Root, M. Cool. 2022. Persepolis: Stairways as Dialogic Spheres of Spiritual Social Community in Empire. In: Alexa Rickert & Sophie Schlosser (eds.), Gestaltung, Funktion und Bedeutung antiker Treppenanlagen (Kasion 11), 135-158. Münster: Zaphon.
The external stairways serving several ceremonial structures of Persepolis are often-illustrated hallmarks of this heartland capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (fig. 1). Yet their forms, kinetic dynamics, and experiential agencies receive very little commentary within any history of architecture, whether it be narrow or global. Within discrete discussions of the site itself, their nature as stairs typically defers to their pictorial aspect as sculptural surfaces. The reasons for this paradox are diverse and interesting. My modest aim here is to open fresh dialogue on the stairways and to suggest some prospects for further work.