The Seleukids, the easternmost of the Greekspeaking
dynasties which succeeded Alexander the Great, were long portrayed
by historians as inherently weak and doomed to decline after the
passing of their remarkable first king, Seleukos (died 281 BC). And
yet they succeeded in ruling much of the Near and Middle East for
over two centuries, overcoming problems of a multi-ethnic empire.
In this book an international team of scholars argues that in
the decades after Seleukos the empire developed flexible structures
successfully bound it together in the face of a series of catastrophes.
The strength of the Seleukid realm lay not simply in its vast
swathes of territory, but more in knowing how to tie the new, frequently
non-Greek, nobility to the king through mutual recognition of sovereignty.