Hellenistic Foundations and their Economic Impact on a Local and Regional Scale: New Communities in Asia Minor in the 3rd and 2nd century B.C.

→ Kyriakos Kyrousis

This PhD project will deal with  questions focusing on how did new settlements- a dense network of poleis, villages and forts- that were founded on the sole initiative of the Hellenistic monarchs during the 3rd and 2nd centuries B. C., contribute in the economic field to the momentous changes that were brought about in the two centuries of the period under discussion. Through the intertwining of archaeological, geographical, literary, epigraphical and numismatic evidence, and of the different angles through which  these sources have been approached by modern scholarship, the economical footprint left by one of the most impressive and central to the survival of the Hellenistic kingdoms policies will be evaluated-  an evaluation that has not been previously undertaken in depth by recent research. To do so, a variety of case studies will be examined beginning with Alexandria Troas and Ilion in the Troad, covering cities like Stratonikeia in Karia, Laodikeia ad Lycum, Apameia/Kelainai  and Antiocheia ad Pisidiam and examining a variety of foundations other than poleis that have been adequately explored.  At each stop a core of fundamental economic questions will constitute the basis of the analytical process. These questions concern each ancient community as a rounded economic unit that engaged in a full economic circle: Resources, Labour and Production; Networks, Mobility and Trade; Demand and Consumption. When conclusions can be reached, they shall be contrasted with our knowledge of economic factors on a local and regional scale during the 4th century B.C or even earlier.

In most of the regions of Asia Minor and predominantly  in Aeolis, Mysia, Lydia, and Cilicia a great deal of evidence for the early life of the great number of known or suspected foundations is rather fragmentary with the exception of Pergamon, an economic study of which would not serve well the purpose of this thesis because it would take up much desired space that could be allocated to the examination of less well trodden territory. In any case, these fragmented sources may be treated and analysed using a different approach than that of case-studies where effort will be made to piece together a broader picture of the economic landscape and the changes that could have occurred as a result of new populations and foundations. This second methodological tool utilises the fragmentary evidence from different settlements in a complementary capacity, in order to achieve insight into changing economic landscapes.

Dissertation Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ameling