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The Latest on Seleucid Empire Building in the East.

The Hellenistic Near East has long been studied from the perspective of Classical scholars interested in anything Greek in the Near East and who have consequently focused on Asia Minor and Greek cities. In the last few decades, however, interest in non-Greek perspectives has grown. In large part this has been due to the efforts of scholars working on the growing corpus of cuneiform texts from Babylonia, whose findings are now gradually entering the publications of Classical historians and archaeologists. Nowadays, therefore, Babylonia plays its due role in scholarship on the Hellenistic Near East.

The regions further east are still understudied, despite the publications of, among others, Briant, Holt, Kuhrt, Potts, and Sherwin-White. One of the reasons for this is that for Iran there is no corpus of texts comparable to that which we have from Babylonia. For that vast region we are still dependent on the Classical literary sources, a few Greek inscriptions, coins, and archaeology. Recently, however, a new corpus of Aramaic texts has been published (Naveh and Shaked 2012). It is thus a good thing that Sonja Plischke has dedicated a volume to the Seleucids and Iran.

Plischke's focus is on the political structures of the Seleucid empire in the east and the question of whether they were the result of a long-term Seleucid conception of rule over a multicultural state (p. 5). As she is well aware of the lacunose state of the evidence, she includes adjacent Mesopotamia in her research (p. 6); indeed, she dedicates several chapters to Babylonia, but this is only intended as a comparandum and is not the focus of the book (p. 6). Her research is based on evidence from and referring to Iran, with parallels from Asia Minor and Babylonia adduced only when this evidence is inconclusive (p. 35).

One of her first conclusions is, however, that regional conditions differ greatly, so that it is difficult to draw general conclusions about a Seleucid conception of rule (Herrschaftskonzeption). "Vielmehr fuhrt die Suche nach einer einheitlichen, systematischen Herrschaft als Grundlage der seleukidischen Ostpolitik zu keinem Ergebnis; stattdessen bestechen die heterogenen, vielseitigen und grundsatzlich eigentumliche Strukturen in den ostlichen Satrapien" (p. 315). Babylonia and the Eastern satrapies were fundamentally different from each other and developed separately: "Vielmehr waren Babylonien und die 'Oberen Satrapien' unterschiedlichen Einflussen ausgesetzt und beschritten eine in Teilen voneinander getrennte Entwicklung" (p. 325). This, of course, diminishes the value of a comparative approach, although--as must be admitted--a negative result is still a result. Moreover, amid all the differences, some general rules may be determined, such as: profound changes in the satrapal system under Antiochus III (p. 316) (which may. however, be doubted; cf. remarks below on p. 280); a considerate attitude towards local customs and religion (which, however, is not a specifically Seleucid policy, but a policy generally adopted by imperial rulers in the ancient world [cf. Van der Spek 2014c]), connected with an empire-wide state cult for the king and his wife under Antiochus III (pp. 316-18, 323-24); the legitimation of rule as "spear-won territory" and hence the legitimation of profits taken from that territory (pp. 318-20); a general monetary policy, with local adaptations (p. 320); the policy of founding new cities (p. 321); and the general wish to connect the different parts of the empire, supported by a personal conception of Seleucid kingship (p. 322).

In this respect it is worthwhile to adduce the new book by Paul Kosmin on space, territory, and ideology in the Seleucid Empire (Kosmin 2014a). Plischke stresses the fact that the Seleucid empire did not have a definite core and consequently hardly had a periphery. Rather, it was based on the executive organs of king, administration, army, and cities (p. 322). With no geographical core, the empire required different centers. If one were nonetheless to look for a center, the core areas of Syria, Mesopotamia, and western Iran might be considered as such (p. 322). I fear, however, that the focus of the Seleucid kings, despite the anabasis of Antiochus III, gradually shifted to the west, as is nicely demonstrated by Kosmin (2014a: 145-46, maps 5 and 6). This is one of the reasons, I would argue, that the Seleucids were ultimately unable to keep control over the east and were driven back by the Parthians.

Plischke's book is a valuable attempt to do justice to the importance of Iran for the Seleucid empire, taking into account the fact that this empire was the major heir to that of the Achaemenids. In my view, the reason that the Achaemenids were more successful in maintaining control of the east is that they had their core there (Persis) and divided their energy more equally over its territories.

The conclusions of Plischke's book, however, are not very spectacular, and unfortunately I noticed many errors, especially in the sections regarding Babylonia. It is clear that Plischke is no expert in this field, as she herself admits. This is especially evident in the discussion of the sources and their editions, where she has missed a large number of publications which have appeared since around 2000. In some cases she does not know to what kind of document she is referring, and she quotes them in some places by their museum number and in others by a published edition.

For example, the Babylonian chronicles from the Hellenistic period are sometimes quoted from Grayson's edition (ABC), although improved editions by Irving Finkel and myself are available online (BCHP = Babylonian Chronicles of the Hellenistic Period (Finkel-Van der Spek in preparation), which appears in the list of abbreviations [p. xi], but not in the list of epigraphic sources [p. 341], nor in the bibliography [pp. 244-383]). The Astronomical diary concerning the year 274-273 BC (-273) is referred to (p. 27 n. 45 and p. 199 n. 183) by the museum number of one of its pieces (BM 92689), although the document has been published by Hermann Hunger as AD 1 -273B, museum numbers BM 36710+92688+92689, which is mentioned by Plischke on pp. 43, 81, and 202. She also refers elsewhere to the same passage (p. 38 n. 123, p. 77 n. 443, and p. 230 n. 396), where she erroneously cites it as AD 1 -273A (also in index p. 397). On p. 131 she refers to the number 273 only. For a somewhat improved translation of this diary, consult Van der Spek 1993a: 97 and 1993b: 67-68.

Some important cuneiform sources are misidentified or overlooked. BCHP 16 ([mis]quoted on p. 82 n. 473, p. 132 n. 919, p. 222 n. 355) is not the edition of the Lehmann text in New York (although it is related to this document), but a chronographic document in the British Museum. Important chronicles, such as BCHP 11 concerning Ptolemy Ill's invasion of Babylon and BCHP 13 and 14 concerning the Greek community in Babylon are not mentioned at all.

I hope it will be useful to present the list of errors I came across, and to add some new publications.

Passim: For an overview of the cuneiform sources on the Seleucids, see Van der Spek 2010.

P. 15: Bessos was not executed in Ecbatana, but in Bactra (Arrian, Anabasis, III 30.5).

P. 18: Perdiccas was probably not the last champion of the unity of the empire. Universal rule remained an issue for the successors (Strootman 2014; Meeus 2014).

Pp. 19, 21: The Babylonian Kinglist (BM 35603) does not date to Antigonus as "Strategos and Satrap," but only as strategos (of Asia, not Babylonia). Plischke's error is based on the erroneous reading by Erhard Grzybek (1992: 192). She is apparently unaware of the reading by A. K. Grayson (1980). The BKL states that "for [n] years there was no king in the land. Antigonus, the general, ruled the country (KUR u-ma-'-ir)" (BKL 3-4). Alexander IV is given six years, apparently the first six years of the Seleucid era (BKL 5). My revised edition of the BKL is available at http://www.livius.0rg/k/kinglist/babyl0nian_hellenistic.html. See also Boiy 2007: 74-89; Van der Spek 2014a.

P. 20: "Babylonischen Keilschrifttexten" refers to the so-called Chronicle of the Diadochi. Plischke cites Grayson's edition (ABC 10), but a completely new edition with commentary is available as BCHP 3, at

P. 30: Although Antiochus had an Iranian mother, we have no evidence that he knew any local languages.

P. 43: The kinistu was a temple board with a limited number of members. In one case it was twelve, but that only refers to the members present on one particular occasion.

P. 43 n. 172: Plischke follows Boiy's proposal that the Greek title epistates is to be distinguished from the Babylonian title pahatu (Boiy 2004: 204-6; cf. now also Boiy 2010, where he is more hesitant; note that other authors mentioned in this note convey a different opinion). Boiy is right that there is no clear evidence of the equation pahatu = epistates. However, as Boiy himself points out, the pahatu was one of the citizens (pulite - politai), appointed by the king, and was always connected with them, for example in royal letters addressed to the pahatu and the citizens. It is therefore very likely that the pahatu was the epistates. We know, for instance, that in the cities of Laodicea ad Mare and Seleucia ad Mare proposals were made in the assembly by the epistates and the magistrates (archontes) (Seleucia: IGLS III 2.1183 = RC 45A: 1 = Austin 2006, no. 206; Laodicea: IGLS IV.1261: 1 = Austin 2006: no. 210), so here again a close link exists between the citizens of the assembly and the epistates. Note that epistates has a number of meanings, such as "governor," but one of them is president of the assembly. The pahatu was apparently president of the assembly.

Note that Babylonian Chronicle ABC 13 (= BCHP 10) does not refer to Seleucia on the Tigris, but to Seleucia on the Euphrates. For evidence for this elusive city at the confluence of the Euphrates and the Royal Canal, see the commentary at BCHP 10: 5'--6'. Seleucia on the Euphrates was probably located at the site of or in the vicinity of earlier Sippar.

P. 43 n. 173: I have never suggested that the paqdu was the equivalent of the epistates.

P. 43: pahatu sa bit Babili is an error for pahatu sa bit sarri Babili, "governor of the royal treasury (bit sarri) of Babylon" (note, however, that Bit Sarri Babili is also the name of a village or perhaps the area of the royal "summer" palace at Babylon, now Babil). For a full edition of the relevant text (the Bellino Tablet) see Van der Spek 1995: 238-41. Recently Francis Joannes and Michael Jursa have proposed important improvements, among which is the reading of this term. These are now discussed at length in my commentary on my earlier edition at

Pp. 45, 223 n. 360: Evidence for Iranian names has been conveniently collected by Matthew Stolper (2006). Antiochos II did not have a son Apames, but a daughter Apame. This error is due to one of the very few misreadings in Hermann Hunger's edition of the astronomical diaries (AD 1 no. -245A: 11-13), where Hunger added a masculine determinative before the name A-pa-am-mu, instead of a feminine. See already the correct translation in Van der Spek 2006: 299. This diary has been given a new and improved edition as appendix at BCHP 11:

P. 50: Read Kephalon instead of Kephalos.

P. 79 n. 456: Plischke treats Mesopotamian cities as "temple states," quoting among others Sherwin-White and Kuhrt 1993: 45-60--where, however, we read that "the temple-state hypothesis is now found to be an oversimplified and unhelpful reconstruction of Mesopotamian economy and society, inapplicable also to Babylonian towns in the Hellenistic period" (p. 60). It is not the case that there were independent temple cities which lost their independence in the first millennium BC (p. 79). However, it is true for the Hellenistic period that apart from the royal commissioner (epistates/pahatu/saknu), the temple authorities more or less constituted the local government, which was the body to which the kings addressed their letters. In the later Hellenistic and Parthian periods, the prime position shifted towards the pahatu and the politai, i.e., the assembly of citizens with registered citizen rights (Van der Spek 1987 and 2001; Sciandra 2011 and 2012).

Pp. 81-82 nn. 472-73, 132 n. 911, 222 n. 355: New information has become available on the land grants by Antiochus I and II thanks to the full publication of the so-called "Lehmann Text" (MMA 86.11.299; CTMMA IV 148), a judicial document dated to 236 BC regarding a land grant by Antiochus II to his wife Laodice and his sons Seleucus (II) and Antiochus (Hierax) (Van der Spek and Wallenfels 2014). In n. 473 Plischke incorrectly adds that the document has also been published as BCHP 16 (see my remarks above).

P. 100: The three inscriptions concerning the cult for Laodice, wife of Antiochus III, are also edited and discussed by John Ma (1999: 354-56).

P. 131: It should be noted that an agora is attested only in a literary source (Diodorus XXXXIV/XXXXV 21). There is no certain archaeological evidence, so we do not know if it was built "nach griechischem Vorbild." Babylon was inhabited until at least the first century AD (not "1. Jhd. v. Chr."), and probably until much later.

P. 132 n. 914: For an improved edition of the diary concerning Antiochus IV, Egypt, and the pompe in Babylon, see now Van der Spek 2005. text 1. See also the commentary on BCHP 13. Note that BCHP 13 and 14 are very important chronicles referring to politai, which are not mentioned in this book. They are discussed in Van der Spek 2005.

Pp. 132 n. 917, 165 n. 1166: For new editions of the Antiochus Cylinder with improved readings, see Stevens 2014 and Stol and Van der Spek (online at, see under BCHP).

P. 133 n. 925: Nippur was an important religious center in the third millennium (containing the Ekur, the main sanctuary for the god Enlil). From cuneiform tablets it appears that the prebendary system of Ekur was still functioning as late as Demetrius I (documents in Van der Spek 1992). In the Achaemenid period, however, Nippur was economically a backwater, pace Heller 2010: 29. Heller seeks to support his view of a "hohe Bedeutung" of Nippur by referring to Kleber 2008: 152, who, however, concludes that Nippur in the Achaemenid period was "wirtschaftlich kaum von Bedeutung." Kleber's view is to a great extent in line with the research done by Michael Jursa and his research group in Vienna (Jursa et al. 2010: 405-17). Plischke quotes Heller as her guide in many instances, which is not without risk in view of Reinhard Pirngruber's review (2014).

P. 135, "Uruk," "romisch Orchoi": The Greek name of Uruk was probably Orcha, not Orchoi (the nominative is not attested), like many other indigenous geographical names ending in neuter plural -a, such as Borsippa, Susa, Ekbatana, Dura, Arbela, etc. We may see it in the modern name for Uruk: Warka (see Van der Spek 1987: 73). It is certainly not "romisch," but Greek. The neuter plural ending -a in many Greek place names in the Near East may be explained by the Aramaic postpositive definite particle -a (written alef or he), indicating "status determinatus" or "status emphaticus" (suggestion by Theo Krispijn and Margaretha Folmer). In Aramaic the name will have sounded like Urcha or Orcha (written Akkadian does not distinguish between -u- and -o-; in Greek Akkadian -u- is often rendered as -o-; see, e.g., Nabokodrosoros or Nabouchodonosor for Nabu-kudurri-usur [Nebuchadnezzar]).

P. 137: For the cohabitation of Greek and indigenous population groups in Greek cities, see esp. Van der Spek 1987, 2005, and 2009.

P. 139 n. 973: The Babylonian shekel was not a coin, but a weight measurement of c. 8.33 gr of silver. Coinage in Babylonia effectively dates only from the reign of Alexander the Great.

P. 142: For Dionysios read Dionysos.

Pp. 151-55, 168-71: I do not see how the iconography of coins struck in Babylon and Seleucia would appeal to Babylonian tastes. The iconography is very Greek; no Babylonian gods are depicted, no Babylonian motifs are visible. If there is a non-Greek god depicted, it is Ba'al Tarz, the god of Tarsus, the home city of the governor Mazaeus (pace n. 1194). This seems to be part of the idea that all things oriental are more or less interchangeable.

Pp. 159-60: An interesting new text concerning "regular offerings for the statue of Darius" from the first year of Xerxes has been published by Waerzeggers (2014). It sheds some new light on a sort of divine status held by Persian kings, or at least by their statues.

Pp. 173 n. 1, 175 n. 13, 181 n. 50: Here we find the old, but incorrect theory that Seleucus had already accepted the title of king in Babylon by 311 BC. Plischke does not argue on the basis of the sources, but simply follows older interpretations and relies on her own common sense. This theory is based on a few passages in Greek authors. The first is Plutarch, Life of Demetrius, 18. 2, who states that, after Antigonus and Demetrius were hailed as kings following the battle of Salamis (in 306 BC) and Lysimachus had started to wear a diadem, Seleucus did so too in his interviews with the Greeks, and that he had dealt with the barbarians as king before this ([phrase omitted]). "Royal" honors are recorded for other successors before 306 as well, however. In Diodorus XIX 48.1 we read that Antigonus had received "royal honor" (time basilike) from the indigenous people when he arrived in Persis (316 BC); Seleucus honored Antigonus with royal gifts ([phrase omitted]) when he entered Babylon in 316; the Athenians too hailed Antigonus as king before 306/5 BC, viz. in 307 BC (Plutarch, Demetrius, 10.3). All this concerns the behavior of the kings and the giving of honors by their subjects, rather than political status. The very abundant cuneiform evidence, on the other hand, demonstrates unequivocally that it was Alexander IV who was considered king until 306/5. Nor did Antigonus ever use the title king in cuneiform documents; he was referred to as "general (of the lands)" = "strategos of Asia." See my remarks above on p. 19. For details see Boiy 2007 and Van der Spek 2014a.

P. 175 n. 12: "Eine babylonische Konigsinschrift" is in fact not a royal inscription, but a scholarly chronographic text, the well-known Babylonian Kinglist (BKL) of the Hellenistic period, discussed above (Pilsche, p. 19).

Pp. 195 n. 149: LBAT 1218 (BM 32286) is not an astronomical diary, but a goal year text. Cf. Boiy 2007: 29.

P. 195 n. 153: ABC 11 has now been republished as BCHP 5 with new fragments containing new information on its date. See the commentary.

P. 197 n. 157: Note that the Babylonian chronicles BCHP 5-9 deal with the period in which Antiochus I was crown prince.

P. 198 n. 174: For the expeditions of Patrocles, see now Kosmin 2014a: 67-76.

P. 199 n. 183: Here Plischke discusses the danger posed by nomads in Bactria, Sogdia, and Margiane in the early Seleucid period. The founding of cities and stationing of elephants were supposedly means to combat this danger. One of the sources is the Astronomical diary for the year 273 BC (AD 1 -273B: 29'-33'), where it is reported that the satrap of Bactria had sent twenty elephants to the satrap of Babylonia, to be forwarded to Syria to the king (Antiochus I). This means that by that time the threat of nomads in Bactria was apparently no longer considered very important.

Pp. 201-4: For new editions of the cylinder of Antiochus I from Borsippa with extensive commentaries see now Stevens 2014 and Stol and Van der Spek online. Consult also the new studies by Erickson 2011, Kosmin 2014b, and Strootman 2013. They all point--in different ways!--to the fact that the cylinder is not merely a royal inscription in Babylonian style, but betrays a new ideological stance.

P. 202 n. 201: Cf. my remarks above on pp. 81-82.

P. 202 n. 207: The Babylonians probably did not go to Seleucia ad Tigrim on March 26, 273 BC of their own free will ("aus freien Stucken"), but under the orders of officers who had arrived in Seleucia from Sardis three days before. Cf. Van der Spek 1993a: 97-99.

Pp. 218 n. 326, 237 n. 446: Astronomical diary AD 2 -229B obv. 9'-10' (SE 82) probably does not refer to the presence of Seleucus II and his sons in Babylon in January 229 BC. The text is badly broken, but includes references to rituals of the gods, offerings, lamentation priests, and the presence of the chief general of Babylonia. I therefore suggest that mention is here made of offerings presented by this general "at the command of the king (ina INIM [LUGAL [ina INIM is to be read instead of Hunger's ina UGU])... for the ritual (or for the life) of Sel]eucus, the king and his sons on the left side of the Euphrates...]." The same expression is used in the Babylonian Chronicle ABC 13b = BCHP 12: 7'-8' of six years later (SE 88). In that chronicle mention is also made of lamentation priests (1. 9') and that offerings were presented "for the ritual (dullu) of king Seleucus and his sons" "at the command of the king" (ina INIM LUGAL, 1. 4'), who was absent. This diary now presents additional evidence that the ritual for "Seleucus, the king, and his sons" mentioned in BCHP 12 indeed refers to a ritual for Seleucus II, and not for Seleucus III, who just had ascended the throne.

P. 225 n. 369: It is not true that there is no Babylonian document referring to the invasion of Asia by Ptolemy III in the winter of 246/5 BC. The Babylonian chronicle BCHP 11 is dedicated to this incident and mentions severe street fighting in Babylon and offerings of the Egyptian king being made in Esagila in a Greek fashion.

P. 226: The date of the death of Stratonice, second wife of Seleucus I, is now known thanks to an astronomical diary. It took place in September/October 254 BC (AD 1 -253 B, 6). The assumption that her death must have occurred before 266 is therefore now obsolete. See Van der Spek 1993b: 71.

Pp. 228 n. 389, 237: The assumption that the "War of the Brothers" between Seleucus II and his brother Antiochus Hierax took place before 236 BC is based on an incorrect interpretation of the Lehmann Text (MMA 86.11.229; now CTMMA IV 148). See Boiy 2004: 151. It need not be the case that the brothers were reconciled, as the document, dated to 236 BC, refers to a donation to Laodice and both her sons in the time of Antiochus II.

Pp. 243 nn. 479-83, 251, 257: According to Babylonian sources Antiochus III ascended the throne in 222 BC (not 223 as is commonly assumed). According to the Babylonian King-list, the accession year of Antiochus III was SE 90 (222/1 BC) and the month was probably late Nisan or early Ayaru (spring 222). Month I of year SE 90 is still dated to Seleucus III (BM 116690, Coro 2005: 442, a prebend text from Uruk, dated to Nisan 90 = 9 April to 7 May 222 BC). On c. 22 Ayaru 90 = c. 29 May 222, Antiochus III was recognized as king in Babylon, as may be adduced from a goal year text published by Hermann Hunger (2006, Goal Year Text No. 41 [BM 45661+]). The next document from the reign of Antiochus III is BM 30120, a prebend lease from Uruk dated to 21 IX 90 SE = 21 December 222 BC (Oppert no. 4). For a full discussion see Assar 2007.

Antiochus' presence in Babylon at the time of Seleucus Ill's death may also be inferred from BCHP 12: 11'-15' (pace Boiy 2004: 154). See Van der Spek 2010: [section]3.7. Thus the revolt of Molon did take place immediately after Antiochus' accession and not a year later; this is indeed what Polybius V 40.7 suggests. For the coins of Molon, see now Houghton and Lorber 2002: 343-45. Despite the fact that Polybius V 48. 13 claims that Molon had become master (kyrios) of Babylonia and the area bordering on the Red Sea, the cuneiform evidence contradicts this. Molon's name is never mentioned and Antiochus is acknowledged as king in Seleucid year 90 (astronomical diary from Babylon, AD 2 no. -221, r. 13 and right edge, diary of year SE 90, months IX - XII? = 1 December 222-27 March 221; prebend lease from Uruk, 21 December 222; see above), year 91 (Van der Spek 1995: 227-34, no. 7, a lease contract from Uruk, dated to SE 91, month III = May/June 221 BC; TCL XIII 241 = Rutten 1935, no. V; sale of a house in Uruk, SE 91, 7 IV = 1 July 221 BC), and year 92 (Weisberg 1991, no. 45, a division of a house and house plot in Uruk, SE 92, 3 IV = 16 July 220 BC). Nor does the Babylonian Kinglist know a king Molon. It might well be the case, therefore, that Molon never conquered the Babylonian cities and that his authority did not stretch much further than Seleucia on the Tigris and the regions east of the Tigris.

Pp. 280, 316: The often quoted opinion of Bengtson (1944: 146) that under Antiochus III the office of satrap was replaced by that of strategos is contradicted by the contemporary sources from Babylon. The Astronomical diary AD 3 -158B, r17, r22 reports that the satrap of Babylonia ([.sup.[l]u]mu-ma-'i-ir KUR []) visited Babylon from Seleucia from 6 to 19 Abu 153 SE = 3 - 16 August 159 BC, during the reign of Demetrius I. Besides the satrap, a "general of Akkad" was still active (see among other attestations p. 286 n. 829 and cf. the general Ardaya [p. 290]). Both offices are mentioned passim in the Parthian period. A double regime of satrap and general is attested throughout in the Babylonian texts.

P. 290: Note that between the first attack of the Elamites on Babylonia in 145 BC under Kamnaskires I and the second in December 141 BC a change of regime had taken place in Babylonia, in April-July 141 BC (Van der Spek 1997/8: 171). A new general of Babylonia was appointed: Ardaya was replaced by a certain Antiochos, son of Ar'abuzana. For the chronology of the Elamite kings, consult Assar 2004/5 and Van't Haaff 2007.

P. 292: Plischke assumes that it is part of Greek tradition that the king has the "Oberhoheit" over temple property and that taking money from the temple treasury is not sacrilegious. This hardly fits with the evidence. First of all, according to Greek political thought, in an ideal society there should be no king at all. What Plischke means, I assume, is that in Greek city states the assembly, or the council and the assembly, made decisions in matters regarding the temple. Nevertheless, at the same time the gods were considered the owners of temple property, especially land, and Greek authors such as Diodorus and Polybius considered taking money from the temple treasury to be sacrilegious. It was and remained an emergency measure. See Van der Spek 1995: 194.

Pp. 298-312: Much controversy has surrounded the dates of the so-called frataraka coins from Persis, some of them overstrikes of coins of Seleucus I and Antiochus I. Plischke advocates a dating of the coins that postdates the middle of the second century BC. In her view, the frataraka were dependent rulers under Antiochus III, but later became independent. This view, however, ignores the relationship with the coins of Seleucus I and Antiochus I, as noted by Hoover (2008: 213-15). A longer period of dependence ending in an independent status for the frataraka in the late Seleucid and Parthian periods was suggested by Engels 2013. For discussion see Eckhardt 2015.

P. 314: The colophon of the literary text SBH 25 (a section of a hymn from Babylon) is no confirmation of Justin's statement (XXXVIII 10.6) that Antiochus VII took the title of Megas (Latin: Magnus). The document is dated to 22 Ayaru 183 SE = 20 May 129 BC, []Anti-'-uk-su [ES.sup.5.]MAN, "Antiochus King." [ES.sup.5.]MAN (or ISSEBU) is a scholarly logographic writing for sarru, "king"; see Borger 1978, no. 593, 8-9 and 2003, no. 837. Plischke quotes Boiy 2004: 172, but Boiy says only that the text has "Antiochus as royal name." See also Oelsner 1986: 276.


ABC = Grayson 1975.

AD 1, 2, 3 = Sachs and Hunger 1988, 1989, 1996.

BCHP = Finkel and Van der Spek in preparation.

CTMMA = Cuneiform Texts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

IGLS = Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie.

MMA = Metropolitan Museum of Art.

RC = Welles 1934.

SBH = Reissner 1896.


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Review article of Die Seleukiden und Iran. By SONJA PLISCHKE. Classica et Orientalia, vol. 9. Wiesbaden: HARRASSOWITZ VERLAG, 2014. Pp. xvii + 408, illus. [euro]78. I thank Kathryn Stevens for her critical remarks and her diligent review of my English. For the opinions expressed and remaining errors I bear the sole responsibility.

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Author:Van der Spek, R.J.
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Apr 1, 2018
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