Sartre, Maurice 1944–
Sartre, Maurice 1944–
Born October 3, 1944, in Lyon, France; son of Louis (a grocer) and Emma (a grocer) Sartre; married Annie Fauriat (a professor), December 23, 1971; children: Sophie, Thibaut. Education: University of Lyon, agrégation, 1968. Hobbies and other interests: Music, travel, cooking.
University of Clermont-Ferrand, Clermont-Ferrand, France, assistant professor of Greek history, 1969-78; Université François Rabelais, Tours, France, professor of ancient history, 1978—, dean of faculty of human sciences, 1980-83. University of Damascus, professor of French civilization, 1970-72; member of Institut Français d'Archéologie du Proche Orient, 1973-74; senior member of Institut Universitaire de France, 1998—.
German Archaeological Institute (corresponding member).
University of Lyon, D.Litt., 1978; Ordre des Palmes Académiques, French Ministry of Education, chevalier, 1982, officier, 1985; Prix Ambatielos, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, 1986, for Bostra: Des origines à l'Islam; Prix Augustin-Thierry, Les Rendez-vous de l'histoire, 2002, for D'Alexandre à Zénobie: Histoire du Levant antique, IVe siècle avant J.-C.-IIIe siècle après J.-C.; Prix Thiers, Académie Française, 2007, for Histoires grecques.
Trois études sur l'Arabie romaine et byzantine, Latomus (Brussels, Belgium), 1982.
Bostra: Des origines à l'Islam, Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner (Paris, France), 1985.
Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, t. 13: Bostra, Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner (Paris, France), 1985.
L'Orient romain: Provinces et sociétés provinciales en Méditerranée orientale d'Auguste aux Sévères (31 avant J.-C.-235 après J.-C.), Editions du Seuil (Paris, France), 1991.
Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Jordanie, t. 4: Pétra et la Nabatène méridionale, IFAPO (Beirut, Lebanon), 1993.
L'Asie mineure et l'Anatolie, d'Alexandre à Dioclétien: IVe s. av. J.-C.-IIIe s. ap. J.C., Editions Armand Colin (Paris, France), 1995.
Le Haut-Empire romain: Les Provinces orientales, Editions du Seuil (Paris, France), 1998.
D'Alexandre à Zénobie: Histoire du Levant antique, IVe siècle avant J.-C.-IIIe siècle après J.-C., Librairie Arthème Fayard (Paris, France), 2001, abridged translation by Catherine Porter and Elizabeth Rawlings with Jeannine Routier-Pucci published as The Middle East under Rome, Belknap Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
La Syrie antique, Gallimard-Découvertes (Paris, France), 2002.
L'Anatolie hellénistique: De l'Égée au Caucase, Armand-Colin (Paris, France), 2003, 2nd edition, 2004.
Histoires grecques, Editions du Seuil (Paris, France), 2006, translation by Catherine Porter published as Histoires grecques: Snapshots from Antiquity, Belknap Press (Cambridge, MA), 2008.
(With wife, Annie Sartre-Fauriat) Palmyre, la cité des caravanes, Gallimard-Découvertes (Paris, France), 2008.
Contributor to periodicals, including Biography and Le Monde des Livres. L'Histoire, member of editorial staff, 1996—; Syria, chief editor, 1997—.
A highly respected French scholar, Maurice Sartre is the author of a number of Frenchlanguage works on the history of the ancient Middle East, and in 2004 he published The Middle East under Rome, an English abridgment of his D'Alexandre à Zénobie: Histoire du Levant antique, IVe siècle avant J.-C.-IIIe siècle après J.-C. Approximately half the length of the nearly twelve-hundred-page French edition, the English version focuses on Roman influence in Syria, omitting a number of chapters devoted to Greek influence and culture. Reviewing the work for the Journal of Third World Studies, James Biedzynski called it "a substantial contribution to the scholarly literature." Philip Matyszak in the Historian remarked on the wide range of subjects covered in the book, which he felt created a "density" that could pose difficulties for some readers. He also highlighted the author's "impressive use of a wide variety of primary texts," which "means that we do not see the peoples of the area simply as an administrative issue for their Roman overlords, but we also see the Romans from the various viewpoints of the peoples they administered." Naming Sartre "a superb connoisseur of the Roman Near East's material culture," Times Higher Education Supplement contributor Michael Sommer pointed out the book's "splendid survey of the area's exciting epigraphic record." He also expressed several concerns about the work, such as weaknesses due to the removal of the chapters on Hellenism and what he considered a lack of methodology. He nonetheless maintained that "the book is useful in many respects. It opens up an immense wealth of evidence, heretofore inaccessible to many ancient historians and archaeologists, and illustrates the often-neglected importance of the Middle East for classical history and culture." A Publishers Weekly writer regarded The Middle East under Rome as both "highly welcome" and "excellent."
Sartre told CA: "My interest in the history of the Greek world goes back so far I do not remember its beginnings. But I have a precise memory of what attracted me to the history of the Hellenized Middle East. When as a young professor I was hired at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, I went to see Professor Jean Pouilloux, one of the masters of this period, and he proposed that I work on the Greek inscriptions of Arabia. The word ‘Arabia’ had such an evocative force for me that I at once said yes without listening to the rest of what he said to me. I realized then that this ancient ‘Arabia’ was located between the south of Syria and the north of Saudi Arabia, and not in the Arabic peninsula, but that mattered little, and I never regretted my choice. Perhaps that would explain my liking for the fringe areas, the border zones.
"For the writing, my concern was always twofold: to be as accurate as possible and to remain clear no matter what happens. Teaching obliged me to work on style constantly, and I often rewrote a whole chapter after having tested on the students what I had written beforehand. Contact with students makes one continuously question the manner of presenting problems.
"A second activity, in addition to teaching, which deeply influenced my writing style was my work with the press: it is necessary to be concise, to draw the at- tention of the reader with the first sentence. When you publish a critical revision of a book, you must immediately give the reader the desire of reading the book that you like."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1983, review of Trois études sur l'Arabie romaine et byzantine, p. 370.
Catholic Biblical Quarterly, October, 2006, Michael Patella, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 741.
Choice, December, 1993, review of L'Orient romain: Provinces et sociétés provinciales en Méditerranée orientale d'Auguste aux Sévères (31 avant J.-C-235 après J.-C.), p. 566; January, 2006, P.B. Harvey, Jr., review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 914.
Historian, winter, 2006, Philip Matyszak, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 896.
Journal of Economic History, March, 2007, Walter Scheidel, review of The Middle East under Rome, pp. 236-237.
Journal of Religion, July, 2006, Graydon F. Snyder, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 480.
Journal of Third World Studies, spring, 2007, James Biedzynski, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 284.
Library Journal, April 1, 2006, Ethan Pullman, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 110.
Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2005, review of The Middle East under Rome, p. 164.
Times Higher Education Supplement, January 6, 2006, Michael Sommer, "Mysterious Family Affair on the Dark Fringes of the Greatest Empire the World Had Ever Known," p. 26.
Times Literary Supplement, January 27, 2006, Edward N. Luttwak, "Don't Be an Augusta," pp. 7-8.