Greek Historians, Persika and the Persian Empire

Thomas, Rosalind. 2022. Greek Historians, Persika and the Persian Empire (late 5th.c. – 4th.c.). In: Efi Papadodima (ed.), Ancient Greek Literature and the Foreign: Athenian Dialogues II, 119-138. Berlin: De Gruyter.

The chapter discusses the ways in which various Greek writers en-gaged with the complexities of the Persian Empire, especially Herodotus, Xenophon, Aristotle, and some fourth-century writers (fragmentary) of Persika. It examines the tension between Greek hostility towards Persia and the conventional stereotypes, and their need to understand more about the Empire in a new form of ethnography. New insights into the Persian Empire (and new evidence) encourage returning to the Greek writers afresh and examining them from different angles: the chapter argues that amidst the clichés, there was also a seriousness and urgency in the fourth century about trying to understand the Persian Empire and its monarchy.