On the Edge of Empires : North Mesopotamia During the Roman Period (2nd – 4th c. CE) book cover
1st Edition

On the Edge of Empires
North Mesopotamia During the Roman Period (2nd – 4th c. CE)

ISBN 9781138120136
Published February 24, 2019 by Routledge
318 Pages

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Book Description

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



Ancient Sources

Major Abbreviations

Chapter 1

Rome shifts Eastwards: Empires, Hegemony, and Frontiers

Chapter 2

From the Anatolian Plateau to the Steppe: Geography and Climate of North Mesopotamia

Chapter 3

From Trajan to Jovian: Conquest, Organisation and Loss of a Borderland

Chapter 4

Empires and the Cities: Urban Areas and Rural Landscapes

Chapter 5

Minor Settlements, Forts, and Camps: Exploring the Roman Frontier in the Syrian-Iraqi Steppe

Chapter 6

Imperial Impact on a Small Scale: The Site of Tell Barri between the 2nd and 4th c. CE

Chapter 7

Landscape(s) and the Empires: Survey Data for Roman Period Mesopotamia

Chapter 8

Mobility, Strategy, and the Empires: The Peutinger Map and the Route System in North Mesopotamia

Chapter 9

Across the Edges: Arabs and Nomads in Roman Period Mesopotamia

Chapter 10

Rome and the Steppe: Conclusions



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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.