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Rome's Desert Frontier from the Air
The eastern frontier of the Roman Empire ran through deserts and desert margins for more than half its length. This desert frontier, which was about 750 miles long, crossed territories now belonging to Israel, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Beyond, Rome faced the only great power on her borders, Parthia, later to be succeeded by Sasanian Persia. Although events on this frontier were of great importance in the history of the Empire, it has received relatively little study. Since the end of World War II, the political problems of the Middle East have impeded archaeological examination on the ground and prevented reconnaissance from the air. There will clearly be great opportunities when the time is right.
This is the first book to consider the eastern desert frontier as a whole. David Kennedy and Derrick Riley take full advantage of modern knowledge, and use a selection of the pioneer air photographs of the 1920s and 1930s, together with more recent photographs to illustrate sites which are often remarkably well preserved. After introducing the geography of the region and providing a brief historical survey of the seven centuries of Roman rule, detailed examination is made of some 100 military sites. Each is illustrated with an air photograph often backed up with maps, which combine to show roads, camps, forts, legionary fortresses and fortress cities. After a preliminary classification, each site is discussed in the light of these photographs plus evidence provided by field work, epigraphy and ancient literature.
With 188 photographs, maps and line illustrations, Rome's Desert Frontier presents new evidence on these well-preserved remains that will be of interest to students of both classical antiquity and aerial photography.
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Taylor & Francis
July 01, 1990
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