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Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire
— —
Paul Kosmin
Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire by Paul Kosmin at Abbey's Bookshop,

Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire

Paul Kosmin


9780674976931

Belknap Press


History;
Middle Eastern history;
Classical history & classical civilisation;
History of religion;
Time (chronology), time systems & standards


Hardback

392 pages

$104.01
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In this eye-opening book, Paul J. Kosmin explains how the Seleucid Empire's invention of a new kind of time - and the rebellions against this worldview-transformed the way we organize our thoughts about the past, present, and future.

In the aftermath of Alexander the Great's conquests, the Seleucid kings ruled a vast territory stretching from Central Asia to Anatolia, Armenia to the Persian Gulf. In a radical move to impose unity and regulate behavior, this Graeco-Macedonian imperial power introduced a linear and transcendent conception of time. Under Seleucid rule, time no longer restarted with each new monarch. Instead, progressively numbered years, identical to the system we use today - continuous, irreversible, accumulating - became the de facto measure of historical duration. This new temporality, propagated throughout the empire, changed how people did business, recorded events, and oriented themselves to the larger world. Challenging this order, however, were rebellious subjects who resurrected their pre-Hellenistic pasts and created apocalyptic time frames that predicted the total end of history. The interaction of these complex and competing temporalities, Kosmin argues, led to far-reaching religious, intellectual, and political developments.

Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire opens a new window onto empire, resistance, and the meaning of history in the ancient world.

By:   Paul Kosmin
Imprint:   Belknap Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780674976931
ISBN 10:   0674976932
Pages:   392
Publication Date:   January 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Paul J. Kosmin is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is coeditor of Spear-Won Land: Sardis from the King's Peace to the Peace of Apamea. Kosmin has been a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellow and a PAW Fellow at Princeton University, as well as an Oliver Smithies Lecturer at Oxford University.


Kosmin's richly-textured book brings home the dramatic newness and deep reach of Seleucid temporal symbolism and demonstrates the close interweaving of spatial and temporal imaginations. This bold, interdisciplinary analysis of indigenous responses to the Seleucid 'time regime' provides tools that will facilitate dialogue and collaboration across fields of classical, biblical, and ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean studies.--Anathea Portier-Young, author of Apocalypse against Empire Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire demonstrates not only what can be done with often obscure and difficult sources in several ancient languages, but also what needs to be done if we are to make real progress in our understanding of the Hellenistic world. What we have here is not just another study of the Seleucid Empire but a new model for how to study the history of the ancient world in our global present.--Johannes Haubold, author of Greece and Mesopotamia In 305 BCE, Seleucus I, Alexander's successor as the ruler of a multiethnic and multilingual empire in Asia, introduced a new era. The new dating system was intended to make the king master of time. It ultimately transformed the historical consciousness of the empire's populations, triggered the nostalgic desire to keep the memory of a pre-Seleucid past, and shaped expectations of the future. With erudition, theoretical sophistication, and meticulous discussion of the sources, Paul Kosmin sheds new light on the meaning of time, memory, and identity in a multicultural setting.--Angelos Chaniotis, author of Age of Conquests

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