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Master Thesis

Recherches sur la présence grecque dans les marches iraniennes de l'empire séleucide

Abstract : The Greek communities in Iran and Central Asia are still poorly known. Until the last few decades, scholars relied mainly on Greek literary sources, rare and fragmentary for these issues. This dissertation is in line with the recent historiographical revival based on archaeology and epigraphic discoveries. It deals with the entire epigraphic corpus in a global study. In 2012, the Hellenist G. Rougemont has brought together in a single volume all the Greek inscriptions from Iran and Central Asia. The publication of this compilation provided an opportunity to overcome the main complication linked to the study of epigraphic sources, which constitute a fundamentally scattered documentation with no apparent coherence. The serialization of inscriptions made it possible to put them into perspective in order to bring to light new logics and problems that could not be brought out by a one-off analysis of isolated inscriptions. The objective was therefore to propose a synthesis of the epigraphic dossier, to cross-reference it with literary and archaeological sources, and to problematize these data in a regional perspective, in order to determine the invariants and particularities of Hellenism in these regions. This study reveals the very clear and assertive maintenance of traditional forms of Greek culture in Iran and Central Asia. This culture is not, however, sclerotic, as might be the case if these communities had closed in on themselves. The material realities bear witness to the regular exchanges between the Greeks of Central Asia and the Aegean world, despite the great distances separating them from Greece and the difficulty of travel caused by the physical constraints of the territories concerned. However, the oriental elements that appear in the epigraphic corpus are also signs of cultural interference with the substratum in which the Greek communities were implanted. The settlement of Greeks in the Far East produced complex situations of alteration and crossbreeding, numerous gradations between Greeks and non-Greeks, without leading to the destructuring of the colonized societies. The settlers' desire to reproduce their original environment by preserving a "pure" Greek culture, in its classical forms, did not prevent the Greeks of Iran and Central Asia from also opening up to the influences of the old Persian and Indian civilizations, an apparent paradox whose explanation lies in the opposition between a declared identity, resolutely and proudly Greek, and a real identity, which evolves in contact with the material realities of an original space.
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Master Thesis
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Sébastien Marchand. Recherches sur la présence grecque dans les marches iraniennes de l'empire séleucide. Histoire. 2018. ⟨dumas-02475061⟩



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