Syrian Diasporas in the Ancient Roman World: Soldiers, Wives, and Economic Migrants


Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art


History of Art


“Syrian Diasporas in the Ancient Roman World” studies visual, epigraphic, and literary evidence to reconstruct the Syrian diaspora of the Roman Empire. There are over a thousand funerary monuments dedicated to Syrian people that survive from Britain to Arabia, with concentrations around the city of Rome, in Romania, and along the Mediterranean coast. This project explores the visual and epigraphic choices for self-representation in these monuments and contrasts them with those favored in Syrian cities such as Palmyra. By further considering the literary evidence for the stereotypes Romano-Syrian people often faced, and combated, the project accesses a forgotten narrative of Syrian migrant experience, promoting a fuller understanding of the history of Syrian peoples and their contributions across the ancient Roman world.