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Article

Abstract

Despite the almost continuous state of war that existed between the Roman and Persian Empires from the first century BCE until the destruction of the Sassanid Persian Empire, cultural exchange between East and West occurred frequently in the cities on the borders of these two empires. Despite their more apparent influences of Rome and Persia, local culture often had far reaching effects, not only in their respective cities and territories, but throughout Antiquity. This paper seeks to explore and explain the nature of this phenomenon and to give a new face to the relationships between the cultures and peoples that were caught in this ancient clash of civilizations. To accomplish this, the material culture of two cities will be explored in depth, Dura in the north and the city-state of Palmyra to the south. Each city provides unique examples of the combined influences of Rome and Persia and how these influences interacted with local civilizations to create two unique cultures.

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