Soldiers, Cities, and Civilians in Roman Syria

Nigel Pollard
A study of interaction between the Roman army and the civilian population in Syria and Mesopotamia in the first five centuries A.D.


When one mentions "empire," one place probably comes to mind: Rome. The Romans conquered an empire that covered almost the complete extent of their known world. With a territory that large, there was, of course, a huge cultural diversity between the different corners of the empire. How could the central authority in Rome bring together all the different cultures, religions and customs under one administrative umbrella? Soldiers, Cities and Civilians in Roman Syria explores some of the interactions between the imperial authority and the subjected peoples in the territory of Syria. It looks at how the imperial power controlled its subjects, how the agents of the imperial power (administrators, soldiers, etc.) interacted with those subjects, and what impact the imperial power had on the culture of ruled territories. The Roman empire had few civilian administrators, so soldiers were the representatives of imperial government to be encountered by many provincial civilians. Soldiers, Cities and Civilians in Roman Syria employs the evidence of Roman texts and documents and modern archaeological excavation as well as "alternative" sources, such as the literature of the subject peoples and informal texts such as graffiti, to examine the relationship between soldiers and civilians in the important frontier province of Syria.

Nigel Pollard is currently a Research Assistant at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford.

Praise / Awards

  • "This is a thoughtful contribution to the debate on the impact of the Roman military on provincial society."
    —Richard Alston, American Historical Review, December 2001
  • ". . . rich treasure trove of data and interpretation on the evolution of an urbanized province in the shadow of the legions."
    —Jim Bloom, JB Historical Research Consultants, Journal of Military History

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 384pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11155-8

Add to Cart
  • $90.00 U.S.