The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India

The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India

The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India

The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India

Synopsis

This is the third volume of Getzel Cohen's important work on the Hellenistic settlements in the ancient world. Through the conquests of Alexander the Great, his successors and others, Greek and Macedonian culture spread deep into Asia, with colonists settling as far away as Bactria and India. In this book, Cohen provides historical narratives, detailed references, citations, and commentaries on all the Graeco-Macedonian settlements founded (or refounded) in the East. Organized geographically, Cohen pulls together discoveries and debates from dozens of widely scattered archaeological and epigraphic projects, making a distinct contribution to ongoing questions and opening new avenues of inquiry.

Excerpt

This is the third and final volume of my study of the Hellenistic settlements. It might be useful to discuss briefly the term “settlement” in the title of the present volume as well as the earlier volumes. the dictionary definition for “settlement” is quite broad. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, for example, includes “occupation by settlers” (with a crossreference to “colonization”), “a colony newly established: a place or region newly settled,” “a small village in a sparsely settled region,” “an area set apart in eastern countries for the residence of foreigners,” “a community formed by a member of a religious body or faith.” Under the definitions for “colony” the dictionary gives, for example, “a settlement made in a hostile, newly conquered, or unstable country by the parent state (the Roman colonies in Gaul),” “a settlement in a new territory enjoying a degree of autonomy or semi-responsible government without severing ties with the parent state and without attaining the more free status of a dominion,” “a group of persons united by a common characteristic or interest living in a limited section surrounded by others not so united (the American colony in Paris) (New York City’s Syrian colony) … ; also: the section or quarter occupied by such a group.” in short, the modern term “settlement” has multiple meanings and applications.

In this volume—as in previous volumes—I have taken note of places for which there is evidence for the presence or the possible presence of Greeks or Macedonians. in some places—such as seleukeia on the Tigris—the settlement grew to be organized with many of the accoutrements of a polis. in others—such as URUK—there clearly were Greeks living at the site. On the other hand, whether or not there was actually an organized colony . . .

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