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Attalid Asia MinorMoney, International Relations, and the State$
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Peter Thonemann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656110

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656110.001.0001

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The Attalid State, 188–133 bc

The Attalid State, 188–133 bc

(p.1) 1 The Attalid State, 188–133 BC
Attalid Asia Minor

Peter Thonemann

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the territorial incoherence of the second-century Attalid kingdom, combined with exceptionally fragile state legitimacy, impelled the Attalid monarchs to develop an entirely new and original framework of state institutions to entrench their power. The second-century Attalid state was characterised by administrative decentralisation on a scale hitherto unknown in the Hellenistic world, reflected in a consciously non-charismatic style of rule. Paradoxically, as a result, the intrusiveness of the state at ground-level was far greater than it had been under the Seleukid monarchs: while the Seleukid state had remained, as it were, suspended balloon-like in mid-air, the Attalid state deliberately attempted to rewire the circuits of local authority.

Keywords:   attalid, hellenistic, state, insitutions, legitimacy

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