The empire created by Alexander the Great's general, Seleucus, constituted the largest Hellenistic kingdom of the successor states: yet this is the first substantial treatment of Seleucid history to appear for fifty years. The authors approach this important and successful state from new perspectives, seeing it as part of the Middle Eastern world rather than solely in Greco-Roman terms, and arguing that the Seleucid state is best understood as heir to the great Achaemenid Persian empire and earlier Middle Eastern states.
They investigate the economies, social structures, political systems, and cultures of the many peoples making up the empire, and analyze, in the context of colonialism and imperialism, such evidence as exists for cultural changes, including Hellenization.
The book makes accessible the great variety of new and important documents that have been recently discovered. It will be welcomed by students, teachers, and all readers with an interest in Hellenistic and Middle Eastern history.