The Anarchic Structure of Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic Age

Arthur M. Eckstein

in Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War, and the Rise of Rome

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520246188
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932302 | DOI:
The Anarchic Structure of Interstate Relations in the Hellenistic Age

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The Greco-Macedonian interstate system that arose in the late fourth century was the result of Alexander the Great's enormous conquests in the eastern Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, and Persia. There were few informal norms of interstate conduct as in the Classical period. The contention was unrestrained among states in the Hellenistic age as in the Classical period, and tensions among them usually ran high. A conception of the Hellenistic state-system conforms to the definition of a true international society of states established by the political scientist Hedley Bull: “An international society exists when a group of states, conscious of certain common interests and common values, conceive themselves to be bound by a common set of rules in their relations with one another, and share in the working of common institutions.” The arrival of Roman power and influence in the Greco-Macedonian Mediterranean constituted a violent disruption of what he had been up to, then an emerging consensual community of polities.

Keywords: Greco-Macedonian; Alexander; Persia; Hellenistic; Hedley Bull

Chapter.  17631 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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