A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year
The 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.
“This engaging book appeals to the specialist and non-specialist alike. Kosmin has successfully brought together a number of disparate fields in a new and creative way that will cause a reevaluation of how the Seleucids have traditionally been studied.”
—Jeffrey D. Lerner, American Historical Review
“It is a useful and bright introduction to Seleucid ideology, history, and position in the ancient world.”
—Jan P. Stronk, American Journal of Archaeology
This engaging book appeals to the specialist and non-specialist alike. Kosmin has successfully brought together a number of disparate fields in a new and creative way that will cause a reevaluation of how the Seleucids have traditionally been studied.
It is a useful and bright introduction to Seleucid ideology, history, and position in the ancient world.
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.
The Land of the Elephant Kings is unusual and original, and I have no doubt that it will find a large and appreciative audience. It is a lively addition to the literature on the Seleucids.
- 448 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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