055: The Seleucid Empire – Syrian Nights, Macedonian Dreams

A limestone relief from the Temple of Gad-Tyche (Fortune) from the city of Dura-Europus dating to the 2nd century AD. The figure on the right is believed to be Seleucus I Nicator, the city’s founder of the late 4th century BC.

As the most prolific of city-founders, the Seleucids sought to dramatically reshape the lands of the Near East and most especially North Syria, which would become the dynasty’s new imperial heartland and something of a stand-in for their ancestral homeland in Macedonia. We will cover the creation of these sites, but we’ll also assess the impact of Seleucid rule and the response to Greek culture from the vast number of peoples of the empire, whether the native inhabitants of Babylonia and Jerusalem or the thousands of immigrant Greeks who now called these lands home.

Episode Links:
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Syrian Tetrapolis Map:

Appian – Syrian Wars
Diodorus Siculus – Library of History
Josephus – The Antiquities of the Jews
Josephus – The Jewish Wars
Justin – Epitome
Orosius – Histories Against the Pagans
Pausanias – Description of Greece
Pliny the Elder – Natural History
Polybius – The Histories
Strabo – Geography
1 Maccabees
YOS (Yale Oriental Series Babylonian Texts)BCHP (Babylonian Chronicle)
YBC (Yale Babylonian Collection)
Astronomical Diaries

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Chrubasik, B. “Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire: The Men who Would be King
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2013 “The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India”
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1993 “From Samarkhand to Sardis: A new approach to the Seleucid Empire
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Wright, N.L. “Non-Greek Religious Imagery on the Coinage of Seleucid Syria” Mediterranean Archaeology,     Vol.22/23 (2009/10), Pg. 199

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