April 11th, 2013

Modern Day Assyrians

I'm writing an AU modern-day fanfic from a canon set during the reign of the Roman Empire Republic (ETA: Specifically, between 73–71 BC) and I have several interdependent questions.

1. One character is a freed slave and his ethnicity is referred to as "Syrian." (ETA: With no other information or indicators given.) I read online that the more historically accurate term would have been "Assyrian." True?

2. Assuming #1 was true, I Googled and found that Assyria is Middle Eastern, generally now considered Iraq. True?

3. Assuming #2 is true, what would a modern day American man with Iraqi/Assyrian heritage call himself? Is Iraqi correct or is there another term the culture prefers?

4. If either #1 or #2 is false, can someone help me figure out this character's general heritage and how someone American-born from that culture would refer to themselves in today's world?

Terms searched: Assyria, Syria, What do Iraqis call themselves, How do Iraqis refer to themselves. I also hope I tagged correctly.