Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean: 400 Bce-250 Ce:400 BCE-250 CE
Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean:400 BCE-250 CE
Ancient Jewish coinage is one of the few material sources offering detailed insight into the political developments taking place throughout a specific period of ancient Jewish history. Jewish coinage was minted and issued in Palestine, alongside a number of other local coinages, almost consistently between the fifth century BCE and the early second century CE by a number of different Jewish authorities. The nature of these authorities varied greatly throughout time, and they increasingly and quite differently used this medium, which was gaining importance as a public propaganda tool, to communicate political messages. Accordingly, the visual appearance of the coinage was subject to continuous alterations. In this book, the iconography of the Jewish coinage as a whole and especially its sacred content is examined in order to shed light on the identities of the issuing authorities, their motivation and the political messages they wished to communicate. As religion was a highly complex aspect of the Jewish interrelations with other cultures, the utilization of sacred iconography is not only a precise indicator of cultural-religious affiliation, but also of cultural-religious changes occurring in the Jewish world. This allows insight into the political developments of the Jewish world between the late Persian period and the end of the Bar Kokhba war 135 CE as well as into its changing position within the contemporary world.
´´Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem ´Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,´ therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers....And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.´´ - Book of Ezekiel 26: 1-14 Across the eastern Mediterranean there has been discovered a great number of objects whose appearance or materials are extraneous to local cultures, whether it was an Egyptian amulet in Greece, a Greek vase in Africa, or thousands of strange amulets in Gibraltar. The remains are evidence that a huge amount of goods was once moved from one land to another, systematically transported and traded across the Mediterranean by the ancient commercial network of the Phoenicians. Beginning in the 13th century BCE, and lasting for more than a millennium, this civilization dominated the most important body of water known to the ancients. With their formidable ships and skills in trading, they made a name for themselves by trading between Egypt, Greece, Rome, Carthage, Sardinia, Spain, and eventually all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, establishing themselves as the undisputed lords of the sea. A network of this size, with hundreds of colonies and thousands of ships, had to be well coordinated, and it was thanks to important cities along the Mediterranean coast. One of the most crucial cities in the system was hidden beneath the Greek, Roman, and Crusader ruins of Lebanon: the ancient city of Tyre. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/071022/bk_acx0_071022_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Samarkand is one of the oldest cities of Central Asia, founded nearly 3,000 years ago. The legendary city was the capital of the Sogdians, a trading people who facilitated the spread of commodities, religions, technologies, and ideas across the Silk Road between China and the rest of Eurasia. Samarkand was a key site along the ancient Silk Road, a place where a number of world cultures from the East and the West met and assimilated. As well as being a commercial center, it was a key religious site for the Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic faiths. The growth of Samarkand occurred at the same time as other major urban centers based on oases along the Silk Road, such as Khwarezm, Balkh (Bactria), and Bukhara. The city was conquered by Alexander the Great in 329 BCE and served as a base for his campaigns through Transoxiana. From the early Islamic period to the seventh century, the city prospered until it was completely destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1220. It was not until the 14th century that the city was rebuilt about one kilometer southwest of the ancient tell site. Although well-known for its trade, another part of Samarkand that makes its history so interesting is its association with the Timurid dynasty and its legendary founder, Tamerlane. Known by the Sogdians as Timur (meaning ´´iron´´), he was one of the most extraordinary individuals to have ever existed. From his origins as a member of the tribal aristocracy, through political and military activity - and almost supernatural power - he came to dominate Transoxania and much of Iran. A lot of his behavior as an emperor was developed on the model of the Mongol empire that had existed before him, as he embarked on a mission to create the largest Turkic Muslim Empire of Eurasia. Tamerlane chose Samarkand as the capital of this empire. He loved this city above all others, and after each of his military expeditions he would bring back local artisans and craftsmen to live and work there. ... 1. Language: English. Narrator: Jim D. Johnston. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/083645/bk_acx0_083645_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.