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:

Bibliography
Primary:
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

Secondary:
Andrade, N.J. “Syrian Identity in the Greco-Roman World
Aperghis, G.G. “The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleucid Empire
Bar-Kochva, B. “The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns
Bickerman, E.J. “The Jews in the Greek Age
Chrubasik, B. “Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire: The Men who Would be King
Cohen, G. 1995 “The Hellenistic Settlements in Europe, the Islands, and Asia Minor
 2006 “The Hellenistic Settlements in Syria, the Red Sea Basin, and North Africa
2013 “The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India”
Downey, S.  “Mesopotamian Temple Architecture: Alexander through the Parthians
Edson, C. “Imperium Macedonicum: The Seleucid Empire and the Literary Evidence” Classical Philology Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jul.,1958), pp. 164-165
Grainger, J.D. 1993 “The Cities of Seleukid Syria
2014 “The Rise of the Seleukid Empire, 323-223 BC
Habicht, C. ‘Die herrschende Gesellschaft in den hellenistischen Monarchien’, Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 45 (1958) pp. 1–16. Cf. Herman, ‘Court Society of the Hellenistic Age’, p. 201 
Invernizzi, A. “Seleucia al Tigri: Le impronte si sigillo dagli archive 1 – 3.” Alessandria
Kosmin, P.J. 2014 “The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire
Ma, Jon. ““Antiochos III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor
Maris, R. “The Hellenistic Far East: Archaeology, Language, and Identity in Greek Central Asia
Langin-Hooper, S.M. 2007 “Social Networks and Cross-Cultural Interaction: A New Interpretation of the Female Terracotta Figurines of Hellenistic Babylon” Oxford Journal of Archaeology 26(2), PP. 145-165
Potts, D.T. “A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Volume I
Sherwin-White, S. and Kurht A. 1987 “Hellenism in the East: The interaction of Greek and non-Greek civilizations from Syria to Central Asia after Alexander
1993 “From Samarkhand to Sardis: A new approach to the Seleucid Empire
Strootman, R. “Hellenistic Court Society: The Seleukid Imperial Court under Antiochus the Great, 223-187 BCE” in “Royal Courts in Dynastic Empires” Pgs. 81-83
Verbrugghe, G.P. and Wickersham, J.M. “Berossos and Manetho, Introduced and Translated: Native  Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
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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