IrSeleu

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣ Alice Williams ♥

♠ Original name ♣ Seleucid Empire ♥

♠ Alternative names ♣ Seleukid ♥ [1]

♠ Peak Date ♣ {281 BCE; 190 BCE} ♥ The range of dates given correspond with two main periods of the Seleucid Empire. The empire reached a peak in territory and population during the reign of it's first king, Seleucus I, when the empire took it's 'final form' [2]. A second peak in territory and population size occurred during the reign of Antiochus III 'The Great' (223 BCE - 187 BCE), who reconquered lost territory and reaffirmed the status of the empire [3].


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣ 312-63 BCE ♥ The rule of the first king of the Seleucid Empire, Seleucus I, began when he was apportioned the satrapy of Babylonia in 319 BCE after the death of Alexander the Great [4]. However, in 315 BCE Seleucus was overthrown by Antigonus, but regained power in 312 BCE and began to extend the kingdom. The beginning of the empire is therefore generally agreed to start from Seleucus' return to power in 312 BCE [5] [6].

The end of the empire was characterized by a decline from the former power of the kings, to the extent that Aperghis (2004, p27, 298) argues that after 129 BCE, when King Antiochus VII committed suicide in Media, the Seleucid Empire had degraded to the Seleucid Kingdom, and would only decline further. Opposition from the indigenous population and from growing rival states (the Parthians and Romans) culminated in irreversible decline for the Seleucids.[7] The remaining polity was eventually overtaken by the growing Roman empire in 64/63 BCE [8] [9].

♠ Degree of centralization ♣ unitary state; confederate state ♥

The Seleucid kings kept as much power as possible in their own hands, and had the final authority over decisions of the state, including the appointment of regional governors [10] [11].

"Prior to the Parthians, political systems in Southwest Asia were for the most part relatively loose confederations in which central government ruled their 'empires' through unstable alliances with vassals and satraps. Even Hammurabi, Darius, and Alexander were only temporarily successful in linking their centralized governments to local administrative institutions, particularly outside of the core areas of Greater Mesopotamia."[12]

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣ nominal allegiance ♥ nominal allegiance: [204-192 BCE] After the death of Ptolemy IV, Antiochus became a 'friend and ally' of the Roman Empire, but without a formal treaty. [13]

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Macedonian Empire ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣ continuity ♥
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Parthian Empire I ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Greek ♥
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ [4,500,000-5,000,000] ♥ km squared.

♠ Capital ♣ Seleucid-on-the-Tigris ♥ Also known as Seleuceia on the Tigris [14] or Seleukeia-Tigris [15], the city was founded by Seleucus I, probably in 305 BCE. The city grew to a population of 50,000-100,000 inhabitants in an area of roughly 550 hectares [16].

♠ Language ♣ Greek ♥ Greek was used for most written documents.[17] Local languages presumably continued to be spoken (as the Seleucids allowed local religious cults to continue practicing without imposed Hellenistic influences [18], but the textual bias is towards Greek written documents.

General Description

The Seleucid Empire arose in the years following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE and the subsequent division of his empire. Alexander’s generals each ruled part of the empire, including Seleucus I who became leader of the Babylonian territory in 319 BCE as a reward for having helped Alexander eliminate the regent Perdiccas [19]. This date does not however mark the start of the Seleucid Empire as Seleucus was ousted by the rival Antigonus in 315 BCE and did not return to power until 312 BCE, after which the Seleucid Empire truly began as Seleucus began to extent his domain to create an empire large enough to include territories in the Central Asian steppe to European Thrace [20]. Seleucus’ territorial achievements were matched by only one of his successors, Antiochus III, whose rule began 60 years later. The last rulers of the empire could not match the charisma and drive of these earlier rulers, especially in the face of growing powers to the west and east of the empire (Rome and Parthia respectively). The empire declined in size and influence until it was taken over by Rome in 63 BCE.

The Seleucid Empire continued to exert the Hellenistic influences of Alexander the Great’s empire, but like Alexander, the rulers of the Seleucid Empire generally allowed other religions and languages to continue and flourish (a notable exception being the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV) [21]. Most written documents are in Greek and contain valuable information about the empire, the battles fought and the kings who ruled. The documents are however far from complete and many aspects of the empire are either inferred from other sources or remain unknown. Overall it can be surmised that the Seleucid Empire was ruled by one king at a time who held central authority, but who exerted that authority through his commanders, or satraps, in the various territories of the empire [22]. This both gave the king a great amount of power but also made him vulnerable to the ambitions of his satraps, the most notable example being the betrayal of the general Achaios who in 220 BCE took the territories of Asia Minor for himself after conducting campaigns there on behalf of Antiochus III [23].

Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ Alice Williams; Edward A L Turner ♥

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 3,600,000: 312-201 BCE; [2,300,000-475,000]: 200-147 BCE ♥ squared kilometers. Estimated using maps and Google Maps Area Calculator.

Territory in 300 BCE

Iran, Iraq, Transoxania, Syria and the Levant

Territory in 200 BCE

Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Levant, south eastern half of Anatolia (excluding patches of the coast).
200 BCE Greek City dug up in Bahrain.[24]

Territory in 100 BCE

Northern Iraq, Syria and the Levant


♠ Polity Population ♣ {16,000,000; 30,000,000} ♥

Aperghis (2004)[25]

[14,000,000-18,000,000]: 281 BCE. The estimated figure was calculated using information from the peak of the empire in 281 BCE. The population fluctuated as different kings won and lost territory.

Ehrenberg (2013)[26]

30,000,000: ??? BCE

Territory in 300 BCE

Iran, Iraq, Transoxania, Syria and the Levant

Territory in 200 BCE

Iran, Iraq, Syria and the Levant, south eastern half of Anatolia (excluding patches of the coast).

Territory in 100 BCE

Northern Iraq, Syria and the Levant


♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ [50,000-100,000] ♥ inhabitants in the city Seleucid-on-the-Tigris. [27]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 6 ♥ levels.

1. Capital (50,000-100,000 inhabitants), at Seleucid-on-the Tigris. [28]

2. Major city (20,000-50,000 inhabitants) (e.g.Seleukeia-Pieria, 250-300ha; Antioch, 225ha; Apameia, 205-255ha; Laodikeia, 220ha) [29]
3. Large city (10,000-20,000 inhabitants) (e.g. Kyrrhos, Chalkis, Beroia and Seleukeia-Zeugma, 65-100ha) [30]
4. Small city (5,000-10,000 inhabitants) (e.g. Doura-Europos, Djebel Khaled)[31]
5. Town (inferred, based on references to cities and villages)
6. Village (e.g Baitokaike, recorded to have been given to a sanctuary of Zeus)[32]

♠ Administrative levels ♣ [5-6] ♥ levels.

"Prior to the Parthians, political systems in Southwest Asia were for the most part relatively loose confederations in which central government ruled their 'empires' through unstable alliances with vassals and satraps. Even Hammurabi, Darius, and Alexander were only temporarily successful in linking their centralized governments to local administrative institutions, particularly outside of the core areas of Greater Mesopotamia."[33]


1. King [34][35]

2. Relatives of the King [36]
3. Circles of philoi: [37]
(a) “First ranking” (protoi philoi) [38]
(b) “Esteemed” (timoumenoi philoi)[39]
(c) “Friends” (philoi)[40]


_Central government_

2. Heads of financial administration, satrap governance and local military commanders within each satrap.[41]
Head generals and officials [42](e.g. the General Commander of the Upper Satrapies.) [43]
3. Dioiketes
- responsible for finances within the satrapies of royal land, revenue and expenditure, and possibly also supervised royal mints and registry offices.[44]
4. Level between head of royal mint and Dioiketes?
5. Head of a royal mint inferred
6. Worker in a royal mint inferred
4.
5.
3. Eklogistai
- under the dioikētai and responsible for setting the level of taxation.[45]
4.
5.
3. Oikonomoi
- ‘managed royal land and revenue, one it had been received, and also controlled expenditure in their financial districts.’[46]
4.
5.
3. hoi epi tōn hierōn (a separate group)
- supervised temples and their revenue.[47]
4.
5.

_Provincial line_

1. King

2. Satrapies governed by a strategos
Civil, financial and military powers separated since Alexander's reform of the Persian system.[48]
"in all the lands east of the Euphrates the Seleucids had a more complete system of internal subdivision; it was a threefold division - satrapy, eparchy, hyparchy - corresponding roughly to the threefold division in Ptolemaic Egypt of nome, topos, village, the nome like the satrapy, being under a strategos or general. This threefold administrative division in each of the two empires must, one supposes, have had a common origin, but what it was is unknown. As the smallest administrative unit in Egypt was the village and in Seleucid east the hyparchy - a district would comprise a number of villages - the organisation of the Seleucid east was of necessity much looser than that of Egypt; the hyparchy, however, for purposes of land registration, was again subdivided into fortified posts called stathmoi - originally post stations on the main roads, the Seleucids having taken over the Persian postal system - each stathmos being the centre of a subdivision comprising so many villages."[49]
3. Eparchy
"So far as is known at present, the eparchy was a Seleucid innovation."[50]
4. Hyparchy
5. Stathmoi


_Autonomous Cities_

2. Leader of city/council inferred
"Seleucid and Parthian cities were self-governing and controlled considerable territories independent of the central government."[51]
3. Department in city administration? inferred
4.
5.


♠ Religious levels ♣ 4 ♥ The Seleucid kings (and occasionally the queens) were portrayed as divine beings and so acted as the head of religious order in the empire. The high priests were appointed by the king to be responsible for the temples in territories or satrapies of the empire, which included dealing with the temple high priests (for example, in matters of state funding and provisions).[52] The local priests include for example the three priests of the shrine to Sarapis and Isis at Laodicea-by-the-Sea, who complained about the number of statues being erected on their land. [53]

1. King

2. Chief priest
3. Temple high priest
4. Local or shrine priest

♠ Military levels ♣ 5 ♥

The military levels provided here are an outline of the Seleucid army. There were many other titles and subsets of command within the army, different provinces and over time which are discussed by Bar-Kochva. [54]

1. King

- the king often took command of the storm troops (mainly cavalry) in campaign battles, or commanded from behind the front lines with other groups of troops. [55]
2. strategoi
- the senior commanders of the army. [56]
3. hipparchoi
- the officers of the cavalry and infantry of the army.[57]
4. hegemones
5. and soldiers
- the rank and file soldiers of the army.[58]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣ present ♥ Military officers were needed to command and control the large standing army, and to conduct successful military campaigns. [59]

♠ Professional soldiers ♣ present ♥ A regular force of soldiers and mercenaries were employed by the Seleucid kings. [60] This included up to 30,000 regular soldiers, 8,000 cavalry and 16,000 mercenary soldiers for various major campaigns. [61]

♠ Professional priesthood ♣ present ♥ An example of a priesthood is recorded through the complaint made by the priests of Sarapis and Isis in Laodicea by the Sea about the number of statues being erected on their land. [62]

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣ present ♥ An example is the position of dioiketes, or ‘the financial counterpart of the strategos/satrap in each satrapy and the oikonomoi of the hyparchs'. [63]

♠ Examination system ♣ ♥ unknown Evidence for examination systems was not discussed in the literature, but may have been present.[64] Examination system present under Achaemenids[65] - did the Seleucids inherit this institution?

♠ Merit promotion ♣ ♥ unknown Evidence for merit promotion was not discussed in the literature, but may have been present.[66] Present under Achaemenids[67] - did the Seleucids inherit this practice?

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ present ♥ Includes mints, such as one established at Seleucid-on-the-Tigris by Seleucus I [68], and garrisons which ‘…might also serve as local administrative centres, treasuries and depots of supplies and material for the administration and army.’ [69] It is also likely that specialized council buildings (bouleuterion) were used in cities such as Antioch-in-Persis, based on evidence for council meetings and the existence of similar buildings under Greek rule. [70]

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣ present ♥ Motions for governance were created by the city council (boule) and assembly (ekklesia) with an executive body (prytaneis) to be passed by the citizen body (dēmos) in cities such as Antioch-in-Persis[71], but these rules presumably only applied to the local city or satrapy rather than the empire as a whole. An example may be the public decree issued by a council of elders and magristrates in Laodicea, which caused three priests to complain. [72]

♠ Judges ♣ present ♥ Magistrates were elected annually, but with legally prescribed limitation on repeat office-holding.[73]

♠ Courts ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Evidence for courts was not discussed in the literature, but may have been present based on the presence of a formal legal code and magistrates.[74]

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Evidence for professional lawyers was not discussed in the literature, but may have been present based on the presence of a formal legal code and magistrates.[75] Present for the Achaemenids.

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣ present ♥ "From the earliest times [in Babylonia], the flow of water was controlled for agricultural purposes by an elaborate system of canals, sluices, dams, embankments, and dikes."[76] Irrigation farming formed part of the base of Seleucid economy (along with dry-subsistence farming along the Mediterranean seaboard). Irrigation was used along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and their tributaries. [77] "Iranians were the inventors of qanats ... during the Archaemenid era there appeared an extensive system of underground networks known as qanats" [78]
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ inferred present ♥ Persians may have had the technical know-how to implement drinking water supply systems. Earlier the Archaemenids c400 BCE considered piped water and sewers in a plan for the reconstruction of a city [79] whilst the Sassanians in 326 CE rebuilt the city of Susa "including water flowing in every house, a sewer system and a laundry in each neighbourhood (Hashami, 2010)."[80][81]
♠ markets ♣ present ♥ Markets were introduced to non-urban areas partly so as to impose coinage-taxation on farmers, rather than taxation paid in kind. [82]
♠ food storage sites ♣ present ♥ For example, the royal store house implied in Laodike’s letter to Strouthion asking for the delivery of wheat to the city. [83]

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣ present ♥ Inferred, as the previous Persian road network would probably have been used and maintained[84], and there is evidence for long-distance trade routes from India to the Mediterranean [85].
♠ Bridges ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Canals ♣ present ♥ The rivers Tigris and Euphrates and Eulaios were used for transportation. The Seleucids also constructed a link between the Eulaios river and the sea, and probably maintained the Persian Pallakotas canal. [86].
♠ Ports ♣ present ♥ Ports were present on the Mediterranean coast and on eastern coasts connecting to India along the coast of Baluchistan. For example, the Seleucid port Alexandria, later Antioch-on-the-Erythraean Sea.[87].

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣ inferred present ♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Written records ♣ present ♥ Documents were written in Greek and Cuneiform. [88]
♠ Script ♣ present ♥ Documents were written in Greek and Cuneiform. [89]
♠ Non-phonetic writing ♣ absent ♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣ present ♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣ present ♥ For example, the Mnesimachos inscription, where Mnesimachis listed the land grants he’d received from Antigonos and the annual tribute from each grant of land. [90]
♠ Calendar ♣ present ♥ The Babylonian calendar. [91]
♠ Sacred Texts ♣ inferred present ♥ Jewish texts?
♠ Religious literature ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Practical literature ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ History ♣ inferred present ♥ possibly the Babyloniaca (Burstein 1978) [92]
♠ Philosophy ♣ inferred present ♥ "Iranians were familiar with Greek philosophy from the Achaemenid period."[93] "Babylonian astronomy, astrology, mathematics, and medicine were studied and developed by Greek inhabitants of the region [of Babylonia], and Babylonian astrology flooded the western world."[94]
♠ Scientific literature ♣ present ♥ " "Babylonian astronomy, astrology, mathematics, and medicine were studied and developed by Greek inhabitants of the region [of Babylonia], and Babylonian astrology flooded the western world."[95] Mathematics and astronomy were written in cuneiform (even when most literature was written in Greek).[96]
♠ Fiction ♣ present ♥ Insciptions dating to the Seleucid empire include poetry. [97]

Money

♠ Articles ♣ present ♥ Commodity money existed alongside, and before, silver money and coinage, mainly in the form of food from tenant or rural farmers. [98]
♠ Tokens ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Precious metals ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present ♥ Foreign coins circulated freely alongside the Seleucid silver coinage (mainly ‘tetradrachms’).[99] [100]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present ♥ Silver coins ('tetradrachms') were introduced by the Seleucid kings after Seleucus I in order to increase the royal revenue. The kings needed money to pay mercenary soldiers and cover military expenses to defend the kingdom. Gold coins were also used as a higher denomination of money, after the ‘Alexanders’ which were in use during the reign of Alexander. [101]
♠ Paper currency ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣ present ♥ Seleucids took over the Persian postal system.[102]
♠ Postal stations ♣ present ♥ Seleucids took over the Persian postal system. "... originally post stations on the main roads, the Seleucids having taken over the Persian postal system - each stathmos being the centre of a subdivision comprising so many villages." [103]
♠ General postal service ♣ suspected unknown ♥ The following is described, however unclear if used by private individuals: "In Persia the postal service appears to have originated in the Achaemenid period. ... There were way stations where the couriers could rest and where fresh horses could be obtained. ... Under the Sasanians a similar postal system appears to have been in operation; in a peace treaty concluded with Byzantium in a.d. 561 one clause stipulated that envoys should be supplied with mounts at the postal stations maintained by both empires.(Blockley, p. 212, clause 3; Camb. Hist. Iran III/1, p. 574; cf. Christensen, p. 129)" [104]

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣ Alice Williams; Edward A L Turner ♥

Source for warfare coding: The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns

Military Technologies

Military use of Metals

♠ Copper ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Bronze ♣ inferred present ♥ Was bronze used in the construction of scythed chariots?[105]
♠ Iron ♣ inferred present ♥ Was iron used in the construction of scythed chariots?[106]
♠ Steel ♣ [absent; present] ♥ May have imported high quality steel. Was the Artaxerxes sword a 'trophy weapon' or representative of swords used by elite Persian forces? Could the same thing be said up until the time of the first manufacture of Damascene swords? "It is believed that Indian steel was exported in the early centuries A.D. and was known even in the time of Alexander. By the sixth century there is more definite evidence of the manufacture of Damascene swords and the steel used for this purpose came from India."[107] Artaxerxes II of Persia (Achaemenids, ruled around 400 BCE) had a Greek physician called Ctesias of Cnidus who was impressed by his sword of Indian steel.[108][109]

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ present ♥ The xyston, or javelin, had been used since the time of Alexander the Great[110], in addition to the sarissa, a pike up to 21m in length, was used by the Seleucid army. [111]
♠ Atlatl ♣ absent ♥ Weapon of the Americas.
♠ Slings ♣ present ♥ [112]
♠ Self bow ♣ present ♥ [113] "Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders."[114]
♠ Composite bow ♣ present ♥ "Composite bows are known from both Mesopotamia and the Great Steppe from the III millennium BCE. The Scythian bow was different from the Mesopotamian one primarily in its overall dimensions - it was smaller so that it could be used from the horseback. At the same time, self bows were also in use, but because of their large size they were not suitable for use by horse riders."[115]
♠ Crossbow ♣ inferred absent ♥ "...the hand-held crossbow was invented by the Chinese, in the fifth century BC, and probably came into the Roman world in the first century AD, where it was used for hunting."[116] The crossbow also developed after the Syracuse Greek Dionysios I invented a form of crossbow called the gastraphetes in 399 BCE.[117] "The use of the hand-crossbow in Europe thus divides into two quite distinct periods, the first between about -100 and +450; the second beginning in the +10th century."[118] Absent in preceding and succeeding polities.
♠ Tension siege engines ♣ inferred present ♥ "The only evidence for any knowledge of the use of siege engines East of the Roman frontier comes from Vani in Georgia where ballista shot of various calibres were found."[119] However, tension siege engines are coded as present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Sling siege engines ♣ absent ♥ First use of the counter-weight trebuchet is in 1165 CE at the Byzantine siege of Zevgminon.[120]
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣ absent ♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣ absent ♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Battle axes ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Daggers ♣ present ♥ Illustration shows dagger or short sword. [121]
♠ Swords ♣ present ♥ Swords.[122]
♠ Spears ♣ present ♥ Illustration shows handheld spear. [123] According to one historian (experted needed to check data applicable to this polity) spear-using phalanx first used in Sumer 2500 BCE. The phalanx was in use until the 1st century BCE.[124]
♠ Polearms ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣ inferred absent ♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ inferred present ♥ Probably used in the baggage train. The Achaemenid Persians did so. Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Horses ♣ present ♥ The Seleucids maintained several thousand cavalry troops for campaigns. [125]
♠ Camels ♣ present ♥ Camel archers at Magnesia. [126] "Bactrian camels began to be used for cavalry between 500 and 100 BC."[127]
♠ Elephants ♣ present ♥ Seleucus I received 500 elephants in a peace-treaty exchange in 303 BCE with Chandragupta, the founder of the Mauryan empire. [128] Seleucids and Ptolemies "made heavy use of war elephants."[129] Seleucid had Indian elephants, Ptolemies had North African elephants.[130]

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ inferred present ♥ Wooden shield - perhaps mercenaries.
♠ Leather, cloth ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent polities.
♠ Shields ♣ present ♥ A conventional shield used by the heavy infantry of the Seleucid army was 45cm in diameter, which was small enough for the soldiers to be able to handle a pike at the same time. [131]
♠ Helmets ♣ present ♥ The 'Attic helmet' is depicted on coins from the Seleucid period. [132]
♠ Breastplates ♣ present ♥ Breastplates, or cuirass, were probably worn by officers in the army (based on the military code of Amphipolis, which mentions breastplates with reference to officers), but it is likely that soldiers also wore breastplates as protection from increasingly advanced and prevalent missile technology in enemy armies. [133]
♠ Limb protection ♣ present ♥ Arm protection worn by cavalrymen/cataphract.
♠ Chainmail ♣ present ♥ Chainmail was possibly worn by some soldiers in the army, based on a description by I Macc. who wrote that the Seleucid phalanx at Beith-Zacharia were 'equipped with coats of mail'. [134] According to one historian (experted needed to check data applicable to this polity) says iron chain mail not introduced until the third century BCE, probably by Celtic peoples[135] which is around about this time.
♠ Scaled armor ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent polities.
♠ Laminar armor ♣ suspected unknown ♥ Possible. Already introduced by the Assyrians.
♠ Plate armor ♣ inferred present ♥ According to one historian (experted needed to check data applicable to this polity) by 600 BCE early Greeks and Romans had introduced the bronze cast bell muscle cuirass.[136]

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣ present ♥ In 192 BCE Antiochus III had 40 ‘decked’ and 60 ‘open’ warships. [137]

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Ditch ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Moat ♣ inferred present ♥ Present in previous and subsequent periods.
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣ present ♥ Doura-Europos, built on the middle-Euphrates by Seleucus I, was surrounded by a wall enclosing an area of roughly 45 hectares. [138]
♠ Fortified camps ♣ present ♥ Garrisons were widely used throughout the empire, including in cities to, ‘…guard against possible uprisings, to provide security for the local population, so that it could go about its daily activites, and to ensure that tribute was collected by financial officials of the administration.’ [139]
♠ Complex fortifications ♣ present ♥ For example, Jebel Khalid, a settlement founded by the Seleucids, with an outer wall and inner wall around the acropolis palace.[140]
♠ Long walls ♣ ♥
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ absent ♥

Phase II Variables (polity-based)

Institutional Variables

♠ RA ♣ Agathe Dupeyron; Edward A L Turner ♥

Limits on Power of the Chief Executive

Power distributed

♠ Constraint on executive by government ♣ inferred absent ♥ "There were no institutional limitations, as in the case of Spartan kingship, on the king's power; an overlegalistic approach conjured up an imaginary constitutional role for the assembly of Macedonians (Briant 1973). But the assemblies of Macedonians (under arms or not) for capital cases, which were optional , or to acclaim an accession, function rather as a way for the king to realise and display public support than as an independent authority with freedom of action and choice. As contemporaries like Plato and Demosthenes perceived, the Macedonian monarchy was an absolutist regime (but note the critical remarks by Cabanes 1980). The reappraisal of the character of Macedonian kingship in turn necessitates revision of older approaches to the character of hellenistic monarchies because they were founded on the distinction between the 'national', limited monarchy of Macedon and personal, unlimited hellenistic monarchy, the portrayal of which has been negatively influenced by the stereotypical image of 'oriental despotism'. There is little difference in reality between the absolute powers of an Argead king, or a Seleucid or a Ptolemy (or even an Achaemenid king)." [141]
♠ Constraint on executive by non-government ♣ inferred present ♥ "It is important, however, to remember that as places originally came under Seleucid rule and probably again at accessions, individual autonomous communities negotiated agreements with the king regulating political status, fiscal obligations and such matters as military aid and garrisons (e.g. Aradus, cf. Strabo XVI 2,14; Polyb. V 68,7). This is amply attested not only for the Greek cities of Asia Minor, but also for the hellenised 'temple states' of Anatolia and for Carian towns. Further east too, we can now recognise that the Seleucids, like Achaemenids, Neo-Babylonian and Assyrian kings before them, regulated their relations with individual towns and ethne (peoples) of their empire by the formulation and grant of what can be called 'charters' granted unilaterally by the king, who had, however, to acknowledge local traditions and traditional privileges." [142]
♠ Impeachment ♣ inferred absent ♥ "There were no institutional limitations, as in the case of Spartan kingship, on the king's power; an overlegalistic approach conjured up an imaginary constitutional role for the assembly of Macedonians (Briant 1973). But the assemblies of Macedonians (under arms or not) for capital cases, which were optional , or to acclaim an accession, function rather as a way for the king to realise and display public support than as an independent authority with freedom of action and choice. As contemporaries like Plato and Demosthenes perceived, the Macedonian monarchy was an absolutist regime (but note the critical remarks by Cabanes 1980). The reappraisal of the character of Macedonian kingship in turn necessitates revision of older approaches to the character of hellenistic monarchies because they were founded on the distinction between the 'national', limited monarchy of Macedon and personal, unlimited hellenistic monarchy, the portrayal of which has been negatively influenced by the stereotypical image of 'oriental despotism'. There is little difference in reality between the absolute powers of an Argead king, or a Seleucid or a Ptolemy (or even an Achaemenid king)." [143]

Social Mobility

Status

Elite status

♠ elite status is hereditary ♣ present ♥ "The succession, and the insistence on legitimate filiation, were most vital among the institutions of these dynasties - emphasized by the use of dynastic names to claim legitimacy and advertise dynastic continuity (OGIS 90 l. 47; 57 l.26) - and protected by the practice, adopted first by Antigonus and then successively by Seleucus and Ptolemy, of naming, pre mortem, usually the elder of their sons as heir (see above pp.23-24) - an Achaemenid, as well as earlier, practice." [144]

Religion and Normative Ideology

♠ RA ♣ Enrico Cioni ♥

Deification of Rulers

♠ Rulers are legitimated by gods ♣ present ♥ DH: Seleucid rulers, as Macedonian elites, came from tradition of more secularized rule. But clearly adapted traditional Persia /Zoroastrian traditions for their Persian subjects and based rule (at least in part) on adherence to and legitimation from divine authority. Similar phenomenon as ocurred at same time in Ptolemaic Egypt. "The Achaemenians proclaimed that they were Persians, and received the realm from the supreme god Ahuramazda. Later the Sasanian clergy taught that the kingdom and the(true) religion were twins.2 The Seleucids were of Macedonian stock, but they neither ruled over Macedonia nor had any authority over Macedonians abroad,3 and they commanded peoples not "by the grace of God", but by the right of the spear. They were neither native rulers, nor the instruments of a "colonial" power, but just lucky condottieri. Their power was not institutional but personal." [145] "In return, the Greeks honored the kings as divine ‘saviors’ (sōtēres), awarding them divine honors accordingly. From the reign of Antiochos III onward, a centralized state cult of the deified king and queen was institutionalized. The Seleucid family claimed descent from the savior god Apollo. For the sake of the non-Greek subjects, Apollo and his twin sister Artemis were equated with the various local Sun and Moon gods worshipped in the multi-polytheistic empire. Starting with the reign of Antiochus IV, the Seleucids associated their rule with the cosmic kingship of Zeus, who could likewise be identified with non-Greek sky gods." [146]

♠ Rulers are gods ♣ present ♥ "In return, the Greeks honored the kings as divine ‘saviors’ (sōtēres), awarding them divine honors accordingly. From the reign of Antiochos III onward, a centralized state cult of the deified king and queen was institutionalized. The Seleucid family claimed descent from the savior god Apollo. For the sake of the non-Greek subjects, Apollo and his twin sister Artemis were equated with the various local Sun and Moon gods worshipped in the multi-polytheistic empire. Starting with the reign of Antiochus IV, the Seleucids associated their rule with the cosmic kingship of Zeus, who could likewise be identified with non-Greek sky gods." [147]

Normative Ideological Aspects of Equity and Prosociality

(CC: The equity and prosociality variables below were previously coded to suggest a lack of ideological equality. However, the code book defines 'ideological reinforcement of equality' as 'Religious doctrine, philosophical statements, or practice makes claims about equality. For instance, explicit statements by religious groups or influential philosophers that all humans are equal.' The justifications below state that philosophers encouraged people to look on people as equals. Therefore I have changed the codes to reflect that ideologies of equality existed, even if this did not translate into equality in practice)

♠ Ideological reinforcement of equality ♣ present ♥ “The philosophers taught a universalizing frame of reference so they encouraged people to look on each other as equals. But as we saw with slavery, this did not translate into actual social change or even recognizing a need to break down categories. The only example I can think of is again Musonius Rufus who advocated a version of male and female equality (in education, for example). He was against double standards of sexual morality for men and women. Traditional Greek religion reinforced all kinds of social distinctions. Foreigners could not worship in most civic cults of another city without a special permission, women were restricted to certain well-defined roles in certain cults, and on and on. There was no doctrinal or ritual drive toward universal equality, though rituals were used to emphasize the equality of individuals within a given social group (e.g. Athenian male citizens). There is only one exception but it is an important one: mystery cults, very popular in Hellenistic times, were surprisingly open to initiating all comers. The Eleusinian Mysteries accepted women, slaves and foreigners, and so did many other mysteries (but not all).” [148]

♠ Ideological thought equates rulers and commoners ♣ present ♥ “The philosophers taught a universalizing frame of reference so they encouraged people to look on each other as equals. But as we saw with slavery, this did not translate into actual social change or even recognizing a need to break down categories. The only example I can think of is again Musonius Rufus who advocated a version of male and female equality (in education, for example). He was against double standards of sexual morality for men and women. Traditional Greek religion reinforced all kinds of social distinctions. Foreigners could not worship in most civic cults of another city without a special permission, women were restricted to certain well-defined roles in certain cults, and on and on. There was no doctrinal or ritual drive toward universal equality, though rituals were used to emphasize the equality of individuals within a given social group (e.g. Athenian male citizens). There is only one exception but it is an important one: mystery cults, very popular in Hellenistic times, were surprisingly open to initiating all comers. The Eleusinian Mysteries accepted women, slaves and foreigners, and so did many other mysteries (but not all).” [149]
♠ Ideological thought equates elites and commoners ♣ present ♥ “The philosophers taught a universalizing frame of reference so they encouraged people to look on each other as equals. But as we saw with slavery, this did not translate into actual social change or even recognizing a need to break down categories. The only example I can think of is again Musonius Rufus who advocated a version of male and female equality (in education, for example). He was against double standards of sexual morality for men and women. Traditional Greek religion reinforced all kinds of social distinctions. Foreigners could not worship in most civic cults of another city without a special permission, women were restricted to certain well-defined roles in certain cults, and on and on. There was no doctrinal or ritual drive toward universal equality, though rituals were used to emphasize the equality of individuals within a given social group (e.g. Athenian male citizens). There is only one exception but it is an important one: mystery cults, very popular in Hellenistic times, were surprisingly open to initiating all comers. The Eleusinian Mysteries accepted women, slaves and foreigners, and so did many other mysteries (but not all).” [150]

♠ Ideology reinforces prosociality ♣ present ♥ “The philosophers taught various versions of the Golden Rule, whereas traditional Greek morality said it was best to help one’s friends and harm one’s enemies. The only philosopher I can think of who specifically advocates “helping people” over “living luxuriously” is the Stoic Musonius Rufus from the first century CE, but he may have been an innovator in that respect. In general the Greeks had no religious or philosophical teachings to compare with Jewish and Christian teachings about almsgiving, gleaning, or caring for “widows and orphans.” Greek cities sometimes gave stipends to orphans if their fathers had died in battle defending the city. The most important traditional religious teaching on this subject was that the gods required people to treat “strangers and suppliants” well. That is, you should assist strangers who come to your door in need (and definitely not harm them). You can see this when Odysseus disguised as a beggar receives hospitality (Homer was a basic school text in the Hellenistic period) or in the Hellenistic myth of Baucis and Philemon, a very poor elderly couple who received two strangers and gave them hospitality. The strangers turned out to be Zeus and Hermes, who rewarded the couple. The belief that the gods “tested” humans by coming down to earth was common Hellenistic Asia Minor, where Paul and Barnabas were mistaken for Zeus and Hermes in disguise (Acts 14). Hellenistic philanthropy was closely tied to piety because the benefactions were usually things like sponsoring a festival or enhancing a sanctuary. Sponsoring a festival meant entertainment and free food distribution, but the main goal was not necessarily to help the poor - it was more to enhance the public good. I think it is very likely that the teachings of philosophers encouraged these sorts of activities, but of course the donors also benefited from increased prestige.” [151]

♠ production of public goods ♣ present ♥ “The philosophers taught various versions of the Golden Rule, whereas traditional Greek morality said it was best to help one’s friends and harm one’s enemies. The only philosopher I can think of who specifically advocates “helping people” over “living luxuriously” is the Stoic Musonius Rufus from the first century CE, but he may have been an innovator in that respect. In general the Greeks had no religious or philosophical teachings to compare with Jewish and Christian teachings about almsgiving, gleaning, or caring for “widows and orphans.” Greek cities sometimes gave stipends to orphans if their fathers had died in battle defending the city. [...] Hellenistic philanthropy was closely tied to piety because the benefactions were usually things like sponsoring a festival or enhancing a sanctuary. Sponsoring a festival meant entertainment and free food distribution, but the main goal was not necessarily to help the poor - it was more to enhance the public good. I think it is very likely that the teachings of philosophers encouraged these sorts of activities, but of course the donors also benefited from increased prestige.” [152]

Moralizing Supernatural Powers

♠ Moral concern is primary ♣ absent_to_present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is certain ♣ absent_to_present ♥
♠ Moralizing norms are broad ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is targeted ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement of rulers ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by elites ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing religion adopted by commoners ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in afterlife ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement in this life ♣ present ♥
♠ Moralizing enforcement is agentic ♣ present ♥

These data were reviewed by expert advisors and consultants. For a detailed description of these data, refer to the relevant Analytic Narratives, reference tables, and acknowledgements page. [153] [154] [155]

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