Most studies that aim to give integrated accounts of urban development in Hellenistic North Syria rely very much on information gathered from literary sources and draw heavily on analogies and circumstantial evidence. The master narrative developed along these lines is that the Seleucid kings profoundly transformed North Syria. Seleucus I allegedly triggered a largescale urbanization project that revitalized a largely depopulated region. However, the results of recent archaeological research suggest that the urban landscape of pre-Hellenistic North Syria was more diverse than previously acknowledged. While some of the cities can indeed be regarded as new and disembedded foundations, it now seems that most of them developed along individual trajectories rather than reflecting a royal strategy.