Rome, the Greek World, and the East
Volume 3: The Greek World, the Jews, and the East
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Fergus Millar, Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University ofOxford emeritus, is one of the most influential ancient historians of thetwentieth century. Since the publication ofAStudyofCassiusDioby OxfordUniversity Press in , Millar has published ten books, including twomonumental studies,TheEmperorintheRomanWorld(Duckworth, ) and...
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TheGreekWorld,theJews,andtheEastis the third and last volume in the seriesof Fergus Millar’s collected essays,Rome,theGreekWorld,andtheEast. It standsto TheRomanNearEast,..–..1 as the second volume in the seriesstands to TheEmperorintheRomanWorld,..–..,2 and, to a lesserextent, as the first volume in the series stands toTheCrowdinRomeintheLate...
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Part I. The Hellenistic World and Rome
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1. The Problem of Hellenistic Syria
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And it came to pass after the victory of Alexander the son of Philip, theMacedonian, who came out from the land of Kittim and smote Darius,quered many fortified places and slew the kings of the earth....Andhissons ruled, each in his own place, and after his death they all assumeddiadems, and his sons (ruled) after him for many years and multiplied...
2. The Phoenician Cities: A Case-Study of Hellenisation
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When Alexander was civilising Asia, Homer was commonly read, andthe children of the Persians, of the Susianians and of the Gedrosianslearned to chant the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides. And al-though Socrates, when tried on a charge of introducing foreign deities,lost his cause to the informers who infested Athens, yet through Alex-...
3. Hellenistic History in a Near Eastern Perspective:The Book of Daniel
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As with so many aspects of Hellenistic history, it is best to begin with thewords of Polybius: ‘‘I shall bring the whole narrative of events to a conclu-sion, narrating finally the expedition of Antiochus Epiphanes against Egypt,the war with Perseus and the abolition of the Macedonian monarchy.’’ Poly-bius is here developing his ‘‘second introduction,’’ in the first few chapters of...
4. The Background to the Maccabean Revolution: Reflections on Martin Hengel’s ‘‘Judaism and Hellenism’’
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The truism that important events are understood best when considered atsome distance in time may serve as an excuse for surveying only so belat-edly the vast contribution to Jewish and Hellenistic history made by Hengel’smajor work, first published in German in , revised and enlarged in ,and issued in an English translation in .1 If some alternative perspectives...
5. Polybius between Greece and Rome
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I would like to begin with some much-quoted words of Polybius himself(, , ). ‘‘For who is so worthless or so idle as not to wish to find out bywhat steps and overcome by what sort of political structure almost all partsof the inhabited world have, in the space of hardly fifty-three years, fallenunder the domination of the Romans, a thing which is not found ever to...
6. The Greek City in the Roman Period
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This paper will concentrate on the imperial period, the first three cen-turies .., when ‘‘the Greek city’’ is more visible to us than at any other time.For it is from this period that the vast majority of the surviving remains ofGreek cities date; it was in these centuries, except for the last few decades,that the largest number of Greek cities struck coins; and, above all, it was in...
Part II. Rome and the East
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7. Reflections on the Trials of Jesus
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If anything at all is certain about the earthly life of Jesus, it is that he was a Jewwho expressed original and disturbing conceptions of what Judaism oughtto mean, and was executed on the orders of a Romanpraefectuswho had littleor no conception of what Judaism meant. The varied and contradictory ac-counts which the Gospels provide of how Jesus came to suﬀer crucifixion...
8. The Roman Coloniae of the Near East: A Study of Cultural Relations
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...‘‘The history of Roman colonisation is the history of the Roman state’’: soErnst Kornemann, in his standard article on Roman coloniae.1 The follow-ing survey of the coloniae which the emperors created between the late firstcentury .. and the middle of the third century .. in the Fertile Cres-cent—or, on a diﬀerent definition, in those provinces of the Roman Empire...
9. Latin in the Epigraphy of the Roman Near East
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In approaching the complex problems of the role of Latin in the epigraphyof the Roman Near East, it seems appropriate to begin with by far the mostfamous of all Roman inscriptions, thetituluson the Cross. It is, of course, nottypical of what we normally refer to as ‘‘inscriptions,’’ since it was written—presumably painted—on a non-permanent material, wood, and was thereby...
10. Paul of Samosata, Zenobia, and Aurelian: The Church, Local Culture,and Political Allegiance in Third-Century Syria
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What we call the ‘‘eastern frontier’’ of the Roman Empire was a thing of shad-ows, which reflected the diplomatic convenience of a given moment, anddictated the positioning of some soldiers and customs oﬃcials, but hardlyaﬀected the attitudes or the movements of the people on either side.1 Noth-ing more than the raids of desert nomads,2 for instance, hindered the endless...
11. Caravan Cities: The Roman Near East and Long-DistanceTrade by Land
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My title, ‘‘Caravan Cities,’’ is intended to recall the evocative book by Rostov-tzeﬀ, published in .1 In it he gave a vivid sketch of some of the wonderfulremains to be seen then—and to be seen even better now—in the huge areaof the Near East ruled by Rome: Petra and Gerasa ( Jerash) in Jordan; Pal-myra in the desert and Dura-Europos on the Euphrates, both in Syria. To say...
12. Looking East from the Classical World: Colonialism, Culture, and Trade from Alexander the Great to Shapur I
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The emperor Trajan’s arrival at the head of the Persian Gulf in .. wasthe only visit there by a Roman army in the course of the wars against theParthian and Sassanid empires which continued sporadically for centuries.The occasion gave rise to a well-known and illuminating anecdote, told byCassius Dio in hisRomanHistory. As it happens, both the author and hisHis-...
Part III. Jews and Others
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13. Porphyry: Ethnicity, Language, and Alien Wisdom
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Porphyre connaissait bien l’Orient. Il devait parler l’idiome de son pays,peut-être même se piquait-il de comprendre l’hébreu. Il était versédans les mystères de la Chaldée, de la Perse et de l’Égypte. On le voit dé-crire et interpréter une sorte d’hiéroglyphe, et manier les livres sacrésPorphyry was born in about , the year when Plotinus started to...
14. Hagar, Ishmael, Josephus, and the Origins of Islam
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To me, it is impossible to look back on the life and work of Menahem Sternwithout seeing him along with two other great scholars: Elias Bickermanand Arnaldo Momigliano. In one way this is a false, or at least a foreshort-ened, perspective. For these latter two, born in and respectively,were both children of the relatively secure period before the First World...
15. Ethnic Identity in the Roman Near East, A.D. 325–450: Language, Religion, and Culture
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For a historian who approaches the social, cultural, and religious history ofthe Near Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire in the period betweenConstantine and Mahomet, it does not take long to become painfully awareof having had few predecessors, or of the reasons why this might be so. Forthe evidence—literary, epigraphic, and archaeological—is immense, and in...
16. Dura-Europos under Parthian Rule
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No excuse is needed for returning again to the extraordinary series of dis-coveries made at Dura-Europos in the s and s. Whatever reserva-tions we may have as regards the presuppositions of those who undertookthese investigations, about their methods and procedures, and about the stillincomplete publication of their results, the work done there still represents...
17. The Jews of the Graeco-Roman Diaspora between Paganism and Christianity, A.D.312–438
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In the year in Catania in Sicily a Jew named Aurelius Samohil bought atomb in which to lay the remains of himself and his wife, and recorded thefact for posterity in an inscription in Latin, with an introductory line in He-brew, while adorning the stone with two incised representations of meno-rahs. The text, written in a rough approximation to Latin, runs as follows:...
18. Christian Emperors, Christian Church, and the Jews of the Diaspora in the Greek East, A.D. 379–450
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Cessent igitur, quaeso, haec de cetero usque in finem per te et sapien-tiam tuam et sudores et labores singulorum dierum, qui semper eccle-siis prosunt, pro quibus constituat te nobis deus ecclesiae propugnato-rem in longa et pacifica tempora, ut paulum quidem ex his improvisismalis respirantes, quae propter maledictum Nestorium mundus exper-...
Author’s Epilogue: Re-drawing the Map?
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An epilogue must by its nature involve looking back, and this one duly doesso: first to the generous labours of Hannah Cotton and Guy Rogers; then,briefly, to the evolution of my own work since I began a doctoral thesis onCassius Dio under Sir Ronald Syme in ; and finally, and at much greatlength, to the ancient world itself, and to the various shapes which the writ-...
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Page Count: 552
Illustrations: 4 illus., 3 maps
Publication Year: 2006
Series Title: Studies in the History of Greece and Rome