Book Series Silk Road Studies, vol. 10

From Palmyra to Zayton: Epigraphy and Iconography

Iain Gardner, Sam N.C. Lieu, Ken Parry

  • Pages: 278 p.
  • Size:160 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:26 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2005

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51883-1
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-57386-1
  • E-book
  • Available


"Fortunately we may look forward to more publications from the Macquarie scholars to further facilitate research in the multifarious documentation from the Near and Central Eastern lands." (Ted Kaizer, in: Journal of Roman Studies, 100 (2010), p. 341-342)


This volume highlights research by Australian scholars on two major Silk Road cities: Palmyra in Syria - long regarded as the finest example of a "Caravan City" - and Quanzhou (Zayton) in South China which was the destination of the main Maritime Silk Road between Medieval China and the Middle East. The volume exhibits for the first time in a western language publication and in full colour the unique iconography of the Nestorian Christian community in South China under Mongol rule. This material is virtually unknown to western scholars and will be of major importance to the study of the eastward diffusion of Christianity and of East-West contact in the period of Marco Polo. The volume also contains one of the largest collections of Palmyrene inscriptions (Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Hebrew) in English translations with accompanying original texts and detailed analytical indices. The selection focuses on politics and trade but also gives representative texts of almost all genres of Palmyrene inscriptions. The volume should prove indispensable to scholars of East-West contacts and of Roman History given the role played by Palmyra under Zenobia in the Crisis of the Third Century.