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Cosmopolitanism and EmpireUniversal Rulers, Local Elites, and Cultural Integration in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean$
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Myles Lavan, Richard E. Payne, and John Weisweiler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465667.001.0001

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Empire Begins at Home

Empire Begins at Home

Local Elites and Imperial Ideologies in Hellenistic Greece and Babylonia

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 Empire Begins at Home
Source:
Cosmopolitanism and Empire
Author(s):

Kathryn Stevens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190465667.003.0003

This chapter presents four case studies in the self-presentation of local elites and the construction of local cultural memory in the Seleucid empire, two from Babylonia and two from the Greek cities of Anatolia. The cuneiforms texts produced by members of the priestly elite in Uruk and the Greek texts inscribed by civic leaders in Lindos and Halikarnassos have at first glance almost nothing in common, but they share a “deeply historicizing localism.” In different but analogous ways, the two groups write “both themselves and contemporary empires into local histories which stretch back to the distant past.” The chapter also shows that the Seleucid rulers collaborated in this process of “assimilating the imperial to the local.”

Keywords:   imperial identities, localism, Seleucid empire, Uruk, Balylonia, cultural memory

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