Aarhus University Seal

Managing the Middle Ground: Priests in Palmyra and their iconographies

New publication by Professor Rubina Raja.

Raja, R. (2021). "Managing the Middle Ground: Priests in Palmyra and their iconographies", in: Hoffmann-Salz, J. (ed.), The Middle East as Middle Ground? Cultural Interaction in the ancient Middle East revisited, Vienna, 129-146.


In this article, the term of the Middle Ground will be explored within a Palmyrene context. While Palmyrene society could certainly have existed without the rich trade relations, it could not have thrived to the extent, which it did, without these. Therefore, there must also have been a Middle Ground to be consolidated within a Palmyrene societal context and not only with outside relations. Such Middle Ground is explored through the representations of the Palmyrene priests, largely stemming from the funerary sphere. The priests have been chosen as a case study, since they make up a significant group of representations in Palmyrene visual culture and can be used to extrapolate societal patterns and structure of Palmyrene religious life and beyond.