Ancient Syria: A Three Thousand Year History

Hardcover | March 4, 2014

byTrevor Bryce

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Syria has long been one of the most trouble-prone and politically volatile regions of the Near and Middle Eastern world. This book looks back beyond the troubles of the present to tell the 3000-year story of what came before: the peoples, cities, and kingdoms that arose, flourished, declined,and disappeared in the lands that now constitute Syria, from the time of the region's earliest written records in the third millennium BC, right through to the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century AD. Across the centuries, from the Bronze Age to Imperial Rome, we encounter a vast array of characters and civilizations, enlivening, enriching, and besmirching the annals of Syrian history: Hittite and Assyrian Great Kings; Egyptian pharaohs; Amorite robber-barons; the biblically notoriousNebuchadnezzar; Persia's Cyrus the Great and Macedon's Alexander the Great; the rulers of the Seleucid empire; and an assortment of Rome's most distinguished and most infamous emperors. All swept across the plains of Syria at some point in her long history. All contributed, in one way or another, toSyria's special, distinctive character, as they imposed themselves upon it, fought one another within it, or pillaged their way through it. But this is not just a history of invasion and oppression. Syria had great rulers of her own, native-born Syrian luminaries, sometimes appearing as local champions who sought to liberate their lands from foreign despots, sometimes as cunning, self-seeking manipulators of squabbles between theiroverlords. They culminate with Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, whose life provides a fitting grand finale to the first three millennia of this ancient civilization. And yet the long story of Syria does not end with the mysterious fate of Queen Zenobia. The conclusion looks forward to the Muslim conquestin the 7th century AD: in many ways the opening chapter in the equally complex and often troubled history of modern Syria.

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Syria has long been one of the most trouble-prone and politically volatile regions of the Near and Middle Eastern world. This book looks back beyond the troubles of the present to tell the 3000-year story of what came before: the peoples, cities, and kingdoms that arose, flourished, declined,and disappeared in the lands that now consti...

Trevor Bryce is an Honourary Research Consultant in the University of Queensland, and an Emeritus Professor of the University of New England, Australia, where he was Professor of Classics and Ancient History. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and has been awarded an Australian Centenary medal for services ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199646678

ISBN - 13:9780199646678

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Table of Contents

The Tale to be ToldPart I: The Bronze Ages1. The First Kingdoms2. The International Intruders3. The Amorite Warrior-Chiefs4. The Empires Collide5. The End of an EraPart II: From the Iron Age to the Macedonian Conquest6. The Age of Iron7. The Wolf upon the Fold: the Neo-Assyrian Invasions8. From Nebuchadnezzar to AlexanderPart III: Syria under Seleucid Rule9. The Rise of the Seleucid Empire10. The Seleucid Empire in its Prime11. The Jewish Question: the Maccabean Reellion12. The Decline and Fall of the SeleucidsPart IV: Syria under Roman Rule13. The Coming of the Romans14. Nabataean Excursus15. The Syrian Emperors16. The Crisis YearsPart V: The Rise and Fall of Palmyra17. From Desert Oasis to Royal Capital: the Story of Palmyra18. Syria's 'King of Kings': the Life and Death of Odenathus19. The Queen of the East: ZenobiaThe Last FarewellAppendix 1: King-ListsAppendix 2: Literary SourcesNotesBibliographyIndex