Cultural Resilience in the Hellenistic Southern Levant

Mediterranean Resilience - Collapse and Adaptation in Antique Maritime Societies - Assaf Yasur-Landau

Eleonora Bedin [+-]
University of Haifa (PhD candidate)
Eleonora Bedin is a PhD candidate at the School of Archaeology and Maritime Cultures at the University of Haifa, Israel, where she is also part of the Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies and the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH). With a solid background in epigraphy and ancient languages, her research focuses on the micro and macro effects of Graeco-Roman globalization in the Mediterranean basin, through sociocultural and religious adaptation, continuity, and change.


Throughout antiquity, coastal Mediterranean societies frequently adapted their cultural constructs in response to challenges in their routine and changes in their environment. Most of the crises portrayed in this volume and the modes of adaptability devised to meet them would have found representation in the cultural aspects of gradually changing societies. In the Hellenistic Levant, when influential Hellenism followed Hellenistic conquest, two complementary strategies were adopted for securing the resilience of both state and identity. Aimed mostly outwardly, symbols and motifs participating in the universal language of power—such as language, coinage, and official deities—were quickly adopted by elite groups and the administration, aimed to encourage international recognition. Internally, however, traditional elements preceding Hellenism were preserved, and the adoption of change occurred gradually, often resulting in syncretistic creations combining old and new. It is the purpose of this article to analyze this phenomenon through perspectives relevant to adaptation and resilience, focusing on the coastal cities of the Hellenistic southern Levant—namely, Ptolemais-Ake, Dora, Joppa, and Ascalon, as well as on the Hasmonean dynasty.

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Bedin, Eleonora. Cultural Resilience in the Hellenistic Southern Levant. Mediterranean Resilience - Collapse and Adaptation in Antique Maritime Societies. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Oct 2023. ISBN 9781800503694. Date accessed: 05 Jun 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41506. Oct 2023

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