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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book titled Syrian Wars. Syria in the ancient world was that part of the western half of the Persian Empire which Alexander the Great had to fight hardest to conquer. Alexander's expedition through the country was in a sense the beginning of the Syrian wars, and the land was contested by his successors several times in the next two decades, in a preliminary series of tentative conflicts, before the real conflict began between the dynasties founded by Seleukos and Ptolemy, both of whom were in Alexander's forces during his Syrian conquest. These preliminaries are discussed in the Prologue of the book, before the origins of the Syrian Wars proper are examined. The wars are then considered in sequence. The Syrian wars are the essential bases from which the rest of Hellenistic history must be studied.

Keywords: Alexander; Persian Empire; Ptolemy; Seleukos; Syrian Wars



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