Edited by Tracey Long and Annette Højen Sørensen. 

The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. 

Scientia Danica. Series H. Humanistica. 4 vol. 9. 2017. 136 pp. Lavishly ill. 200,- DKK excl. VAT. 

Palmyra in the Syrian Desert has in the last years come to the attention of the world due to the destructions caused by the Civil War. Right before the conflict broke out the Palmyra Portrait Project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation and headed by Rubina Raja was initiated. The anthology, Positions and Professions in Palmyra, is one of the results emerging from the project.

The contributions are written by leading scholars, who focus on Palmyra, portraiture in the Roman Empire, art and writing in Palmyra and the cultures of the Near East in general. Issues of how status and professions were communicated through self-representation stand at the centre of the volume. Through the contributions it becomes clear that there was a dichotomy between the funerary sphere and the public sphere. In the funerary sphere the family alone took centre stage, whereas the public sphere was a space for civic status to be communicated. These differences inform us about the choices made by the Palmyrenes according to the meaning of the spaces in which self-representations were displayed. The Palmyrenes were world citizens, who saw themselves as central players within the broader imperial context. This book gives the basis for assessing some of the mechanisms at play within Palmyrene society, both in family contexts as well as broader societal contexts.

ISSN: 1904-5506 · ISBN: 978-87-7304-404-9