Almagor, Eran. 2018. Plutarch and the Persica. Edinburgh University Press.
This book addresses two historical mysteries. The first is the content and character of the fourth century BCE Greek works on the Persian Achaemenid Empire treatises called the Persica. The second is the method of work of the second century CE biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea (CE 45-120) who used these works to compose his biographies, in particular the Life of the Persian king Artaxerxes.
By dealing with both issues simultaneously, Almagor proposes a new way of approaching the two entangled problems, and offers a better understanding of both the portrayal of ancient Persia in the lost Persica works and the manner of their reception and adaptation nearly five hundred years later. Intended for both scholars and students of the Achaemenid Empire and Greek imperial literature, this book bridges the two worlds and two important branches of scholarship.
Builds a picture of the character and structure of the lost Persica works by Ctesias of Cnidus, Deinon of Colophon, Heracleides of Cyme
Shows how Plutarch used the Persica works in his Lives with a specific focus on Artaxerxes
Considers the depiction of famous figures such as Alexander the Great and Themistocles in Plutarch’s works