This book traces the diffusion of the Greek city as a political institution throughout the lands of the Roman Empire bordering the Eastern Mediterranean over a period extending from Alexander's conquest of the East to the sixth century. Arranged in order of annexation, the regions are dealt with individually. The study examines to what extent native institutions were capable of being adapted to the Greek conception of the city, the activities of Hellenistic kings in founding cities, and the spontaneous diffusion of Greek political institutions in the Hellenization of the East. Professor Jones describes the restrictive effect of centralized administrative policy on some dynasties and the growth of cities in their dominions, and various aspects of the relations between cities and central government, including the cities' role in the economic life of the Empire. Other topics discussed include the local responsibilities of cities, administrative duties such as collecting taxes and levying recruits, the internal and political life of the cities, and their economic effect on the surrounding countryside.
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