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Empires to Nation-States

Late Antiquity

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Palmyra was a vast autonomous Semitic caravan trading city oasis in the middle of semi-arid terrain. It flourished as a middleman for exchange and trans-shipment of goods between settled Syria and Mesopotamia and nomadic groups from Arabia and surrounding regions. Its ruins give an impression of its wealth and grandeur. It developed its own distinctive sculpture and architecture that reflect Roman influences but were not exclusively Roman. Its elites used a unique Aramaic script. It achieved its maximal prosperity and power in the second and third century CE. The Roman Emperor Aurelian decisively crushed Palmyra in 272. Its inner perimeter wall had a length of approximately 6 kilometers.

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