A Companion to the Hellenistic World by Andrew Erskine

By Andrew Erskine

Masking the interval from the dying of Alexander the nice to the distinguished defeat of Antony and Cleopatra by the hands of Augustus, this authoritative significant other explores the area that Alexander created yet didn't reside to determine.

  • Comprises 29 unique essays through major overseas scholars.
  • Essential analyzing for classes on Hellenistic history.
  • Combines narrative and thematic techniques to the period.
  • Draws at the very most up-to-date research.
  • Covers a huge variety of subject matters, spanning political, spiritual, social, monetary and cultural history.

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Extra resources for A Companion to the Hellenistic World

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There were relations of Alexander for whom claims to power might be made, but none was even nearly ready to fill his shoes: his only recognized son was still in Roxane's womb. There were also his generals, at various ages and stages in their careers and with large numbers of men under arms or available for war. Women too would play key roles: such is the habit of monarchies. What kind of succession could there be? The throne of Macedon itself had tended to change hands in bloody fashion, so that war and murder were to be expected.

Its continuing importance in administration is demonstrated by its use in various bilingual Greek/Aramaic documents from Seleukid Babylonia (S. Sherwin-White 1987: 23±5). Jewish religion placed considerable emphasis on the written word; hence a large amount of Jewish religious writing survives, notably the scriptures that go to make up the Old Testament, mostly in Hebrew but with a little Aramaic. The demands of the large Greek-speaking Jewish diaspora generated Greek translations of these scriptures that together came to be known as the Septuagint, reputed to have been begun by a team of seventy-two scholars working in Alexandria at the request of Ptolemy II.

Babylonia, too, had long, literate cultural traditions which continued through Persian and into Seleukid rule. Again there is archaizing, evident in the use of Akkadian, a language no longer spoken; it was written in cuneiform script, usually formed by impressing the end of a reed into clay tablets. This language was the preserve of scholars, centred on temples, and finding expression in documents such as chronicles, astronomical diaries, legal texts, administrative documents and horoscopes. Such archaizing, far from being a sign of a moribund culture, is a sign of the strength and resilience of Babylonian tradition under a series of foreign rulers.

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