MAPS: Mesopotamia Iraq 0500BC – 0200BC

Iraq 0500BC – 0200BC


Like the rest of the Persian Empire, Mesopotamia was conquered by the armies of Alexander the Great in the 330s and 320s BC.

After Alexander’s death in 323 BC the region fell to Seleucus, one of his generals. Mesopotamia has since been ruled by kings of Seleucus’ line, under whom a Greek-speaking ruling class has come to monopolise power. Greek-style cities – the largest of which is Seleucia-on-the-Tigris – have sprung up, settled by colonists from the Greek and Macedonian homelands.[1] The cultural inter-mixing of Greek and native elements has led to the spread of a hybrid culture throughout the Middle East,[2] which modern scholars label “Hellenistic”.

In recent years, however, Mesopotamia has become the scene of a struggle between the Seleucid kings and an invading Iranian people from central Asia, the Parthians.[3] These steppe nomads are gaining the upper hand.


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