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    The Land of the Elephant Kings: Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire (Hardback) By (author) Paul J. Kosmin

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    DescriptionThe Seleucid Empire (311-64 BCE) was unlike anything the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds had seen. Stretching from present-day Bulgaria to Tajikistan--the bulk of Alexander the Great's Asian conquests--the kingdom encompassed a territory of remarkable ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversity; yet it did not include Macedonia, the ancestral homeland of the dynasty. "The Land of the Elephant Kings "investigates how the Seleucid kings, ruling over lands to which they had no historic claim, attempted to transform this territory into a coherent and meaningful space. Based on recent archaeological evidence and ancient primary sources, Paul J. Kosmin's multidisciplinary approach treats the Seleucid Empire not as a mosaic of regions but as a land unified in imperial ideology and articulated by spatial practices. Kosmin uncovers how Seleucid geographers and ethnographers worked to naturalize the kingdom's borders with India and Central Asia in ways that shaped Roman and later medieval understandings of "the East." In the West, Seleucid rulers turned their backs on Macedonia, shifting their sense of homeland to Syria. By mapping the Seleucid kings' travels and studying the cities they founded--an ambitious colonial policy that has influenced the Near East to this day--Kosmin shows how the empire's territorial identity was constructed on the ground. In the empire's final century, with enemies pressing harder and central power disintegrating, we see that the very modes by which Seleucid territory had been formed determined the way in which it fell apart.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Land of the Elephant Kings

    Title
    The Land of the Elephant Kings
    Subtitle
    Space, Territory, and Ideology in the Seleucid Empire
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Paul J. Kosmin
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 380
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 42 mm
    Weight: 820 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674728820
    ISBN 10: 0674728823
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA, HBJF1
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15540
    BISAC V2.8: HIS026000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS039000
    BISAC region code: 2.1.13.0.0.0.0
    DC23: 935.062
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHC, NHG
    DC22: 935/.062
    LC classification: DS96.2 .K67 2014
    DC22: 935.062
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1QBAE, 1FB
    Illustrations note
    Illustrations, maps
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Publication date
    23 June 2014
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass
    Review quote
    This fresh and thoroughly enjoyable account of the Seleucid kingdom is dedicated to understanding how one of the great states of the Hellenistic world was formed and how it actually worked. Although often understood as little more than a placeholder existing in time between Alexander's conquest of the east and the coming of Rome some three centuries later, Kosmin dispels such facile notions and breathes considerable new life into Seleucid history. Deeply researched and engagingly written, Kosmin's book will be required reading for all those interested in understanding the history of this crucially important and still relevant part of the world that stretches from present-day Syria to Afghanistan.--Joseph Manning, Yale University