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The aim of this monograph is to understand the extent to which the landscape of Roman Berytus and the Bekaa valley is a product of colonial transformation following the foundation of Colonia Iulia Augusta Felix Berytus in 15 BCE. The book explores the changes observed in the cities of Berytus and Heliopolis, as well as the sites at Deir el-Qalaa, Niha, and Hosn Niha. The work fundamentally challenges the traditional paradigm, where Baalbek-Heliopolis is seen as a religious site dating from as early as the Bronze Age and associated with the worship of a Semitic or Phoenician deity triad and replaces it with a new perspective where religious activity is largely a product of colonial change.
Karl Jaspers dubbed the period, 800-400 BCE, the Axial Age. Axial it was, for out of it emerged the idea of Greek culture, with its influence on Roman and later empires. Jaspers’ Axial Age was the chrysalis of culturally-meaningful modernity.

Trade expands intellectual horizons. The economic and political effects permeate such social domains as technology, language and worldview. In the last category, many issues take on an emotional freight – the birth of science, monotheism, philosophy, even theory itself.

Cultural Contact and Appropriation in the Axial-Age Mediterranean World: A Periplos, explores adaptation, resistance and reciprocity in Axial-Age Mediterranean exchange (ca. 800-300 BCE). Some essayists expand on an international discussion about myth, to which even the Church Fathers contributed. Others explore questions of how vocabulary is reapplied, or how the alphabet is reapplied, in a new environment. Detailed cases ground participants’ capacity to illustrate both the variety of the disciplinary integuments in which we now speak, one with the other, across disciplines, and the sheer complexity of constructing a workable programme for true collaboration.