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Hellenistic Imperialism and Hellenistic Frontiers

Hellenistic Imperialism and Hellenistic Frontiers

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Hellenistic Imperialism and Hellenistic Frontiers

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  1. Hellenistic Imperialism andHellenistic Frontiers

  2. Some Modern Notions of Imperialism • Metrocentric Paradigm • Pericentric Approach • Systemic Analysis

  3. Joseph Schumpeter on Dispositional ImperialismMetrocentric Paradigm Imperialism = “the objectless disposition on the part of a state to unlimited forcible expansion.”

  4. Schumpeter on the EgyptianNew Kingdom “This new social and political organization was essentially a war machine. It was motivated by warlike instincts and interests. Only in war could it find an outlet and maintain its domestic position. Without continual passages at arms it would necessarily have collapsed. Its external orientation was war, and war alone. Thus war became the normal condition, alone conducive to the well-being of the organs of the body social that now existed. To take the field was a matter of course, the reasons for doing so were of subordinate importance. Created by the wars that required it, the machine now created the wars it required. A will for broad conquest without tangible limits, for the capture of positions that were manifestly untenable—this was typical imperialism.”

  5. Michael Doyle on Pericentric Approach “The [pericentric] approach suggests that it is not in the metropoles but in the peripheries that the sources of imperialism can be discovered. The interaction of an international economy…and the social structure of collaboration or noncollaboration is the key to…[in the pericentric approach]…modern imperialism.”

  6. Michael Doyle on Systemic Analysis “Many contemporary social scientists find metrocentric, dispositional views unconvincing. The single most persuasive account of imperial control can be found, they believe, in the Realist, international-systemic explanation of empire—in the theory of international power politics. Disparities in power provide both opportunities and motives for the establishment of empires.”

  7. Eckstein and Champion on Systemic Analysis “One way to think about this “systemic” approach is that it employs the basic insights of sociology—the study of society (in this case the society of states) as a functioning system, in which the system is quite determinative of individual conduct, in that it strongly encourages some kinds of behavior (e.g., militarism) and discourages other kinds. By contrast, we may compare metrocentric and pericentric theories of imperialism to the study of individual psychology.”

  8. Hellenistic Powers and the Nature of their Control • Drive for Hegemony (Antigonus I) • Internecine Warfare on Large Scale among Hellenistic States (cf. Raphia in 217 BCE) • Minor Players (Pergamon, Rhodes, Achaean and Aetolian koina) • Enervation and Movement to International Anarchy (cf. slogan of freedom to the Greeks) • Variable Degrees of Stability in Frontier Regions

  9. Hellenistic Frontiers Diverse and Varied Realities

  10. Hellenistic Frontiers and Analytical Models (E.N. Luttwak) • Client States (Cyprus and Cyrene for Ptolemies) • Buffer States (Illyria for Antigonids) • Scientific Frontiers and Stable Perimeter Defense • “Defense-in-Depth” Systems (Porous Frontiers)

  11. The Galatian Attack of 280-279 BCE:Sylloge3 398: Decree of Cos (278 BCE) “After the barbarian expedition against the Greeks and the sanctuary at Delphi, it is reported that the aggressors of the sanctuary have been punished by the god (Apollo) and by the men who came to defend it during the barbarian incursion, that the sanctuary has been saved and adorned with the spoils from the enemy and that of the remaining aggressors the majority have perished in combat against the Greeks…the people shares in the joy of the Greeks over the victory and is repaying thank offerings to the god.”

  12. Protogenes of Olbia (Black Sea)Sylloge3 495 “When King Saitaphernes came to Cancytus and asked for the gifts due for his passage, and the public treasury was exhausted, [Protogenes] was called upon by the people and gave 400 gold pieces….When King Saitaphernes came along to the other side of the river to receive favors, and the magistrates called an assembly and reported on the presence of the king and the fact that the city’s revenues were exhausted, Protogenes came forward 900 gold pieces.”

  13. Euthydemus of Bactria toAntiochus III the great(Polybius 11.34) “[Euthydemus] had not himself revolted from the king, but had destroyed the descendants of others who had: that was how he had secured rule over Bactria….Should Antiochus refuse the request, there would be no security for either of them; large hordes of nomads were at hand who presented a threat to both of them, and the country would certainly be barbarized if they allowed them in.”

  14. Hellenistic Kings as the Patrons and Preservers of Hellenism

  15. Seleucus Ktistes (“Founder”)Appian, Syrian Wars, 57 “He founded cities through the whole length of his empire; there were sixteen called Antioch after his father, five Laodicea after his mother, nine named Seleucia after himself, four called after his wives, three Apamea and one Stratonicea….others he called after places in Greece or Macedon, or after his own achievements, or in honor of Alexander the king. That is why there are in Syria and among the barbarians many Greek and Macedonian place names…among the Indians Alexandropolis, and among the Scythians Alexandreschate.”

  16. Tenuous Control and Breakaway Kingdoms (ca. 250 BCE)Strabo, Geography, 11.9 “When the peoples beyond the Taurus revolted as the kings of Syria and Media…were fighting each other, Bactria and all the territory near it was the first to be made independent…Then Arsaces, a Scythian…invaded Parthia and established control over it.”

  17. Distant Cities and the penetration of Hellenism: Ai-Khanoum in Bactria (Central Asia) “These wise sayings of men of earlier times, words of famous men, are consecrated at sacred Delphi, from there Clearchus copied them carefully, to set them up, in the precinct of Cineas.” Austin #192