Questions for Readings in Kennedy

  • 1. In order to understand the arguments and ideas in Kennedy's work on Rome in the Near East, you should be sure to know the location of some places and the meaning of some terms:

  • You will need to know what a "isohyet" is: A line drawn on a map connecting points receiving equal rainfall. It comes from the Greek word "huetos" meaning "rain." Thus, a line on a map representing 200 mm is a 200 mm isohyet. On one side of the line, the land receives less than 200 mm/year rainfall, on the other side, more than 200 mm. This is usually a determination of the border of desert from steppe [on steppe, normal agriculture is not possible, only animal grazing possible [for example, much of the state of Wyoming is steppe. Normally, the minimum rainfall to sustain agriculture is 400 mm/year and up.
  • Mespotamia
  • Lebanon, and Anti-Lebanon
  • Euphrates, Tigris, Nile Rivers
  • Jerusalem
  • Damascus
  • Antioch
  • Palmyra
  • Semitic
  • Hellenistic/Hellenized
  • Aramaic
  • nomad
  • limes
  • Parthia
  • Seleucid
  • Ctesiphon
  • Heraclius

    2. Why was Rome interested in the Middle East?

    3. Did either Rome or Middle Eastern peoples benefit from Roman presence? How?