<i>Deditio in Fidem</i>: The Ptolemaic Conquest of Asia Minor

Andrew Meadows

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
Deditio in Fidem: The Ptolemaic Conquest of Asia Minor

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This chapter explores the nature of the acquisition of the overseas territories in Asia Minor by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. It takes as its focus one inscription (SEG 28.1224), which apparently contains a record of a diplomatic exchange between the king and the city of Telmessos in Lycia. It argues that inscription dates to the moment of Ptolemaic acquisition and provides evidence for the willing subordination (Deditio) of the city to Ptolemaic power by its citizens in order to escape worse conditions under their existing suzerain, Lysimachus, and his family. This model of bloodless transferral of power, it is suggested, may help to explain the lack of any evidence for a military conquest of the region by Ptolemaic forces in the 280s.

Keywords: Ptolemy II Philadelphus; Lysimachus; Telmessos; Lycia; Asia Minor; royal letter; inscription; Deditio; conquest

Chapter.  8381 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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