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Durham e-Theses
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Beyond Alexandria: Literature and Empire in the Seleucid World

VISSCHER, MARGRETE,SIJA (2016) Beyond Alexandria: Literature and Empire in the Seleucid World. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 13 September 2021.

Abstract

This thesis aims to provide a better understanding of Seleucid literature, covering the period from Seleucus I to Antiochus III. Despite the historical importance of the Seleucid Empire during this period, little attention has been devoted to its literature. The works of authors affiliated with the Seleucid court have tended to be overshadowed by works coming out of Alexandria, emerging from the court of the Ptolemies, the main rivals of the Seleucids. This thesis makes two key points, both of which challenge the idea that “Alexandrian” literature is coterminous with Hellenistic literature as a whole. First, the thesis sets out to demonstrate that a distinctly Seleucid strand of writing emerged from the Seleucid court, characterised by shared perspectives and thematic concerns. Second, the thesis argues that Seleucid literature was significant on the wider Hellenistic stage. Specifically, it aims to show that the works of Seleucid authors influenced and provided counterpoints to writers based in Alexandria, including key figures such as Eratosthenes and Callimachus. For this reason, the literature of the Seleucids is not only interesting in its own right; it also provides an important entry point for furthering our understanding of Hellenistic literature in general.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:"Greek literature" "Hellenistic literature" "Seleucids" "Hellenistic history" "Ptolemies"
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Classics and Ancient History, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Sep 2016 16:06

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