Antiochus III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor

Antiochus III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor

Antiochus III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor

Antiochus III and the Cities of Western Asia Minor

Synopsis

'Ma is an historian alive to the scholarly traditions in which he is working, keen to explore them, experiment with them, and, importantly, add to them. He has produced a subtle book, full of insights, one for the specialist rather than the Hellenistic novice' -The Classical Review'John Ma has written an important book, the first substantial study of Antiochus the Great since H. H. Schmitt's valuable Untersuchungen zur Geschichte Antiochos' des Grossen und seiner Zeit' -The Classical ReviewThis book examines the relationship between the Greek city-states and the Hellenistic empire, focusing specifically on the interaction between Antiochos III and the cities of Western Asia Minor.

Excerpt

This work (the revised and expanded version of a D.Phil. thesis) is not a biography of Antiochos iii and does not cover all of this interesting figure's reign. Rather, it concentrates on a particular region, Asia Minor, and on a particular theme, the relation between the Hellenistic empire and its structures of control and exploitation, and the Hellenistic polis. Both aspects can be studied thanks to a body of epigraphical material; for convenience, the relevant inscriptions are reproduced and translated in a separate annexe to the main text, where these inscriptions are referred to by their number in the annexe (in the form 'document 4,1', meaning no. 4 in the dossier at line i). To treat the theme through this particular test-case, I drew on a number of historiographical approaches in Hellenistic studies: political narrative, analysis of power structures, and, to my mind the most exciting development, close attention to language, rhetoric, and self-presentation. the issues surrounding presentation (analytical essay rather than biography) and sources (principally the epigraphy of the Hellenistic kings and that of the Hellenistic poleis) are explored in the introduction and (indirectly) the conclusion, where I try to justify my historiographical choices. I attempted to make the material and its treatment accessible to Classicists and historians who were not specialists of the third century bc. More specifically, in its present form, the work is addressed to two communities within Classics: epigraphist-historians of the Hellenistic period (in the hope of showing that a little bit of theory or at least an attempt at conceptual and abstract approaches to the material cannot harm), but also interpreters of texts (in the hope of drawing attention to material which is gripping in its details and its directness, 'good to read' and underexploited). Whether I will have succeeded in reaching any of these audiences is not for me to say.

During the elaboration of the work, I incurred many debts: it is a pleasure to list some of them, with expressions of my thanks and my gratitude, which of course do not imply agreement, or responsibility for remaining mistakes in content.

First, I take great pleasure in thanking some of my teachers. To my supervisor, F. Millar, I owe thanks for guidance during and . . .

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