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Syrian Influences in the Roman Empire to AD 300 (Hardcover) (John D. Grainger)
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The study of Syria as a Roman province has been neglected by comparison with equivalent geographical regions such as Italy, Egypt, Greece and even Gaul. It was, however, one of the economic powerhouses of the empire from its annexation until after the empire’s dissolution. As such it clearly deserves some particular consideration, but at the same time it was a major contributor to the military strength of the empire, notably in the form of the recruitment of auxiliary regiments, several dozens of which were formed from Syrians. Many pagan gods, such as Jupiter Dolichenus and Jupiter Heliopolitanus Dea Syra, and also Judaism, originated in Syria and reached the far bounds of the empire. This book is a consideration, based on original sources, of the means by which Syrians, whose country was only annexed to the empire in 64 BC, saw their influence penetrate into all levels of society from private soldiers and ordinary citizens to priests and to imperial families.