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The Art of Hellenistic Palestine

Adi Erlich


The art of the Hellenistic age (here taken as 332 BC to 37 BCE) in Palestine demonstrates the extent to which a province could be integrated into the rich, established culture of the Hellenistic world. Its study here examines the art itself, and specifically the themes, types, iconography, and style of local productions. The study can be instructive on the ethnic texture of Palestine, its regional differences, its widely practiced religion and cults, and its culture in general. Likewise, it may supplement both historical research on the period, which appears to have reached a dead end of sorts, and archaeological inquiry, the results of which have been partial or insufficient. It can help address whether the art was incorporated into the Hellenistic koine, the manner in which it utilized local and foreign elements, and the question of how the culture of the period left a mark so profound that it can be traced until the end of the Byzantine period.