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The Seleukid Royal Economy: The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire
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Top Customer Reviews
While a number of points made may be conjectural or even perhaps speculative at times, there is some data, and generally more than most tend to believe, allowing Aperghis to make relatively strong cases in a number of areas.
One of the strongpoints of this book is to show the continuity, but also the differences, between the Achaemenid Persian Empire and the Seleucid one the followed it. In this respect, the author follows in the footsteps of Amelie Kuhrt (who was his main supervisor) and others, and he makes no mystery of it.
However, he also shows that the Seleucid Royal Economy was also more than just a continuation of the Achaemenids and is comparable to the Royal Economy of its Ptolemaïc rivals. In both cases, the Kings of the two Successor States clearly did they best, and were quite successful at maximising their revenues. This was achieved in somewhat different ways, although both started from the Macedonian concept of “spear-won” land, meaning that the whole country belonged to them.
The Seleucid monarchs – and Antiochus I in the East, in particular - are shown to have quite deliberately encouraged the monetisation of the economy and a shift away from payments in kind because this could help to maximise revenues and limit expenditure in several respects. The army was paid in coin and it was by far the main source of expenses, as was always the case in Antiquity (and well afterwards).Read more ›