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p. 403. Demetrius the Besieger and Hellenistic kingshiplocked

  • Peter Thonemann


Kingship in the early Hellenistic world was primarily a matter of power and war was at the heart of Hellenistic kingship. ‘Demetrius the Besieger and Hellenistic kingship’ begins with the mission of Demetrius, son of Antigonus, in 307 bc to ‘liberate’ the cities of Greece from the Macedonian dynast Cassander, Antigonus’ chief rival for control of the Aegean. It describes the outstanding charisma, dazzling military success, and colossal personal wealth of Demetrius, who was treated as both king and god by his subjects. Each king wielded absolute power in his own domain, but each monarch was also part of a wider ‘royal club’, a rich source of potential allies, rivals, and marital partners.

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