2nd Edition

Rome in the East The Transformation of an Empire

By Warwick Ball Copyright 2016
    594 Pages 180 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    594 Pages 180 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This new edition of Rome in the East expands on the seminal work of the first edition, and examines the lasting impact of the near Eastern influence on Rome on our understanding of the development of European culture. Warwick Ball explores modern issues as well as ancient, and overturns conventional ideas about the spread of European culture to the East. This volume includes analysis of Roman archaeological and architectural remains in the East, as well as links to the Roman Empire as far afield as Iran, Central Asia, India, and China. The Near Eastern client kingdoms under Roman rule are examined in turn and each are shown to have affected Roman, and ultimately European, history in different but very fundamental ways. The highly visible presence of Rome in the East – mainly the architectural remains, some among the greatest monumental buildings in the Roman world – are examined from a Near Eastern perspective and demonstrated to be as much, if not more, a product of the Near East than of Rome.

    Warwick Ball presents the story of Rome in the light of Rome’s fascination with the Near East, generating new insights into the nature and character of Roman civilisation, and European identity from Rome to the present. Near Eastern influence can be seen to have transformed Roman Europe, with perhaps the most significant change being the spread of Christianity. This new edition is updated with the latest research and findings from a range of sources including field work in the region and new studies and views that have emerged since the first edition. Over 200 images, most of them taken by the author, demonstrate the grandeur of Rome in the East. This volume is an invaluable resource to students of the history of Rome and Europe, as well as those studying the Ancient Near East.

    Preface Chapter One: Historical Background Chapter Two: The Princely States Chapter Three: Rome East of the Frontiers Chapter Four: The Towns and Cities Chapter Five: The Countryside Chapter Six: Secular Architecture: Imperial Stamp or Imperial Veneer? Chapter Seven: Buildings of Religion: The Resurgence of the East Chapter Eight: The Transformation of an Empire Bibliography Index


    Warwick Ball is a Near Eastern archaeologist who has excavated in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya and Ethiopia, and travelled extensively in most other countries in the region in his professional capacity. He has held posts with the British Institute of Afghan Studies in Kabul, the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. The first edition of Rome in the East was Choice Outstanding Academic Book in 2000 and was awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize in 2001. Author of many other books on the history and archaeology of the region, Mr Ball now lives in Scotland.

    "When this book first appeared it proved highly controversial. Now a timely updated second edition has taken into account much of the recent literature. Postcolonial approaches that foreground the viewpoint of the ‘other’ have reset the academic agenda and in many ways the first edition was a precursor of this approach. This second edition has continued the legacy of the first and is thought provoking, provocative and challenging. Such works are badly needed as a corrective to the prevailing orthodoxy of the western paradigm in Graeco-Roman studies. It is a very readable and valuable work and one which every student of both the Roman world and the ancient Near East needs to study."

    - Professor Paul Newson, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

     "The new version of Rome in the East is still a major scholarly achievement worthy of praise for its wealth of detail on architecture, urban planning, religious cults, and so on ... the book is still outstanding in its scope and detail. Anyone reading it will learn a great deal about the culture and history of the Roman Near East."

    - Professor Lee E. Patterson, Eastern Illinois University, USA, in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    “The first edition of this book, published in 2000 (CH, Sep'00, 38-0450), was a Choice “Outstanding Academic Title." This second edition has all the virtues of the first brought up to the present, when many of the monuments it illustrates are threatened by war. Ball is a Near Eastern archaeologist who approaches the Roman Empire with an outsider’s optics. His book is not only the best compendium of the archaeological remains of the Roman East, it also sets forth his thesis, once again: in the competition between the cultures of eastern and western portions of the Roman Empire, the east won … For researchers, graduate students, upper-level undergrads and, perhaps, the general reading public.”

    - J. A. S. Evans, University of British Columbia