The thousands of surviving inscriptions in Middle Aramaic (e.g., in the Nabataean, Syriac and Palmyrene dialects) are an underused resource in the study of the Near East in the Roman period, especially in the study of religion and law. Particularly important was the emergence during this period of new peoples with their cultural roots in Arabia, such as the Nabataeans. This volume collects together, under the interrelated themes of religion and law, twenty-three articles by John Healey, with sections on Petra and Nabataean Aramaic , Edessa and Early Syriac and Aramaic and Society in the Roman Near East . Individual papers discuss the continuation of Ancient Near Eastern culture, the Aramaic legal tradition as well as the development of both written and spoken forms of Syriac and Nabatean.
John Healey is Professor of Semitic Studies at the University of Manchester, UK.