* Preface to the English-Language Edition * Acknowledgments * Translators' Note * Introduction 1. The Hellenistic Legacy * The Creation of New States * Syria between Parthians, Romans, and Armenians 2. The End of Seleucid Syria and the First Roman Rule (69--31 B.C.E.) * The Beginnings of Roman Intervention * Pompey and Syria * Syria at the Time of the Roman Civil War 3. From Augustus to Trajan: Creating a Province * The Provincia and Its Governors * The Defenses of Imperial Syria in the First Century * The Client States in the First Century C.E. 4. The Crises in Judaea from Herod to Bar Kokhba * Herod the Great * Herod's Heirs * The Era of Prefects and Procurators * The Revolt of 66--70 and Its Consequences * From the Fall of the Temple to Bar Kokhba 5. From Trajan to the Severi: Conquests and Reorganizations * New Provinces, New Divisions * Defense of the Country and Roman Campaigns 6. Civic Life and Urban Development during the Early Empire * The Spread of the Polis and the Creation of Colonies * The Structure and Organization of Municipal Life * City Profiles 7. Rural Life in the Early Empire * Land Tenure and Land Use * Agricultural Practices and Production * Villages and Village Communities * Nomads 8. The Urban Economy in Roman Syria * Artisans * Money and Customs Duties * Roads and Ports * Local and Foreign Trade 9. Hellenization and Indigenous Cultures * Syrian Hellenism * Indigenous Cultures 10 Pagans, Jews, and Christians in Roman Syria in the Second and Third Centuries * Gods and Pagan Sanctuaries * Rabbinical Judaism * The Beginnings of Christianization 11. A Time of Trials * Edessa, Hatra, and Dura-Europos * Palmyra * Phylarchs and Nomad Chiefs * Conclusion * Abbreviations * Notes * Works Cited * Index
Maurice Sartre is Professor of History, University of Tours and the Institut Universitaire de France.
This book is not merely a translation of Sartre's 1196-page volume, published in France in 2001 as D'Alexandre a Zenobie: Histoire du Levant antique, IVe siecle av. J.-C.-IIIe siecle apr. J.-C. Instead, this condensed edition-368 pages (with about 300 pages of abbreviations, notes, works cited, and index)-focuses on the Middle East during Roman times and features a new first chapter that provides crucial historical context. The text provides much more than a historical perspective, addressing issues of civic and rural life, such as the creation of colonies, land tenure and use, urban and economic development, indigenous cultures, and successions of various religions. Sartre (ancient history, Univ. of Tours, France) is a well-known authority on this subject, and though his extensive and highly scholarly work could prove challenging for a more general audience, it is sure to please researchers and educators, but strongly recommended for academic libraries.-Ethan Pullman, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Histories of the Roman Empire tend to stay close to Rome, so Sartre's summation of what we know about imperial influence in the region then known as Syria is highly welcome. Sartre offers an account of major events in the region, but the real treasure is the rich detail about ancient Syria's cultural life. Drawing on archeological evidence as well as historical texts, the author sketches a thriving region dotted by cosmopolitan city-states that were in many cases governed by local rulers with Roman guidance...Vivid descriptive prose could help this excellent treatise find a readership beyond the world of classical scholars. Publishers Weekly 20050221 A learned, highly readable and even entertaining volume...It opens up an immense wealth of evidence, heretofore inaccessible to many ancient historians and archaeologists, and illustrates the often-neglected importance of the Middle East for classical history and culture. The scholarly community, as well as many students, will benefit from this. -- Michael Sommer Times Higher Education Supplement 20060106 [Sartre constructs] his narrative from solidly attested evidence alone, however fragmentary, eschewing all dubious sources and hypothetical fillers in a very sound preference for authentic ruins over speculative palaces...Aided by a translation that is as fluent as it is precise, and which is sometimes attractively revealing of a witty mind, this is a good read. But it is far more than that, and would indeed warrant much attention even if the prose were especially dull--one sees why Glen Bowersock promoted its elegant publication in English, an honour reserved to few Continental European historical works these days. For Sartre succeeds in giving us a richly detailed, remarkably fresh account of the Levant under Roman rule while being more severe than most in excluding dubious narratives and undocumented conjectures. Much of the new information that Sartre weaves into his story is from recent archaeological, epigraphic, and numismatic evidence...Sartre has given us an admirable survey, as enjoyable as it is instructive, especially in its elegant Belknap Press edition. -- Edward N. Luttwak Times Literary Supplement 20060127 This is an excellent book from a talented and tireless scholar. It is especially important that a French scholar should contribute to the growing band of surveys of the region in view of the dominant role so many of his countrymen have played in research over some ninety years...A major contribution of the book is simply...that it provides a very readable story. -- David L. Kennedy International History Review This highly significant and informative work...is an essential resource for greater Syria during the Roman period. It is clear and written with historical accuracy. The notes and bibliography alone are worth the reasonable price of the book. -- Graydon F. Snyder Journal of Religion 20070701 Professor Maurice Sartre's The Middle East Under Rome is a study of Roman Syria and a substantial contribution to the scholarly literature. [It] is massive and is based on a mountain of documentation. While it is possible to become lost in the book's detail, Sartre still provides a fast moving narrative of this portion of the Roman Empire. -- James Biedzynski Journal of Third World Studies 20070401
Histories of the Roman Empire tend to stay close to Rome, so Sartre's summation of what we know about imperial influence in the region then known as Syria is highly welcome. Though the book's heft could be intimidating (and this is but a chunk of a much larger book published in France a few years ago), footnotes and bibliography account for nearly 300 pages, and the main text is skillfully rendered into accessible, almost conversational English. Sartre, a professor of ancient history at the University of Tours, offers an account of major events in the region, but the real treasure is the rich detail about ancient Syria's cultural life. Drawing on archeological evidence as well as historical texts, the author sketches a thriving region dotted by cosmopolitan city-states that were in many cases governed by local rulers with Roman guidance. Sartre traces the early rise of Christianity and the upheaval of the Jewish community following a failed rebellion in A.D. 66-74, placing them within the broader context of a generally "adaptable and flexible" imperial leadership that allowed cultural diversity to flourish so long as Rome received its tribute. Vivid descriptive prose could help this excellent treatise find a readership beyond the world of classical scholars. 43 b&w illus., 2 maps. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.