A major contention of our book Hellenism in the East was that the most profitable way for making progress in understanding the Achaemenid and Seleucid empires was to try to evaluate, sensitively, the very disparate types of evidence within their own social and cultural contexts, however difficult this might be in practice. In the case of the Antiochus I cylinder we are confronted by an inscribed object whose significance lies as much in its physical form as in the content of the text it bears. These aspects are inextricably intertwined as part of a tradition specific to Mesopotamian culture—object and text combined are the physical representation of a major, longstanding, sociopolitical institution for which a mass of earlier evidence exists. It is all too understandable that Greco-Roman scholars, who have been the primary students of the hellenistic world, should find it hard to know how to approach such material emanating from an unfamiliar cultural milieu. Yet, for once, this text is not fragmentary—it is a long, well-preserved document, easy to read and readily accessible in translation which in itself demonstrates an acknowledgment by hellenistic historians of the potential importance of this non-Greek text for understanding Seleucid history.