Caravan Cities by M. Rostovtzeff

By M. Rostovtzeff

CARAVAN towns by way of M. ROSTOVTZEFF. initially released in 1932. PREFACE: THIS booklet is actually the result of a chain of commute sketches written in 1928 whereas the impressions of my trip to Syria, Arabia, and Palestine within the early a part of that 12 months have been nonetheless clean in my brain. those sketches first seemed in Russian newspapers pub lished at Berlin and at Paris, The Helm and Resurrection, and so they have been reprinted later within the Russian journal modern Notes ( Paris), this time with yes altera tions and with the addition of numerous new sketches. eventually, they seemed in ebook shape at Paris in 1931 less than the identify Blijnem Vostoke. Then the Clarendon Press provided to supply an English variation, yet as i used to be near to venture one other and extra formidable trip to the close to East, i made a decision to put up pone revision for the English version until eventually my go back. It was once my purpose to revisit the websites which shape the topics of my sketches and in addition to incorporate decrease Mesopotamia, the fashionable Iraq, in my travels. the recent and vibrant impressions with which I re became from this trip, and the chance that it gave me of reading the ruins intimately and of ap preciating the large increase made by way of archaeology within the learn of those websites, led me to shape such a lot of clean conclusions that i've got stumbled on myself obliged no longer simply to revise my textual content, yet even partially to rewrite it. In doing so, i've got passed over the final sketches of the Russian quantity, considering the fact that they handled Rhodes, Cyprus, and Mycenaean Greece and never with caravan towns. while on those travels i used to be in a position to acquire the fabric with which this booklet is illustrated. ... the dignity of caravan exchange ordinarily increases innumerable difficulties, of economics, of geo graphy, of weather, and of heritage, that have by no means been absolutely handled, and which no student has ever tried to check during this connexion. therefore, the part that i've got dedicated to the background of caravan alternate within the close to East is not any greater than a comic strip; the description of a bigger paintings which a few one else will fill in sooner or later. The sections which take care of the caravan towns are both imperfect. My selection of those towns is acci dental. it's not in response to the historic value of cities involved yet at the volume of data on hand; or, to be extra designated, at the country of pre servation of the ruins. it truly is noticeable that during Syria, for instance, this type of city as Damascus has a much longer and much extra instructive heritage as a caravan urban than Palmyra, whereas in Transjordania Amman is bigger and extra vital than Jerash. In northern Syria, back, the heritage of Aleppo throughout the centuries will be extra instructive than that of Dura. yet so little of the heritage of those vital cities has survived and the little that has survived is of so fragmentary a nature, that the image we will type of them is inevitably Incomplete.

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The outcome of this was Palmyra. Originally an insignificant village at one of the desert oases, the Tadmor of the Bible, Palmyra was, in the late Hellenistic period, a rapidly growing centre of caravan trade protected by Petra; it now became not only a strong neutral state but also the most important trading centre between Roman Syria and Parthia. Neither Rome nor Parthia found it easy to control or protect the more northern route of Syria, and hence they agreed to choose the desert-route through Palmyra as a shorter and cheaper alternative.

Also days in order to explore these ruins it was necessary to equip a caravan, to find guards, and to obtain an from the Turkish officials. In the Palestine of to-day all this has been altered. The English have ap- irade peared, bringing in their wake, like the Romans before them, order and safety, good roads and new motor-car has transport. In Palestine the superseded the camel, whilst the Sultan's irade, means of now and the Turkish zaptieh have been his talkative replaced by Mr. Thomas Cook, by one of of the Transjordanian guides, and by the police force Emir.

In exchange, however, they obtained the eastern provinces of Palestine and Phoenicia from the now almost powerless Ptolemies, Syrian and Parthian warfare nearly wrecked the caravan trade of the Iranian plateau and of the Persian Gulf, and the Parthian conquest of Mesopotamia dealt it an even severer blow. Parthia obtained the mastery of these routes, but she never became an entirely stable or centralized state. She never ceased to dream of the and as a result the struggle conquest of the whole of Syria round the Euphrates became endemic.

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