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Word Count: 3,507
The study of the vast Seleucid colonization campaign has been plagued by a deficient amount of informative ancient sources and a lack of modern scholarly interest To date only one work has been produced which focuses exclusively on the organization and administration of the colonies and within this work the author qualifies his study by stating that having completed this work I am painfully aware of how little we actually know about the Seleucid colonization program My own conclusions are tentative and much of what I say is conjectural This cannot be avoided The evidence is scrappy and spread over the whole Middle East And even the little that is available must be used with great caution We only have one connected account of how a colony was founded Josephus describes the installation of two thousand Jewish families in Lydia and Phrygia by Antiochus III Besides this there are references to Seleucid colonies scattered throughout the writings of various ancient authors including Strabo Appian and Pliny In many cases however they only refer to the colonies existence or location and rarely consider their structure and administration Admist this need for information lies a wealth of detail in the combined knowledge available from Ptolemaic Egypt Pergamum and the rest of the Greco-Roman world Scholars have therefore utilized this information to parellel what is going on in Syria However we must be extremely careful with how we evaluate the usefulness of the comparison The situation facing Syria was quite different in many respects from that facing the Ptolemies and the accuracy of information that we can discern from a parellel between the two societies is purely conjectural This being said Appian states He Seleucus founded cities throughout the length of the whole empire and named sixteen of them Antioch for his father five Laodiceia for his mother nine for himself four after his wives three Apameias and one Stratoniceia The other cities he gave names
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