In this paper I examine the scholarship of Roman Syria and the history of research on this province. The scholarly narrative of Roman Syria revolves around strong Greek influence and little impact of Roman rule, which has resulted in studying Syria as a unique and distinct entity, separated from Rome. In light of new archaeological finds and a re-evaluation of older evidence, I argue that these assumptions of deep hellenization and shallow Roman impact need to be abandoned. Using models coming out of research in other provinces of the Roman empire and anthropological studies of colonialism and material culture, I propose a set of different narratives about Roman Syria. This paper is the first chapter of my dissertation: Becoming a Roman province: An analysis of funerary practices in Roman Syria in the context of empire.