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Roman Edessa: Politics and Culture on the Eastern Fringes of the Roman Empire, 114 - 242 C.E. 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As the author states in his preface, this book started out as a dissertation. While it has been reworked for a general audience and is on the whole quite readable, it retains an unreformed dissertation-like feature: untranslated quotes in Greek and Latin. Some of the Latin quotes are straight from inscriptions and full of obscure abbreviations only decipherable by specialists. (For example, on p. 38, "leg. Augg. pr. pr. exercitus legionarii...) The minor effort to add translations would have made this book completely accessible to the general public. Even so, these quotes are not all that frequent and the book is understandable even for non-specialists.
Chapter 1, "The Earliest Edessa," presents what little can be learned about Edessa in BCE days. It is precious little. Scholars now have a tentative idea of how it might be identified in cuneiform records ('DM' = Adme/Admi/Admum). However, since it was not a major city at the time, little documentation about it exists. And since it is still an inhabitated city (Urfa in modern Turkey), which is directly on top of the remains of the ancient city, excavation is impossible.Read more ›