Rome and the Seleukid East

Seleukid Study Day V
Latomus Doctoral Workshop in Roman History

Hosted by the
Société d'études latines de Bruxelles 'Latomus' 
the Université libre de Bruxelles

Organized by
Altay Coskun, University of Waterloo, ON
David Engels, Université libre de Bruxelles

With the generous support of
'Latomus', the University of Waterloo, the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada

Revised Conference abstracts
Conference photo gallery
conference report 

Short Conference Description

This collaborative project seeks to revisit a watershed period of World History that saw Rome, one of the longest lasting empires of all time, rise to become the sole superpower in the Mediterranean, while, at the same time, the Seleukid kingdom - one of the largest in the ancient world - was slowly but steadily disintegrating. The Seleukids had established themselves as the strongest of all of the 'Successor Kings' after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), and their territory extended as far as Thrace in the West and Bactria in the East for about a century (312/281 - 190). The kingdom's demise started after it suffered military defeat at the hands of the Romans (191/190), but this did not trigger its collapse; the dynasty dragged on for more than another century, without further Roman military intervention. Thus, Roman military prowess cannot sufficiently explain the shift of power in the 2nd century BCE; why, then, was the Seleukid Dynasty able to persist for so long? Both the importance and complexity of this development requires a truly interdisciplinary approach by an international team of experts for its elucidation.  The Seleukid Study Group offers an ideal context for this kind of research, since it not only brings together leading Seleukid historians with differing geographical, thematic or linguistic experience, but also includes renowned scholars of Roman foreign policy. Initiated at Waterloo, Ontario in 2010, this caucus has quickly established research on the Seleukid Empire as a vibrant new trend in Canadian Classical Studies. With host institutions alternating between Canada and Europe, the extent of both national and international participation has been growing ever since: 12 countries will be involved in 2015. 


AUGUST 21-23, 2015