MAPS: Mesopotamia Iraq 0030BC – 0200AD

30BC – 200AD Iraq


The “Hellenistic” civilization of the Mesopotamian cities has come under increasing pressure over the past two centuries. Two destructive invasions by the Romans[1] have irreparably weakened many of the centres of Hellenistic culture, including the largest city in the region, Ctesiphon (the old Seleucia-on-Tigris). Also, a revival of Iranian[2] culture, fostered by the Parthian empire’s[3] rulers, has led to the cities of the empire increasingly becoming home to a hybrid culture, which draws on both Greek and Iranian elements to create its own distinctive style of art and architecture.

Politically, Mesopotamia has experienced increasing fragmentation, with the small kingdoms asserting more and more independence from the Parthian government. Even that part of Mesopotamia which had been directly controlled by the Parthian king, the old province of Babylonia, has now passed into the hands of local rulers.


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