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The Hellenistic Period

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Thousands of documents surviving on stone and papyrus help us to understand the complex society that took shape after the death of Alexander the Great. This book presents some of the most revealing of these documents in translation, allowing readers to form a direct impression of life in the Hellenistic world. The book contains 175 documents capturing the political, social, economic, and religious dynamism of the Hellenistic kingdoms and cities. It covers the entire Hellenistic world and draws extensively on the papyrus remains of the Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt, which allow an unequalled depth of insight into daily life at every level of society
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Table of Contents

Table of Documents. List of Illustrations. Preface. Note on Editorial Practice. Abbreviations. Note on Reading Documents. The Texts. Part I: Political History:. A. Alexander the Great (336 323). 1. Priene Honours Antigonus 334. 2. Letter of Alexander to the Chians 332. 3. Cyrene Supplies Grain to the Greeks 330 326. 4. Restoration of Exiles to Tegea 324. 5. Restoration of Exiles to Mytilene 324. B. The Successors of Alexander (323 276). 6. Antigonus and Skepsis 311. 7. Two Letters of Antigonus to Teos 306 302. 8. The Hellenic League of 302. 9. Ephesos Recovers from War after 297. 10. The Ionian League Honours Hippostratos of Miletos 289/8. 11. Lysimachus and Priene ca 285. 12. Letter of Lysimachus to Samos 283/2. 13. Athens Honors Philippides 283/2. 14. Knidian Loans to Miletos 283/2. 15. Letter of Seleucus I and his son to an Official 281. 16. Ilion and Antiochus I 279 274. 17. Kos Gives Thanks for Defeat of the Gauls 278. C. The Period of Stability (276 221). 18. Gift of Land by Antiochus I ca 275. 19. Chremonides Decree 265/4. 20. Antiochus I and the Ionian League 268 262. 21. Ptolemy II and Miletos ca 262. 22. Letter of Antiochus II to Erythrai after 261 (?). 23. Eumenes I and his Mercenaries 263 241. 24. Berenike's Journey to Syria 252. 25. Correspondence about a Sale of Land by Antiochus II 254/3. 26. Ptolemy III Euergetes: the Adoulis Inscription ca 246. 27. Report on the Third Syrian War ca 246. 28. Delphi, Smyrna, and Seleucus II 242 (?). 29. Magnesia, Smyrna, and Seleucus II after 242. 30. Decree of the Achaean League ca 234. D. The Period of Roman Intervention (221 189). 31. Pharos and Rome after 219 (?). 32. Philip V and Larisa 215. 33. Alliance Between Rome and the Aetolian League 211. 34. Enslavement During a Native Revolt 197. 35. Lampsakos, Massilia and Rome 197/6. 36. Letter of Flamininus to Chyretiai 197 194. 37. Statue of Flamininus at Gytheion 195. 38. Eumenes II and the War Against Nabis 195. 39. M. Valerius Messalla Writes to the Teans 193. 40. The Scipios Write to Herakleia-by-Latmos 190. 41. Letter of C. Livius Salinator to Delphi 189/8. 42. An honorary Decree from Chios ca 188. E. The Struggle for the Survival of Hellenism (189 30). 43. A Letter of Eumenes after 188. 44. Rome and Perseus 172/1. 45. Decree of the Senate on the Affairs of Thisbe 170. 46. Dispatch From the Front in the Civil War of 169/8 ca 169/8). 47. Eumenes II and the Ionian League 167/6. 48. Chalkis Honours Ariston of Soloi 170-168. 49. Alliance Between Maroneia and Rome 167. 50. Eumenes II, Attalus II and the Gauls ca 156. 51. Will of Ptolemy the Younger 155. 52. Letter of Q. Fabius Maximus to Dyme 144/3. 53. Letter from Esthladas to his Parents 130. 54. Decree of Amnesty and Regulation 118. 55. Letter of King Antiochus to King Ptolemy 109. 56. Decree for Diophantos, Strategos of King Mithridates VI ca 107. 57. Chaeremon of Nysa, Mithridates and Rome 88 and following. 58. Correspondence of Platon 88. 59. Cn. Pompeius Magnus ca 67. 60. Report on Disturbance in the Country probably 58. 61. Disturbance in the Province of Asia probably 51/50. 62. An Egyptian View of Rabirius Postumus after 55 54. 63. Cleopatra s Golden Handcuffs for a Roman General 33. Part II: The Foreign Possessions of the Ptolemies:. 64. Ordinances about Registration 260. 65. Letters of Toubias 257. 66. Letter of Apollonios about Grain 261. 67. Memorandum to Zenon 258/7. 68. Affairs in Kalynda 248. 69. Visit of a Roman Senator 112. Part III: Life in Greek Cities:. 70. Mausolus and Cretan Knossos 350s. 71. Isopolity between Pergamon and Temnos early third century. 72. Praxikles' Loan to Arkesine late fourth/early third century. 73. The Delians Honour Philokles, King of Sidon ca 280. 75. Athens Honours Herakleides of Cyprian Salamis 325/4. 75. A Samian Grain Law second century. 76. Decree for Boulagoras of Samos ca 240. 77. Polythroos Provides for Education at Teos second century. 78. Decree and Gymnasiarchical Law of Beroia 200 170. 79. Ilion Honours Physician of Antiochus I 275 268/7. 80. Eumenes I and Pergamon ca 260 245. 81. The Thessalian League Sends Grain to Rome 129 (?). 82. Coinage Decree of the Delphic Amphictyons 150 100. Part IV: The Bureaucracy of Ptolemaic Egypt:. 83. Appointment of a Komogrammateus 119. 84. Oath of Office 246 222. 85. Letter of Marres to Menches ca 119 111. 86. Account of a Postal Station ca 255. 87. Announcement of a Government Auction ca 223. 88. Avoiding a Liturgy 257. 89. Letter to Zenon from Kaunians Seeking Help 257. 90. Letter to Zenon about Petitioner 249. 91. Zenon Petitions the King ca 246 240. 92. Petition about Assessment 254 253. 93. The Bureaucrats Open a Sluice-Gate 232. 94. Official Correspondence: Don t Move the Hives; Send Calves 226. 95. Declaration of House-property 210 183. 96. Letter about Collection of Taxes 228. 97. Letter about Protection of Tax-farmer 117. 98. A Komarch s Extortion Racket 151. 99. Receipt for Medical and Police Taxes 231. 100. Letter to Zenon about Wax 253. 101. Tax-Farmer's Petition for Relief 236. Part V: The Royal Economy of Egypt:. 102. Letter to Apollonios about Reminting Coins 258. 103. Instructions of the Dioiketes to an Oikonomos late third century. 104. Hard and Soft Stone for Irrigation Works 256. 105. Plans for Reclamation Work 259. 106. Correspondence about the Sowing Schedule 190. 107. Receipt for Seed Grain 261. 108. Flooding of a Field 218. 109. Loss of Water Supply 112/1. 110. Protection of the Crops 111. 111. Order for Delivery of Grain 265. 112. Receipt for Embarkation of Grain 252. 113. Lease of a Vineyard 170. 114. Revenue Laws of Ptolemy Philadelphos 259. 115. Assault on Oil Contractor 114. 116. Overcharging for Oil 217. 117. Regulating the Price of Myrrh 267. Part VI: The Military and Police of Ptolemaic Egypt:. 118. Reimbursement of Naval Expenses 257. 119. Letter of Apollonios about Wood for the Navy 250. 120. Pay for Elephant-hunters 223. 121. Complaint about Owner of Lodging 244/3. 122. Royal Ordinances ca 240. 123. The Allotment of the Orphan Son of a Military Man 142. Part VII: The Ptolemaic Legal and Judicial System:. 124. City Laws of Alexandria mid third century. 125. Regulations about Self-Identification in Contracts late third century. 126. Petition about Usury and Detention 245/4. 127. Letter from a Man in Jail mid third century. 128. Sent to Break Rocks for Representing a Woman Illegally 241/0 (?). 129. Contract for Sureties 264. 130. Decree about a Surety 237. 131. Report on an Investigation 114. 132. Trial of Hermias and the Choachytai 117. 133. Action before the Chrematistai 154 or 143. 134. Getting Help to Collect a Debt second century. 135. Problems with a Brewery 254. Part VIII: Social Relations and Private Life:. 136. Bilingualism third century. 137. Complaint by a non-Greek about Contemptuous Treatment ca 256 255. 138. Petition about an Assault 161. 139. Learning Egyptian second century. 140. Scalding in the Baths 221. 141. Ordinance about Slave Sales ca 198 197. 142. Procedural Laws about Slaves third century. 143. Sale of a Slave Girl 259. 144. Offer of Reward for Escaped Slaves 156. 145. Marriage Contract 311. 146. Request for a Guardian 218. 147. Will 284. 148. A Military Settler s Will 238/7. 149. A Greek Will in an Egyptian Milieu 123. 150. Preparations for a Festival ca 245. 151. A Dancer Hires a Flutist 231. 152. Ungrateful Daughter 221. Part IX. Religion:. A. Greek Sanctuaries and Cities. 153. Magnesia on-the-Maeander and Artemis Leukophryene after 208/7. 154. Royal Letters to Magnesia on-the-Maeander ca 205. 155. Epidamnos and Magnesia after 208/7. 156. Letter of Kings Theodoros and Amynander to Teos 205 201. 157. Accounts and Inventories of the Temple of Apollo on Delos 179. 158. Establishment of a Royal Cult of Laodike 193. 159. Antiochus III Appoints a Chief-Priest at Daphne 189. B. Cults in Ptolemaic Egypt. 160. Decree about the Dionysiac Artists ca 215 205. 161. Returning Home for the Festival 230 (?). 162. The Synodos of Zeus Hypsistos ca 69 58. 163. Release on the King's Birthday 254. 164. The Canopus Decree 238. 165. The Rosetta Stone 196. 166. Royal Letter Guaranteeing Temple Revenues 139. 167. Petition about Sacred Land ca 62 50. 168. Burial Preparations for Sacred Cow 257. 169. Sale of Priestly Rights 106. 170. Grave Robbers 127/6. 171 173. Ptolemaios the Katochos of the Serapeum at Memphis. 171. Petition about Paternal House 160. 172. Petition on behalf of his Brother 158/7. 173. Letter from Wife to Husband 168. 174. Transport of a Body first century. 175. Antisemites in Memphis early first century. Appendix: Ptolemaic Administration. Tables and Charts. I Ptolemaic Kings. II Seleucid Kings to 96 BC. III Antigonid Kings. IV Attalid Rulers. V Months. VI Currency. Glossary and Index of Greek Terms. Concordance: Inscriptions. Concordance: Papyri. Index of Persons, Places and Subjects

About the Author

Roger S. Bagnall is Professor of Classics and History at Columbia University. He has edited numerous papyri and ostraka and his previous publications include Reading Papyri, Writing Ancient History (1995), The Demography of Roman Egypt (1994) and Egypt in Late Antiquity (1993). Peter Derow is Hody Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Wadham College, Oxford and Lecturer in Ancient History in the University of Oxford. He has published on Hellenistic history and epigraphy and Roman republican history, and has a special interest in Polybius and dealings between Rome and the Greeks. He is co-editor with Robert Parker of Herodotus and his World: Essays from a Conference in Memory of George Forrest (2003).


"For any reader, this book will provide an illuminating, reliable and accessible resource. Its clarity of style, meticulous attention to detial, and sensitivity to current bibliography provide a model that should be emulated by other scholars contemplating the creation of their own is quite simply difficult to find fault with this book." Bryn Mawr Classical Review "This collection is a model of meticulous scholarship and excellent judgement. I read it with great pleasure and great respect." Dr John Ma, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford

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