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Cold War

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Chapter Summary

Diplomatic manoeuvrings in the years after the battle of Ipsos succeeded in preventing any real fighting between the kings. The incipient hostility between Seleukos and Ptolemy over Syria was overshadowed by the continuing threat to both posed by Demetrios' sea power. Since the fall of Antigonos in 301, Seleukos and Ptolemy had never fought each other. Seleukos had proclaimed that he would not do so, and that Ptolemy was his friend, but the behaviour of both men suggests that a war would have happened had they seen a clear advantage in it. This condition of suppressed hostility, combined with their deliberate and extensive efforts to develop their military resources, is best characterized as a Cold War. The overall purpose of all their preparations was to develop sufficient strength either to attack the enemy, in Seleukos' case, or to defend his gains, in Ptolemy's. But the prize was always Syria.

Keywords: Cold War; Demetrios; Ptolemy II; Seleukos; Syria



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