The World between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East from The Met Museum


By Blair Fowlkes-Childs and Michael Seymour The World between Empires presents art and culture of the Middle East from 100 B.C. to A.D. 250, a time marked by the struggle for control by the Roman and Parthian Empires. For the first time, it considers the cultural histories along the incense and silk routes that connected southwestern Arabia, Nabataea, Judaea, Syria, and Mesopotamia as an intricate web of artistic influence and religious diversity bolstered by the fluid exchange of goods and ideas. Featuring 190 objects of exceptional importance, this essential volume takes readers on a fascinating journey from sites of intense political and religious struggles against Roman rule to important religious centers and military bulwarks of the Parthian Empire. Several of the archaeological sites featured- including Palmyra, Dura-Europos, and Hatra-have been subject to deliberate destruction and looting in recent years. In response, the book addresses the crucial subject of confronting what has been lost. Reaching across two millennia, The World between Empires brings to life the intersecting factors that shaped how individuals and cities defined themselves in ancient times, and how these factors continue to resonate today. Blair Fowlkes-Child is Research Associate and Michael Seymour is Assistant Curator, both in the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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