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Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World


Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108456531

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • By engaging with recent developments in the study of empires, this book examines how inhabitants of Roman imperial Syria reinvented expressions and experiences of Greek, Roman and Syrian identification. It demonstrates how the organization of Greek communities and a peer polity network extending citizenship to ethnic Syrians generated new semiotic frameworks for the performance of Greekness and Syrianness. Within these, Syria's inhabitants reoriented and interwove idioms of diverse cultural origins, including those from the Near East, to express Greek, Roman and Syrian identifications in innovative and complex ways. While exploring a vast array of written and material sources, the book thus posits that Greekness and Syrianness were constantly shifting and transforming categories, and it critiques many assumptions that govern how scholars of antiquity often conceive of Roman imperial Greek identity, ethnicity and culture in the Roman Near East, and processes of 'hybridity' or similar concepts.

    • Proposes a new method for identifying how Greek and Syrian identities took shape in the Roman Near East, and reassesses the role played by the Greek poleis
    • Draws upon epigraphic, literary, numismatic, papyrological and material sources
    • Combines up-to-date scholarship on imperial formations, Roman imperialism and Greek polity networking to delineate how ancient empires and polity networks affected cultural production
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An important book … an essential point of reference for anyone reflecting on what it meant to be 'Greek' in the ancient world.' The Times Literary Supplement

    '… [this] book is of great importance in both its method and its content for the study of Roman Syria and the surrounding region from the Seleucid period through the early Roman Empire. Scholars will benefit a great deal from Andrade's impressive contribution to, and reshaping of, these ongoing discussions.' Christine Shepardson, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108456531
    • length: 442 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 7 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: signification and cultural performance in Roman imperial Syria
    Part I. Greek Poleis and the Syrian Ethnos (2nd century BCE–1st century CE):
    1. Antiochus IV and the limits of Greekness under the Seleucids (175–63 BCE)
    2. The theater of the frontier: local performance, Roman rulers (63–31 BCE)
    3. Converging paths: Syrian Greeks of the Roman Near East (31 BCE–CE 73)
    Part II. Greek Collectives in Syria (1st–3rd centuries CE):
    4. The Syrian Ethnos' Greek cities: dispositions and hegemonies (1st–3rd centuries CE)
    5. Cities of imperial frontiers (1st–3rd centuries CE)
    6. Hadrian and Palmyra: contrasting visions of Greekness (1st–3rd centuries CE)
    7. Dura-Europos: changing paradigms for civic Greekness
    Part III. Imitation Greeks: Being Greek and Being Other (2nd and 3rd centuries CE):
    8. Greeks write Syria: performance and the signification of Greekness
    9. The theater of empire: Lucian, cultural performance, and Roman rule
    10. Syria writes back: Lucian and On the Syrian Goddess
    11. The ascendency of Syrian Greekness and Romanness

  • Author

    Nathanael J. Andrade, State University of New York, Binghamton
    Nathanael J. Andrade is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Oregon.

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