On the Edge of Empires explores the mixed culture of North Mesopotamia in the Roman period. This volatile region at the eastern edge of the Roman world became during the imperial period the theater of confrontation for multiple political entities: Rome, Parthia, Sasanian Persia. Roman presence is only recognizable through military installations – forts, barracks, military camps – yet these fascinating lands tell a story of frontier people and soldiers, of trade despite war, and daily life between the Empires. This volume combines archaeological and historical, literary and environmental evidence in order to explore this important borderland between east and west.
On the Edge of Empires is a valuable addition to researchers engaged in the historical and archaeological reconstruction of the frontier areas of the Roman Empire, and a fascinating study for students and scholars of the Romans and their neighbours, borderlands in antiquity, and the history and archaeology of empires.
Table of Contents
List of figures
Rome shifts Eastwards: Empires, Hegemony, and Frontiers
From the Anatolian Plateau to the Steppe: Geography and Climate of North Mesopotamia
From Trajan to Jovian: Conquest, Organisation and Loss of a Borderland
Empires and the Cities: Urban Areas and Rural Landscapes
Minor Settlements, Forts, and Camps: Exploring the Roman Frontier in the Syrian-Iraqi Steppe
Imperial Impact on a Small Scale: The Site of Tell Barri between the 2nd and 4th c. CE
Landscape(s) and the Empires: Survey Data for Roman Period Mesopotamia
Mobility, Strategy, and the Empires: The Peutinger Map and the Route System in North Mesopotamia
Across the Edges: Arabs and Nomads in Roman Period Mesopotamia
Rome and the Steppe: Conclusions
Rocco Palermo is a Researcher at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He has carried out fieldwork in Italy, Syria, and Jordan, and he is currently involved in two different projects in Northern Iraq with the University of Udine, Italy, and Harvard University, USA. He is currently working on a book on the landscape and settlements of Hellenistic period Mesopotamia.