Rome Enters the Greek East: From Anarchy to Hierarchy in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, 230-170 BC

Rome Enters the Greek East: From Anarchy to Hierarchy in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, 230-170 BC

Rome Enters the Greek East: From Anarchy to Hierarchy in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, 230-170 BC

Rome Enters the Greek East: From Anarchy to Hierarchy in the Hellenistic Mediterranean, 230-170 BC

Synopsis

This volume examines the period from Rome's earliest involvement inthe eastern Mediterranean to the establishment of Roman geopolitical dominance over all the Greek states from the Adriatic Sea to Syria by the 180s BC.
  • Applies modern political theory to ancient Mediterranean history, taking a Realist approach to its analysis of Roman involvement in the Greek Mediterranean
  • Focuses on the harsh nature of interactions among states under conditions of anarchy while examining the conduct of both Rome and Greek states during the period, and focuses on what the concepts of modern political science can tell us about ancient international relations
  • Includes detailed discussion of the crisis that convulsed the Greek world in the last decade of the third century BC
  • Provides a balanced portrait of Roman militarism andimperialism in the Hellenistic world

Excerpt

The purpose of this study is a reexamination of the early involvement of the Republic of Rome in the eastern Mediterranean, down to the replacement of the long-prevailing Hellenistic anarchy in the region by a hierarchy of states with Rome at the top. This was established by 188 BC, and brought a minimum of order to the Greek world in the subsequent period down to 171 BC – though not with total stability. The hierarchy was created by victories over Antigonid Macedon and then over the Seleucid Empire won by a coalition of Greek states at whose head stood not a great Greek power, but Rome.

In one sense, this subject is well-trodden ground. The ancient historical writer Polybius of Megalopolis, a near-contemporary of many of these events, showed the way in terms of both the geographical and the chronological scale of our study; and prominent modern scholars have been studying Roman imperial expansion into the Greek Mediterranean for over a century. But Roman expansion in the East remains highly contentious territory. There are sharp clashes among modern scholars even over the historicity of certain major events, and always about the motives behind the actions of the states involved. There are especially sharp differences of analysis concerning the causes of Roman imperial expansion in the East (as well as, of course, Roman expansion in general), and the causes of Roman success.

See, e.g., Fustel de Coulanges 1893; Colin 1905; cf. Frank 1914; de Sanctis 1923.

Amid the vast literature, see Colin 1905; Frank 1914; de Sanctis 1923; Holleaux 1935; Harris 1979: 195–7, 205–8, and 212–23; Gruen 1984: Ch. 11; Ferrary 1988: Part I; Derow 1989 and 2003.

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