This class will explore the history and culture of ancient Palmyra. Topics considered during the first half of the course will include the city-state’s art, architecture, economy, religion, and foreign relations—including with the Roman and Sassanian Empires. In the second half of the course, we will explore issues of identity and reception centered on the following questions: How did Palmyrenes in the service of the Roman army retain their ethnic identity while also integrating into Roman society? How is ancient Palmyrene society remembered and used by modern cultures to promote diverse political goals? and What effects do museum collection and display and academic publication have on our perception of ancient Palmyra?