The Seleucid empire has long stood on the fringes of Classical scholarship. Following the conquest of the east by Alexander, the vast, multicultural construction lasted from 312–64 BCE, stretching from modern Turkey south to the Levantine coast and east into Afghanistan. Interdisciplinary by its very nature, Seleucid history straddles the boundaries of academic disciplines, languages, and methodologies, further fragmenting the study of an already fractured power. Recent holistic studies are rare, making the 2014 publication of Paul Kosmin’s comprehensive The Land of the Elephant Kings something of a groundbreaking study.
Blog: Dissertation Spotlight: The Shape of an Empire: Environments, Economies, and the Nature of the Seleucid State
By dmklokow | October 18, 2021
By Mali Skotheim | August 15, 2018
How do we reconstruct the color palette of antiquity? What role did plants and flora play in the creation of this polychromy world? In February 2017, I arrived in Greece for a four-month research stay, based at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Like many academics, I had experienced Greece only in the summer, and the image in my mind was one of bare, rocky, sun-scorched landscapes, punctuated primarily by olives and pines. In those first February days, I explored my local surroundings, walking up into the urban pine forest which is Mount Lykavittos, adjacent to the American School. I was stunned to find the Lykavittos blanketed in wildflowers, climbing over one another in a tangled rainbow of plant life. This immediately challenged my notions of the landscape, and of the color palette of Greece.