By Steven K. Ross

Roman Edessa bargains a accomplished and erudite research of the traditional urban of Edessa (modern day Urfa, Turkey), which constituted a outstanding amalgam of the East and the West. one of the parts explored are:* the cultural existence and antecedents of Edessa* Edessene faith* the level of the Hellenization at Edessa prior to the arrival of Christianity* the parable of an trade of letters among a King Abgar and Jesus.

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Additional resources for Roman Edessa: Politics and Culture on the Eastern Fringes of the Roman Empire (Routledge Classical Monographs)

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30 To sum up, Edessa’s position at a crossing-point between the legendary East–West ‘Silk Road’ and routes connecting Armenia with southern Mesopotamia gave it great potential importance, enhanced by its ample sources of groundwater. This economic potential began to be realized probably by the beginning of the third century ce, possibly much earlier. It was certainly recognized in the fourth century, when Ammianus describes the fair at Batnae dealing in silks and other Eastern trade goods. Edessa’s position also gave it great strategic importance in the back-and-forth conflict between East and West; neither Rome nor its Parthian and Persian 27 ROMAN EDESSA adversaries could afford to ignore such a well founded and well watered stronghold in the course of their mutual raiding.

That comes after the interregnum. Pharnataspat. 352, 357). It was not long after Trajan’s death and Hadrian’s renunciation of his eastern conquests that the Parthian kingdom rejected Parthamaspates, yet he apparently still held sway in this part of Mesopotamia. If the identification of Parthamaspates with the individual in the Zuqnin Chronicle’s king-list is correct, the years of his reign at Edessa might indicate that despite Hadrian’s withdrawal, the kingdom maintained a close relationship with Rome.

Such a preference does not mean that Trajan put no stock at all in notable military accomplishments, and the collection of titles he amassed speaks for itself in that regard: by his death he was styled imp xiii, avg ger(manicvs) dac(icvs) par(thicvs). His pride in being known as ‘the Best’ itself speaks to his concern for his public image, and Dio, who relays the story without comment, did not let it affect his judgment of the emperor’s desire for glory. The historian’s view of Trajan’s motivations should, however, be considered in light of the events of Dio’s own era, when the Emperors Septimius Severus (193–211), and later, his son Caracalla (211–17), mounted their own Parthian offensives.

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