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date: 27 November 2022

colonization, Hellenisticlocked

colonization, Hellenisticlocked

  • Pierre Briant


*Plutarch, in the eulogy of his hero *Alexander (3) the Great (De Alex. fort.), made the foundation of cities the linchpin of the achievement of Alexander, who wished to spread Greek civilization throughout his realm. Although we must be mindful of the predictable ideology which has structured Plutarch's argument, as well as distrustful of the number of cities attributed to the conqueror (70!), it is nevertheless true that Alexander's conquest opened the countries of the middle east to Greek immigration. The Greeks, however, could only imagine life in cities with Greek-style houses, streets, public buildings, civic institutions, and a rural territory where the colonists could hold plots of land (klēroi; see cleruchy). Begun by Alexander, usually as military colonies rather than cities proper (*Alexandria (1) in Egypt is an exception), this policy was followed by his successors and developed further by the *Seleucids.


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Near East

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