the period from the conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity in CE 312 to the first Islamic invasion in CE 632. A newly-written Epilogue, 'Open Questions', reviews the different fields of study involved, and asks how far what we find helps to understand the origins of Islam. Pagan Greeks and Greek-speaking Christians, as well as Jews and Samaritans using Hebrew and Aramaic, co-existed, as did a new Christian community using Syriac, a branch of Aramaic. The complex complex and extensive evidence for this multicultural world has had to be approached in separate studies, while retaining a sense of communal co-existence and mutual relationships. The papers have been edited so as to appear in a consistent form, and are arranged in groups intended to offer a coherent overall structure. It is hoped that they will stimulate further work on this important phase in cultural and religious history.
This interdisciplinary collection of articles brings out the variety of local and regional patterns of worship in the Near East, and in this manner contributes to our quest for understanding the polytheistic cults of the region as a whole.
A recent surge of interest in network approaches to the study of the ancient world has enabled scholars of the Roman Empire to move beyond traditional narratives of domination, resistance, integration and fragmentation. This relational turn has not only offers tools to identify, map, visualize and, in some cases, even quantify interaction based on a variety of ancient source material, but also provides a terminology to deal with the everyday ties of power, trade, and ideology that operated within, below, and beyond the superstructure of imperial rule. Thirteen contributions employ a range of quantitative, qualitative and descriptive network approaches in order to provide new perspectives on trade, communication, administration, technology, religion and municipal life in the Roman Near East and adjacent regions.
The ancient Middle East was the theater of passionate interaction between Phoenicians, Aramaeans, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, and Romans. At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian peninsula, the area dominated by what the Romans called Syria was at times a scene of violent confrontation, but more often one of peaceful interaction, of prosperous cultivation, energetic production, and commerce--a crucible of cultural, religious, and artistic innovations that profoundly determined the course of world history. Maurice Sartre has written a long overdue and comprehensive history of the Semitic Near East (modern Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel) from the eve of the Roman conquest to the end of the third century C.E. and the dramatic rise of Christianity. Sartre's broad yet finely detailed perspective takes in all aspects of this history, not just the political and military, but economic, social, cultural, and religious developments as well. He devotes particular attention to the history of the Jewish people, placing it within that of the whole Middle East. Drawing upon the full range of ancient sources, including literary texts, Greek, Latin, and Semitic inscriptions, and the most recent archaeological discoveries, The Middle East under Rome will be an indispensable resource for students and scholars. This absorbing account of intense cultural interaction will also engage anyone interested in the history of the Middle East.
This volume looks at various ways in which royal images functioned within different ideological frameworks in the ancient Near East, Greece and Rome. It argues that visibility lies at the heart of power, especially under monarchic rule. The contributions highlight how, throughout the ancient Mediterranean, patterns can be detected in the use of royal images. There seem to have been continuous (re)negotiations between innovation and tradition, East and West, and between 'real' and 'imaginary' kings. Contents Richard Fowler / Olivier Hekster: Imagining kings: From Persia to Rome Lindsay Allen: Le roi imaginaire: An audience with the Achaemenid king Peter Thonemann: The tragic king: Demetrios Poliorketes and the city of Athens Margherita Facella: Roman perception of Commagenian royalty Matthew Gisborne: A curia of kings: Sulla and royal imagery Richard Fowler: 'Most fortunate roots': Tradition and legitimacy in Parthian royal ideology Olivier Hekster: Captured in the gaze of power: Visibility, games and Roman imperial representation Ted Kaizer: Kingly priests in the Roman Near East? Bibliography Index
During the first century BC the royalty of the Near and Middle East figured prominently in the great transition from the Seleucid and Ptolomaic empires, by way of the brief Pontic and Armenian empires, to the triumphant Parthian and Roman empires. Richard D. Sullivan provides, through narrative and citations, a context for the frequent references to eastern kings and queens by Caesar, Cicero, Strabo, Josephus, Tacitus, Appian, Dio, and others. He also discusses related inscriptions, coins, and papyri. Sullivan focuses on the personnel of the many dynasties that ruled the Near and Middle East, from Thrace through Asia Minor and the Levant to Egypt, then eastward to Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Parthia. He studies such famous figures as Mithradates Eupator, Cleopatra, and Herod the Great, as well as others now obscure. To 'locate' them properly, he provides a narrative history of each dynasty and draws them together in a coherent account of Eastern royal governance and its accommodations with Rome and Parthia during the period of Rome's transition from Republic to Empire.
"This volume is the outcome of an international conference ... held at Trinity College, Dublin on Mar. 11-12, 2002."--P. [v].
The Ituraeans, a little-known people of late first century BCE Syria/Palestine, are referred to briefly in a number of early texts, notably Pliny, Strabo and Josephus, and the principality of Ituraea is mentioned in Luke 3.1. There is, as yet, no consensus among archaeologists as to whether certain artefacts should be attributed to the Ituraeans or not. They form a mysterious backdrop to what we know of the area in the time of Jesus, which remains obstinately obscure despite the enormous amount of research in recent decades on the 'historical Jesus' and Greco-Roman Galilee. Through reference to the early texts, modern scholarship has contributed to a claim the Ituraeans were an Arab tribal group known mainly for their recurrent brigandage. Elaine Myers challenges these presuppositions and suggests a reappraisal of previous interpretations of these texts and the archaeological evidence to present a more balanced portrait of this ancient people.
This second volume in the three-volume series includes essays by Fergus Millar which explore the role of the emperor and the functions of the Roman Empire's treasury, courts, penal system, and equestrian civil service in the first three centuries A.D. Other essays deal with the Roman citizenry, paying particular attention to the cultural exchange between Rome and Greece.

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