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FT-57321-09

James Romm
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)
Afghanistan after Alexander the Great

This study explores the changes that took place in Afghanistan (ancient Bactria), a province of the Macedonian empire, directly after the death of Alexander the Great, as well as the ways Bactria's inclusion in that empire changed the Macedonians. Alexander's hugely ambitious imperial project in Bactria had just begun at the time of his demise (323 B.C.); the years that followed would see the collapse of some of the structures he imposed but the flourishing of others, such as the prosperous Greek city recently uncovered at Ai Khanoum. During the same years, Macedonians struggled with the fact that, thanks to Alexander having taken a Bactrian wife in an effort to incorporate the region, the heir to their throne was half-Bactrian. The evolution of the bonds between these two radically different cultures, absent the man who had united them, is an important but poorly understood episode which holds implications for the later history of Afghanistan's relations with the West.

Project fields:
Ancient History

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 8/31/2009