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Ogis 1 266: Kings And Contracts In The Hellenistic World

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Chapter Summary

In his fourteenth Idyll, Theokritos praised Ptolemy II Philadelphos of Egypt as the best paymaster for a free man, in the words of a friend advising a lovesick companion seeking a life elsewhere. The inscription OGIS 1.266 outlines the relationship between Eumenes I and his soldiers from the garrisons at Philetereia-under-Ida and Attaleia, and it is unique. Eumenes ruled from 263-241BCE. The date of the inscription OGIS 1.266 is not concrete even though the document dates itself internally. The Hellenistic world, like the world before the rise of the Greek poleis, was one in which individuals dominated social and political activity, rather than communities. Kings and autocrats determined social, economic and political advantage. The Persian kings, Egyptian pharaohs and the tyrants of the Sicilian cities had long been a source of lucrative gain and employment for ambitious Greeks.

Keywords: Egyptian pharaohs; Eumenes; Greek poleis; Hellenistic World; Ogis; Persian kings; Ptolemy Philadelphos; Theokritos



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