The Dark Side of Alexander The Great  

When Alexander died in 323 in Babylon, his myth immediately spread throughout the known world. For centuries, the Macedonian king has fascinated rulers, leaders and-the everyday man. The rapidity of his conquests and his young age made him legendary. Many were inspired by him, and even today his personality continues to enchant. Ancient sources tell …

Hellenic vs. Hellenistic: a very big difference!

A few weeks ago, I came across this BBC article which was talking about how the art and architecture of the ancient Greeks is currently influencing many modern designs: from our interior to the jewelry we are wearing. More and more people are turning to the Greeks for help decorating their homes. While I fully …

Myth and Polis XI: Hellenistic kings and kinship myth

We have now reached the eleventh part of the series on the use of mythological kinship in Greek diplomatic interaction. Since most of the sources come from the epigraphic material of the Hellenistic period, we have already looked several times at how mythological kinship was used by cities in that period in their interactions with …

Hellenistic cities III: Hybrid Worship in Alexandria

This is third part of our series on Hellenistic cities where we explore some very famous poleis such as Alexandria or Pergamon as well as some that are a little more obscure like Megalopolis. Each post tells us more about the general history, population or specific aspects of these Greek cities. In today’s post Shiro …

Myth and polis VIII: Alexander’s use of myth during his campaigns

We have already reached the eighth part of this series. In the last two contributions, I have paid extensive attention to the figure of Alexander the Great and we have looked at which mythological ancestors the Macedonian king had and how this descent can still be seen in material sources. In this last part on …

Myth and Polis VII: Mythology and the depiction of Alexander the Great

When I visit one of the great archaeological museums of Europe, I always look for two things: how many busts of Alexander the Great are there, and which Greek coins are on display? So when I was at the Altes Museum in Berlin last week, I noticed that whenever Alexander the Great is represented in …

Hellenistic Cities I: the Settling of Alexandria

In this new series, we will be exploring the cities of the Hellenistic world. Each time we will explore a new city and discover a different aspect such as its history, social groups, political institutions or cultural festivals. This week we start with what is perhaps the most famous of the cities of the Hellenistic …

Myth and Polis VI: Alexander the Great

Whichever way you look at it, when you talk about the Hellenistic world, most people immediately think of Alexander the Great. And how could they not? His deeds have captured the imagination for millennia. Whether it is his extremely fast march to India or the ease with which he inspired loyalty in his soldiers and loved …

Hellenistic Women I: Apama, the first Queen of the Seleucid Empire

During a critical moment in the conquests of Alexander the Great, he issued a surprising order: Alexander announced to his men that there would be a grand wedding between the highest-ranking officers of the Macedonian army and the captured Persian noble women at the capital city of Susa, in 324 BCE. His successors and their …

An introduction to the Seleucids II: The (Re)birth of an Empire

This is the second part of the introduction into the seleucid empire, click here to read the first part. This time Guest blogger Nicolaas verhelst introduces us to the founder of the Seleucid dynasty, Seleucos I Nicator. Read on to learn more about the man, the myth and the legend as well the earliest and …