A Companion to the Hellenistic World / Edition 1

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Covering the period from the death of Alexander the Great to the celebrated defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the hands of Augustus, this authoritative Companion explores the world that Alexander created but did not live to see. Drawing on the very latest research, a team of international scholars creates a picture of the Hellenistic realm in all its complexity and diversity.

The Companion examines the impact of Alexander’s conquest of the Persian empire, the emergence of the successor kingdoms in Macedon, Egypt and Syria, and the later development of Roman rule in the east. In such eventful times questions of change and continuity loom large. Narrative chapters give readers a sense of the sweep of Hellenistic history, while thematic chapters range widely, exploring the relationship between Greeks and non-Greeks, religious developments, social and economic change, medicine, literature and art.

This volume will be welcomed by students and professional historians alike as a personal reference source and will form the ideal basis for university courses on Hellenistic history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
—"This extremely appealing collection pulls off that hardest of tricks: it is simultaneously authoritative and exciting, its findings new as well as true. The Hellenistic age was an age of marvels and this impeccably edited work is itself a Hellenistic marvel. Scholars, students and interested non-professionals will devour it with pleasure and go away nourished, as I did." —Professor Simon Hornblower, University College London

"Blackwell and Erskine have done a splendid job with the Hellenistic Companion and I’m extremely pleased to have a copy, both as a guide for my own contributions and for future reference. It is, I think, the best comprehensive book on the Hellenistic world available and a “must have” for everyone working in this field." —Professor Waldemar Heckel, University of Calgary

"I've found Erskine's Hellenistic World to be an excellent volume." —Professor Michael Whitby, University of Warwick

"The Companion to the Hellenistic World is very impressive indeed both in its breadth and its depth, and sets an exhilaratingly high standard for the new series." —Professor Justina Gregory, Smith College

"This Companion, which I recommend without reservation, is extremely well edited and referenced, with comprehensive lists of abbreviations of both ancient authors and reference works, and a good bibliography and index. The choice of cover illustration (a basalt Egyptian-style statue of Ptolemy I) is inspired, illustrating pictorially what the book conveys in erudite scholarship: a fusion of themes and cultures in a politically- and socially-diverse but unified world, which provided continuity for its distinct heritages whilst evolving an individuality of its own." —Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"A Companion to the Hellenistic World provides a comprehensive and enlightening survey of the current state of Hellenistic scholarship and will be required reading for students and teachers for years to come." —Stanley Burstein, Classical Review

"A Companion to the Hellenistic World is admirable and very enjoyable, and shows clearly how progress has been made in this subject in recent years. Andrew Erskine has brought together some of the very best historians now working on the period and they have produced as exciting a collection of essays as he could possibly have hoped for." —Times Literary Supplement

"Massive and multifaceted like the Seleukid kingdom itself, the Companion is nevertheless a compelling read for the scholar, and an accessible reference for the student ... Clear, learned and a joy to read; it is warmly recommended to students, scholars looking for an authoritative general survey and an up-to-date and handy bibliography, and indeed to anyone wishing to broaden his or her horizons." —Journal of Hellenic Studies

"Lucid and stimulating writing...a first-rate research-tool for the specialist and a rich mine for the thesis writer. It is also a "good read", and anyone who is interested in imperialism, propaganda, the mechanics of power and resistance, and the political manipulation of culture will be intrigued by the contemporary resonance of many of the issues discussed." —Mouseion

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Andrew Erskine is Head of Classics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of The Hellenistic Stoa: Political Thought and Action (1990) and Troy between Greece and Rome: Local Tradition and Imperial Power (2001). He has held an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at the University of Munich.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Contributors
Ancient Authors: Abbreviations and Glossary
Reference Works: Abbreviations
1 Approaching the Hellenistic World 1
2 After Alexander: the Emergence of the Hellenistic World, 323-281 19
3 An Uneasy Balance: from the Death of Seleukos to the Battle of Raphia 35
4 The Arrival of Rome: from the Illyrian Wars to the Fall of Macedon 51
5 Subjection and Resistance: to the Death of Mithradates 71
6 A Roman East: Pompey's Settlement to the Death of Augustus 90
7 The Ptolemies and Egypt 105
8 The Seleukids and Asia 121
9 Macedon and the Mainland, 280-221 134
10 The Attalids of Pergamon 159
11 Kings 177
12 Cities 196
13 The Past in a Hellenistic Present: Myth and Local Tradition 216
14 Space and Geography 232
15 Town and Country in Ptolemaic Egypt 249
16 Jews and Greeks 264
17 The Galatians: Representation and Reality 280
18 Beyond Greeks and Barbarians: Italy and Sicily in the Hellenistic Age 294
19 Family Structures 313
20 The Economy 331
21 Reading the Landscape: Survey Archaeology and the Hellenistic Oikoumene 354
22 Warfare 373
23 Piracy and the Slave-Trade 389
24 Hellenistic Religion 407
25 The Divinity of Hellenistic Rulers 431
26 Empires of Knowledge: Medicine and Health in the Hellenistic World 449
27 The Institutions of Hellenistic Philosophy 464
28 Literature and its Contexts 477
29 Hellenistic Art, AD 1500-2000 494
Bibliography 515
Index 567
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