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Books

Studies on Persian objects from Greece

Fleischmann, Kristina Esther. 2023. Die Faszination des Orientalischen. Studien zu persischen Objekten aus Griechenland und zum Einfluss der persischen auf die griechische Kultur 550–330 v. Chr. (AOAT 52). Münster: Ugarit.

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Books

Personal Names in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonia

Waerzeggers, Caroline & Melanie M. Groß (eds.). 2024. Personal names in cuneiform texts from Babylonia. An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Personal names provide fascinating testimony to Babylonia’s multi-ethnic society. This volume offers a practical introduction to the repertoire of personal names recorded in cuneiform texts from Babylonia in the first millennium BCE. In this period, individuals moved freely as well as involuntarily across the ancient Middle East, leaving traces of their presence in the archives of institutions and private persons in southern Mesopotamia. The multilingual nature of this name material poses challenges for students and researchers who want to access these data as part of their exploration of the social history of the region in the period. This volume offers guidelines and tools that will help readers navigate this difficult material. The title is also available Open Access on Cambridge Core.

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Articles

Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana

Fattori, Marco. 2023. Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana. Textual Observations on some Achaemenid Inscriptions from Susa. Arta 2023.003.

This article presents some new philological observations on three Achaemenid texts from Susa (DSe, DSi, A2Se) based on a new inspection of the inscriptions. These include the edition of previously unpublished fragments and the attribution of previously misplaced fragments to the texts under examination. For each inscription, a brief epigraphic, philological and linguistic commentary is provided.

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Journal

Phoenix (vol. 76)

The volume 76 (2022) of the journal Phoenix is out. It contains several papers about numismatics especially within the economy of Achaemenid empire.

  • Andrew Meadows, Jarosław Bodzek: Preface
  • Andrew Meadows: Coinage in Imperial Space: Ps.-Aristotle Oikonomika and the Place of Monetary Production
  • Peter van Alfen: Payment, Profit, or Prestige? The Political Economy of Achaemenid Coin Production
  • François de Callataÿ: Pseudo-Civic not Civic: The Abundant Double Sigloi Struck by Pamphylian and Cilician Cities (ca 460–333 B.C.E.)
  • Jarosław Bodzek: Kings, Satraps, Local Dynasts, and Cities in Achaemenid Imperial Space: Pseudo-Aristotle’s Oikonomika and Numismatic Reality
  • Christopher J. Tuplin: Of Darics, Staters, and Disks: Some Issues in Achaemenid
  • Selene E. Psoma: The ΣYN Coinage: Agesilaus versus Lysander
  • Aneurin Ellis-Evans, Jonathan Kagan: Bimetallism, Coinage, and Empire in Persian Anatolia
  • Frédérique Duyrat: Money in Southern Transeuphratene during the Fourth Century B.C.E.
  • Haim Gitler, Oren Tal: Indigenous Coinages in Palestine: Towards an Understanding of the Persian-Hellenistic Transitional Monetary Phase
  • Evangeline Markou: The Coinage of the Kings of Cyprus From Achaemenid to Hellenistic Rule: An Autonomous Royal Coinage?
  • Marek Jan Olbrycht: The India-Related Tetradrachms of Alexander the Great
  • Karsten Dahmen: Money and Legitimacy after Alexander
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Books

The Torah in the Persian Period

Achenbach, Reinhard. 2023. Tora in der Perserzeit: Gesammelte Studien zu Theologie und Rechtsgeschichte Judas (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 173). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Reinhard Achenbach offers a collection of studies on the redactional composition of the Pentateuch, the history of institutions, on concepts of international law, and the rights of foreigners in the scribal tradition of Judah during the Second Temple Period in the Persian Empire (539–333 B.C.E.). He examines the changes in theological ideas, priestly institutions, sacral rules, and purity law in the tension between the pursuit for religious autonomy in the community and Jewish monotheism’s claim of universal significance.

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Books

Ethnicity and Geography in the Eastern Mediterranean Area

Ponchia, Simonetta & Luisa Prandi (eds.). 2023. Shaping boundaries. Ethnicity and geography in the Eastern Mediterranean area (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 8). Münster: Zaphon.

This conference volume assembles 16 contributions to “Ethnicity and Geography in the Eastern Mediterranean Area (First Millennium BC). In combination with the corresponding “Shaping Boundary” project of the University of Verona it aims to analyse a crucial period: the formation of Greek identity, the first one documented in the West, at the time of the contacts with the Near East during the first millennium BC. More in detail, the authors examined the interactions between the Syro-Mesopotamian, Levantine and Aegean worlds that took place along the coastal region extending from Bosporus to Syria and Lebanon. Special attention was paid to methodological issues and diverse approaches in the investigation of boundaries and borderlands. These can be interpreted as different kinds of geo-political, or socio-cultural lines of separation, but should also be interpreted by taking into account their fundamental functions of communication spaces, where new, mixed, or hybrid identities took shape over time. – Among other, Giovanni B. Lanfranchi examines the borders between Assyria and Northwestern Iran as Polities of Unequal Power from the 9th to the 7th century BCE. – Raija Mattila discusses Neo-Assyrian letters reporting from the border areas on guarding and protecting the border, on building and maintenance of fortresses, and on the movements on the other side of the border. – The Northwest boundaries of Achaemenid expansion (Anatolia and the North Aegean) is taken into account by Sarah P. Morris. – Luisa Prandi questions the conception of the Cimmerian Bosporus as a Boundary between Europe and Asia according to Aeschylus. – Silvia Gabrieli reconstructs the foundation myth of Tarsus between Assyrian propaganda and Hellenistic fascination.

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Articles

The Steppe Frontiers of Pārsa

Ferrario, Marco. 2023. The steppe frontiers of Pārsa: Negotiating the Northeastern borderlands of the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire. Journal of Ancient Civilizations 38(2). 129-189.

The present paper seeks to offer a new interpretative scenario against the background of which to assess the dynamics underlying the interactions between the Achaemenid Empire (starting with Cyrus’ conquest of Central Asia) and the peoples of the steppes, which presided over the formation of what it is usually referred to as the frontier of the Empire itself in Baktria, Sogdiana, and Chorasmia.

To this end, a set of literary sources comes under critical scrutiny, beginning with Herodotus and Strabo. The reason for this is that, despite the increase of the available evidentiary record, their interpretation in strongly oppositional terms (steppes versus sown) of the above-sketched process has been, and continues to be, very influential. In a second step, archaeological data and comparative evidence of a historical-ethnographic nature will be added, with the overarching aim of framing the narrative of the classical sources into a broader and, as it shall be argued, more proper social, economic, and ecological context.

The outcome of such a study will hopefully be a more nuanced and complex picture of a crucial phase of Achaemenid history in Central Asia. In the light of the framework presented in the following pages, while on the one hand the driving force and organizational capacity of the newly formed Empire will emerge as decisive elements in the establishment of a new, distinctive, “imperial space” north of Bactr(i)a, on the other hand, the role of local communities in negotiating the modalities of their integration within the networks resulting from the birth and expansion of Achaemenid rule in the area will appear as having been of no less paramount importance.

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Journal

Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies

The latest issue (11/2-3) of Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies is devoted to Phoenician studies. Among other interesting contributions, a handful of papers interest scholars of Iranian history and culture.

  • Ann E. Killebrew: Phoenician Iron Smithing and Cult at Persian-Period Tel Akko
  • Ida Oggiano; Fabio Porzia: The Bearded Man and the Pregnant Woman Terracotta Figurines: A Case of Divine “Open Relationship” in Persian-Period Levant?
  • Meir Edrey: Achaemenid / Early Zoroastrian Influences on Phoenician Cultic Practices during the Persian Period
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Books

The Persian World and Beyond

Garrison, Mark B. & Wouter F.M. Henkelman (eds.). The Persian world and beyond. Achaemenid and Arsacid studies in honor of Bruno Jacobs (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 6). Münster: Zaphon.

The 17 essays gathered in this festschrift celebrate the scholarship of Bruno Jacobs. While the range of topics in these essays is extensive, most relate to the Achaemenid world. They represent the diversity of Achaemenid studies as a discipline that Bruno Jacobs enriched with his many contributions and sparkling ideas. Some papers move beyond the Achaemenid period, notably the contribution on Parthian and Elymaean countermarks (S.R. Hauser), and acknowledge the breadth of Bruno Jacob’s research interests, which extend from Greece to eastern Iran, span the Mediterranean Bronze Age to the Roman period, and concern the disciplines of history, archaeology, art history, religion, and Iranology. Among others, M.C. Root examines “Medes and Iranian identity in the Achaemenid social imaginary” as represented in the Persepolis Apadana, while J. Wiesehöfer focusses on “Greek exiles in the Achaemenid Empire” and Chr. J. Tuplin on “The place of Cyropaedia in Xenophon’s oeuvre”. The “winged symbol in Persepolitan glyptic” is debated by M.B. Garrison and the roles of gold and wine in Herodotus’ depiction of the Persians by R. Bichler and K. Ruffing.

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Books

Innovation in Persian Period Judah

Middlemas, Jill. 2023. Innovation in Persian Period Judah: Royal and Temple Ideology in Its Ancient Near East Setting. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

This volume provides an overview of the attitude towards the monarchy and the temple in Achaemenid Yehud in a comparative perspective. It provides a thorough overview of a series of discussions about the extent of Persian influence on the ideology of Second Temple Judaism by some of the leading experts in the field.