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The Image of the City in Hellenistic Babylonia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses aspects of the self-representation of the city and the urban elite in Hellenistic Babylonia. It focuses on the southern Babylonian city of Uruk, which is rather well documented both textually and archaeologically. The chapter addresses three main themes: the phenomenon of élite burials, the royal sponsorship of temples, and the use of writing. In examining the issue of the integration of the local élite within the imperial system in general and within Seleukid court society in particular, it is essential to consider in greater detail the question of the Macedonian-style burials located near to Uruk. The question of language use is central to any attempt to examine the interaction between the city and temple administration of Uruk on the one hand and the local representatives of the imperial government on the other.

Keywords: Babylonian temples; Hellenistic Babylonia; language use; Seleukid court society; traditional Urukean élite



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