1st Edition

Migration and Migrant Identities in the Near East from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Edited By Justin Yoo, Andrea Zerbini, Caroline Barron Copyright 2019
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book brings together recent developments in modern migration theory, a wide range of sources, new and old tools revisited (from GIS to epigraphic studies, from stable isotope analysis to the study of literary sources) and case studies from the ancient eastern Mediterranean that illustrate how new theories and techniques are helping to give a better understanding of migratory flows and diaspora communities in the ancient Near East. A geographical gap has emerged in studies of historical migration as recent works have focused on migration and mobility in the western part of the Roman Empire and thus fail to bring a significant contribution to the study of diaspora communities in the eastern Mediterranean. Bridging this gap represents a major scholarly desideratum, and, by drawing upon the experiences of previously neglected migrant and diaspora communities in the eastern Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period to the early mediaeval world, this collection of essays approaches migration studies with new perspectives and methodologies, shedding light not only on the study of migrants in the ancient world, but also on broader issues concerning the rationale for mobility and the creation and features of diaspora identities.


    Introduction - Caroline Barron, Justin Yoo, and Andrea Zerbini

    I. Migration Theory and Historiography

    Chapter 1: Mobility in the Roman World: New Concepts, New Perspectives - Claudia Moatti

    Chapter 2: Language, Identity and Migrant Communities: Cyrenaeans in Hellenistic Egypt - Rachel Mairs

    II. Documenting Migrant Flows

    Chapter 3: Inscribing Near Eastern Mobility in the Hellenistic and Roman Period - L.E. Tacoma and R.A. Tybout

    Chapter 4: Migration in Late Antiquity: Stories from Syria - Andrea U. De Giorgi

    Chapter 5: The Presentation of Migration and Mobility in Strabo’s Mesopotamia - Hamish Cameron

    Chapter 6: Mapping the Jewish Communities of the Byzantine Empire Using GIS - Gethin Rees, Alexander Panayotov, and Nicholas de Lange

    III. Migration and Physical Anthropology

    Chapter 7: Stable Isotope Analysis and Human Migration in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East - Tracy Prowse, Robert Stark, and Matthew Emery

    Chapter 8: Anatomy of Restlessness: Strontium Isotopes and Human Migration in the Graeco-Roman Near East - Megan Perry

    IV. Migrant Identities

    Chapter 9: A Long Way from Home: Meshworks of Migration, Memory and Emotion in the Roman Empire - Anna Collar

    Chapter 10: Pots on the Border. Ceramics, Identity, and Mobility in North Mesopotamia between Rome and the East - Rocco Palermo

    Chapter 11: Migration to and within Palestine in the Early Islamic Period: Two Archaeological Paradigms - Itamar Taxel

    Chapter 12: ‘Maugre li Polein’. European Migration to the Latin East and the Construction of an Oriental Identity in the Crusader States - Jan Vandeburie

    V. Epilogue

    Chapter 13: Making Ancient Mobility Visible - Elena Isayev



    Justin Yoo is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Classics at King’s College London, UK, where he is writing a thesis on Greek migration, trade, and interaction with Egypt during the seventh to fourth centuries BCE. He has an MA in Egyptian Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK, and a BA in Anthropology, Arabic and French from the City University of New York, USA.

    Andrea Zerbini is a Research Associate on the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project based at the University of Oxford, UK. Prior to this, he held a CBRL Visiting Fellowship at the British Institute in Amman, Jordan, and a Fondation Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellowship affiliated with the CNRS team Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité based at the Université Paris X–Nanterre, France. He holds an MA in Ancient History from University College London and a PhD in Classics from Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. From May 2018, he has assumed the role of Assistant Director of CBRL–The British Institute in Amman. 

    Caroline Barron is a Research Fellow on the ERC-funded project Judaism and Rome (http://judaism-and-rome.cnrs.fr/), based at CNRS at the Aix-Marseille Université, France. She earned her undergraduate degree in English and Latin at the University of Leeds, UK, and then spent several years living in Rome and working in cultural heritage. She returned to London in 2008 to pursue an MA in Classics at King's College London, UK, after which she earned her PhD, also at King’s, in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Henrik Mouritsen. Caroline has most recently worked on the publication of two digital editions of ancient inscriptions: Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania, and IOSPE: Ancient Inscriptions of the Northern Black Sea. In January 2019 she will join Birkbeck, UK, as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow.