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Bridging the Hellespont: The Successor Lysimachus - a study in early Hellenistic kingship

Lund, Helen Sarah; (1992) Bridging the Hellespont: The Successor Lysimachus - a study in early Hellenistic kingship. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Literary evidence on Lysimachus reveals a series of images which may say more about contemporary or later views on kingship than about the actual man, given the intrusion of bias, conventional motifs and propaganda, Thrace was Lysimachus' legacy from Alexander's empire; though problems posed by its formidable tribes and limited resources excluded him from the Successors' wars for nearly ten years, its position, linking Europe and Asia, afforded him some influence, Lysimachus failed to conquer "all of Thrace", but his settlements there achieved enough stability to allow him thoughts of rule across the Hellespont, in Asia Minor. More ambitious and less cautious than is often thought, Lysimachus' acquisition of empire in Asia Minor, Macedon and Greece from c.315 BC to 284 BC reflects considerable military and diplomatic skills, deployed primarily when self-interest demanded rather than reflecting obligations as a permanent member of an "anti-Antigonid team". Though military prowess brought Lysimachus resources essential for kingship, it has been said that he lacked another vital quality, ability to govern. The evidence, however, suggests that his treatment of his Greek subjects differed little from that of his contemporaries and was in line with precedents set by Alexander and earlier dynasties in Asia. Kingship ritual is crucial to retaining power, Lysimachus presented a convincing image of royalty which emphasised his role as Alexander's dear friend and heir and competed successfully with those projected by his rivals. Finally, Lysimachus failed to achieve the peaceful transition of power to his heirs, a crucial test for Kings. Combined with former allies' fear and envy, this brought about his fall; the resentment of his Greek subjects may be a lesser factor - widespread welcome of Seleucus as "liberator" by the cities of Asia Minor before Lysimachus' death at Corupedium is far from certain.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Bridging the Hellespont: The Successor Lysimachus - a study in early Hellenistic kingship
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107419
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