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Babylonian, Macedonian, King of the World: The Antiochos Cylinder from Borsippa and Seleukid Imperial Integration

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Chapter Summary

Babylonia was a core region of the Seleukid Empire for almost 175 years. This chapter describes the Antiochos Cylinder as a point of departure to investigate the entanglement of the global and the local in an imperial context, viz., the Seleukid Empire. It explores the hypothesis that the contact zone where the encounters between city and empire in the Seleukid Middle East took place was, apart from the court, the religious sphere, particularly local sanctuaries and local cults. The text of the Antiochos Cylinder describes the simultaneous rebuilding by the Seleukid ruler Antiochos I Soter of the temple named Ezida at Borsippa and the important Marduk temple Esagila in the heart of Babylon itself. Scholars have mostly considered the Antiochos Cylinder the foremost example of how king Antiochos, and the Seleukids in general, respected local traditions and carefully embedded their kingship in indigenous, viz., Babylonian culture.

Keywords: Antiochos Cylinder; Babylonian culture; Seleukid Empire



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