Monday, May 01, 2017

Kropp and Raja (eds.), The World of Palmyra

Andreas Kropp, Rubina Raja (ed.), The World of Palmyra. Scientia Danica. Series H, Humanistica, 4, vol. 6; Palmyrene studies, 1. Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 2016. Pp. 246. ISBN 9788773043974. 220 DKK (pb).

Reviewed by Maria Teresa Grassi, Università degli Studi di Milano​ (

This book is the first volume of a new series (Palmyrenske Studier/ Palmyrene Studies) published by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and includes the proceedings of the conference organized in Copenhagen under the auspices of the Palmyra Portrait Project in December, 2013.

The Palmyra Portrait Project was set up in 2012 by Rubina Raja and Andreas Kropp.1 As Syria has been in a state of war since 2011 and all field investigations have been interrupted, it is now undoubtedly the most interesting ongoing project focused on Palmyra. It consists of the compilation of a database of all known Palmyrene portraits scattered across the world, which is, unbelievably, still missing,2 and of the publication of Harald Ingholt’s archive and diaries, which hold important information about his excavation in Palmyra in the 1920s. Ingholt pioneered the study of Palmyrene sculpture in 1928, when he published Studier over palmirensk skultpur, which still stands as a milestone in this field.

Palmyrene sculpture is the main topic of this book, but the epigraphic evidence is also relevant and is not neglected.

Background on Palmyra, its history, the ancient Aramaic dialect spoken there (Palmyrene), and the city's tragic reversals of fortune, for now trending for the better, is here (cf. here) with many, many links. Cross-file under Palmyra Watch.