Amman History Series #3 Philadelphia-Amman: The Hellenistic, Roman & Byzantine City, by Pierre-Louis GATIER
June, the 15th – 4:30-5:30 pm in Amman / 3:30-4:30 pm CET
The ancient history of Amman shows great continuity in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods (late 4th century BC-early 7th century AD). Philadelphia, probably founded as a military colony by the Greek king of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus (284-246 BC), developed into a Greek-type city (polis) with all the cultural characteristics found in the same size cities like Gerasa and Gadara. The monumental decor of the town, with its theatres, colonnades and temples, illustrates this perfectly, but Greek and then Greco-Roman culture and local Aramaean and Arab traditions were mixed with varying degrees of intensity. Christianisation in the Byzantine period was not a rupture. Diverse kinds of documents, sometimes little known or new, will illustrate the history of Philadelphia for almost a thousand years.
Pierre-Louis Gatier is a researcher in the ancient history, archaeology, and epigraphy of the Near East posted at the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique) in the Maison de l’Orient, Lyon (France). He has been the Director of the Lebanese-French archaeological projects in Yanouh and in Tyre. As the author of a book on the inscriptions of Central Jordan, Inscriptions de la Jordanie, 2, Région centrale, Amman-Hesban-Madaba-Main-Dhiban, published in 1986 in the IGLS series, he has long been involved in the study of the ancient history of Philadelphia-Amman, and is preparing a Supplement devoted to new discoveries. He is a member of several epigraphic and archaeological projects in Jordan and is currently working on the corpus of Greek and Latin inscriptions of Gerasa.