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City development and dynastic reputation after Alexander the Great: Cassander's urban programme in Macedonia c. 316-297 BC

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The decades after the death of Alexander the Great saw the genesis of new models of authority and legitimacy as Macedonian generals fought over his empire. One such general, Cassander, appears peripheral in standard histories of the period. Despite gaining control of Macedonia itself in 316 BC, his military successes were not stunning and his dynasty did not long survive his death in 297 BC. Yet his extensive city building activities left a lasting mark on the urban landscapes of Macedonia, and were a key element in promoting his right to rule and solidifying his hold over a kingdom won through conquest. This makes him an arresting case study for modes of dynastic self-promotion in this period. Making use of the wealth of archaeological material which has emerged from urban sites in the north of Greece in recent years, this paper will examine how the tensions inherent in Cassander’s developing self-representation were embodied in his city foundation and urban development programme.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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