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date: 28 January 2023

Seleuceia (1) on Tigrislocked

Seleuceia (1) on Tigrislocked

  • Margaret Stephana Drower,
  • Susan Mary Sherwin-White
  •  and R. J. van der Spek

Extract

Seleuceia (1) on Tigris was founded by *Seleucus (1) I on the right bank of the *Tigris (below Baghdad), c.305(?) bce, as a new ‘royal city’. The great size and scale (550 ha.) by comparison with other Seleucid Greek city foundations, such as *Antioch (1) and *Seleuceia (2) in Pieria, needs stressing. The city became one of the most important royal residences and the capital and *satrapal residence of *Babylonia. It marked a development, visible in canal constructions from Euphrates to Tigris, of the growing importance of the Tigris region, exemplified by the later foundations of *Ctesiphon and Baghdad. The city dominated the terminus of the important Khorasan route up to *Ecbatana and *Media, and the river crossing. It had great strategic importance for communications west to Anatolia via Babylonia, Mesopotamia, and Syria and east to Iran. Apart from a core of Macedonian and Greek citizens the city was populated by Babylonians, Jews and Syrians. Though Babylonians moved to the city (Paus. 16.1.6; cuneiform tablets found) it is not true that it depleted the city of *Babylon.

Subjects

  • Ancient Geography
  • Greek Material Culture
  • Near East

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