The Greek Period

The Babylonian Collections of the University Museum

By: Leon Legrain

Originally Published in 1944

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In 331 B.C., Alexander, after the battle of Arbela, entered Babylon and added Persia to his previous conquest of Asia Minor, Palestine and Egypt. After his return from India, he settled in Babylon and dreamed of restoring the glory of the old city, but died before he could achieve it. His successor, Seleucus, built a new capital at Seleucia, twenty miles south of Baghdad. Greek art and mythology are represented in the Babylonian Section by a few alabaster statuettes and terra cotta reliefs with some of the charm of the Tanagra figurines.

Coined money was also introduced at the example of Sardes and Athens. Greek artists worked hereafter in the royal mints and Greek-trained gem cutters wrought in intaglio on seal stones exquisite models of pure Greek inspiration. Greek was spoken far south in the learned schools of Uruk where under Greek administration Chaldaean astronomy was taught. Berossus wrote in Greek his ancient history of Babylonia back to the Flood and the Sumerian immigration. Among typical Greek objects found at Nippur are the handle of a Rhodian amphora, Greek lamps, and a limestone cornice representing the vine branch.

Cite This Article

Legrain, Leon. "The Greek Period." Museum Bulletin X, no. 3-4 (June, 1944): 65-65. Accessed July 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/2693/


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