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Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean400 BCE-250 CE$
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Boris Chrubasik and Daniel King

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805663

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805663.001.0001

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The Greek Impact in Asia Minor 400–250 BCE

The Greek Impact in Asia Minor 400–250 BCE

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 The Greek Impact in Asia Minor 400–250 BCE
Source:
Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean
Author(s):

Stephen Mitchell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198805663.003.0002

Until the end of the fourth century BCE the impact of Greek culture in Asia Minor was limited. Lykians, Karians, and Lydians offered alternatives to Hellenism and preserved their own languages until the end of the fourth century BCE. However, by 250 BCE these Anatolian languages ceased to be used in public or private documents, and polis organization became normative. After the overthrow of the Persian Empire the autonomy of Greek cities became the highest political objective. Greek civic decrees in the early Hellenistic period emphasized that democratic legitimacy depended on quorate citizen votes, the Greek language became the only medium for official public communication, and the native populations maintained their identity and independence by adopting polis organization. Between 400 and 250 BCE these populations did not merely absorb Greek cultural influence but underwent the encompassing experience of becoming Greek.

Keywords:   Greek colonization, Anatolian culture, Karia, Lykia, Greek language, Greek democracy, autonomy

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