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The Legend of Seleucus
Kingship, Narrative and Mythmaking in the Ancient World


  • Date Published: November 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316616529

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About the Authors
  • In the chaos that followed the death of Alexander the Great his distinguished marshal Seleucus was reduced to a fugitive, with only a horse to his name. But by the time of his own death, Seceucus had reconstructed the bulk of Alexander's empire, built Antioch, and become a king in his turn, one respected for justness in an age of cruelty. The dynasty he founded was to endure for three centuries. Such achievements richly deserved to be projected into legend, and so they were. This legend told of Seleucus' divine siring by Apollo, his escape from Babylon with an enchanted talisman, his foundations of cities along a dragon-river with the help of Zeus' eagles, his surrender of his new wife to his besotted son, and his revenge, as a ghost, upon his assassin. This is the first book in any language devoted to the reconstruction of this fascinating tradition.

    • Contextualises the legendary material surrounding Seleucus within a wide range of traditional narratives, both Greek and non-Greek, contemporary, previous and subsequent
    • Supplies full translations, making this effectively a valuable sourcebook for readers to explore the legend
    • Explores fully the relationship of Seleucus' legend with the legends attaching to Alexander the Great and will therefore be of particular significance to those interested in the Alexander Romance as well as Alexander more generally
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316616529
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.8kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Birth myths and omens of greatness
    2. Seleucus' horseback flight from Babylon
    3. Omens and myths of city and cult foundation
    4. Combabus and Stratonice
    5. Antiochus and Stratonice
    6. Omens of death, death and revenge
    7. Coins, texts and traditions.

  • Author

    Daniel Ogden, University of Exeter
    Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History and Head of Classics at the University of Exeter. He has published widely on ancient Greek topics, including myth, religion and magic, sexuality, Alexander the Great, and the Hellenistic Dynasties. He is co-editor of Philip and Alexander: Father and Son, Lives and Afterlives (2010), and author of Alexander the Great: Myth, Genesis and Sexuality (2011) and Drakōn: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Worlds (2013).

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