Achaemenid Residences from Persepolis to Susa

Yaghmaee, Esmail & Samira Imeni. 2022. Achaemenid Residences from Persepolis to Susa [Manzelgāh-hāye Haḵāmanešī az Taḵt-I Ğamšīd tā Šūš]. Tehran: Karnamak (in Persian).

This book results from a series of archaeological surveys in south Iran, notably Fars province, which led to the recognition of structures remaining of palaces or pavilions. The authors discuss that these structures were residences of the king and members of the royal house who resided in these houses, which were surrounded by agricultural lands and plantations for royal hunts. Besides the hills and other archaeological finds, the column bases are considered an indicator of such residences. The residence in Dašt-i Gohar near Persepolis and the column base now kept in Rām Hormoz are considered, respectively, the first and last of these residences.


Iran and the Caucasus 26 (4)

The latest issue of Iran and the Caucasus (26.4) contains several interesting contributions.

Table of contents:

  • Li Sifei: Tubo-Sogdian Relations along the Silk Road: On an Enigmatic Gold Plaque from Dulan (Qinghai, China)
  • Sebastian Bitsch: Hell’s Kitchen: The Banquet in the Hereafter and the Reflexion of Zoroastrian Eschatological Motifs in the Qurʾān
  • Alex MacFarlane: The City of Brass and Alexander’s Narrow Grave: Translation and Commentary of Kafas added to Manuscript M7709 (Part 2)
  • Richard Foltz: The Survival of Ossetians in Turkey
  • Marco Fattori: The Elamite Version of A2Ha and the Verb vidiyā- in Old Persian
  • John D. Bengtson and Corinna Leschber: On Criticism of S. L. Nikolayev/S. A. Starostin, A North Caucasian Etymological Dictionary
  • Victoria Arakelova: The Talishis on Opposite Banks of the Araxes River: Identity Issues
  • Arsen K. Shahinyan: The Southern Boundaries of the Southern Caucasus
  • Adrian C. Pirtea: [Review of] Samuel N. C. Lieu, Glen L. Thompson (eds.), The Church of the East in Central Asia and China (China and the Mediterranean World, 1), Turnhout: “Brepols”, 2020.—xiii + 245 pp.

Iranian Studies from Ravenna, vol. 4

Ognibene, Paolo, Antonio Panaino & Andrea Piras. 2023. Studi Iranici Ravennati IV. Milano; Udine: Mimesis.

The forth volume of the Studi Iranici Ravennati, a collection of research papers on Iranian studies edited by the scholars of Iranian Studies at the University of Bologna in Ravenna.


Studies on the History of Rationality in Ancient Iran. Vol. 2

König, Götz. 2022. Studien zur Rationalitätsgeschichte im älteren Iran. Band II (Iranica 28). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

While the first volume of A History of Rationality in Ancient Iran aims both to determine the significance of ancient Iran within the framework of the theory of the Axial Age (German Achsenzeit) and to point to some of the basic figures of a history of rationality that can be recognised in the Iranian materials and still extends to the present day, the second volume shown here serves above all to extend this analysis of figures into thematic fields that are essential for the understanding of Iran.

In three sections – “Substance and Spirit”, “Explorations of the World. The Becoming of History”, “The Path to Truth” – a total of 16 texts are brought together which, on the one hand, outline basic constellations and concepts of thought, as they characterise the (older and younger) Avesta in particular, and, on the other hand, trace the movements which emanate from precisely these formations of thought.

The second volume is preceded, as it were, by a counterpoint to the discussion of the axial perspective in the first volume, by a critique of the historical-philosophical definition and classification of Iran and Zoroastrianism, as developed by Hegel in his various series of lectures and as it has since then sustainably guided the view of Iran in ancient studies.


The Armies of the Teispids and Achaemenids

Manning, Sean. 2022. The armies of the Teispids and Achaemenids: The armies of an ancient world empire. Journal of Ancient Civilizations 37(2). 147-192.

An Attic red-figure kylix with a battle of Greeks and barbarians, c. 490–480 BC (possibly the same as Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, number 1980.11.21)

Although ancient warfare and the Teispid-Achaemenid empire are common topics for research, no concise and up-to-date overview of Teispid and Achaemenid armies and warfare exists. The most recent syntheses were published in the period 1986–1992 when the current understanding of the empire was only beginning to form. This article combines indigenous and Greco-Roman texts, art, and artifacts to provide a short introduction to the armies and navies of the so-called Persian Empire. It focuses on the reigns of Darius I and Xerxes (522–465 BC) from which a variety of texts and artwork survive from Persis, Babylonia, and Greece. Ten main sections cover the history of research, the seemingly contradictory evidence for a uniform army and a patchwork army under Darius I and Xerxes, how the very rapid conquests of the Teispids lead to an army very different than the Roman or imperial British armies, recruitment, organization and equipment, combat mechanics, army organization, siege warfare, naval and riverine warfare, and numbers and effectiveness. Whereas the author’s recent monograph focused on methodological problems and the origin of different theories, this article offers usable answers to many difficult questions.


Ktèma n° 47/2022

The new volume of the journal Ktèma ,edited by Dominique Lenfant, contains several contributions to ancient Iranian history.

Ce volume propose des approches inédites, dues aux meilleurs spécialistes internationaux, sur les rapports entre le monde grec et « l’Orient » avant et après les conquêtes d’Alexandre. Sont d’abord privilégiées, sous l’empire perse, les relations intenses et complexes entre cultures comme entre personnes, dans le cadre diplomatique, économique ou artistique. La question de l’hellénisation est ensuite envisagée dans les cas richement documentés de la Carie et de Chypre. L’Égypte lagide est enfin le lieu d’échanges complexes entre Grecs et Égyptiens, que les papyrus permettent d’observer au plus près.

Table of contents

Grecs et non-Grecs de l’empire perse au monde hellénistique

Dominique Lenfant — Introduction

Dominique Lenfant — Les ambassades grecques à la cour du Grand Roi : des missions pas comme les autres ?

Margaret C. Miller — Playing with Persians in Athenian imagery of the Fourth Century BCE

Pierre-Olivier Hochard — Guerres, diplomatie et thésaurisation dans l’espace égéo-anatolien : une autre approche des relations gréco-perses au IVe siècle avant J.-C.

Eduard Rung — The Persian king as a peacemaker: The ideological background of the Common Peace Treaties in fourth century Greece

John O. Hyland — Artabazos and the Rhodians: marriage alliance and satrapal politics in the late Achaemenid Aegean

Thierry Petit — Isocrate, la théorie de la médiation et l’hellénisation de Chypre à l’époque des royaumes

Anna Cannavò — Kition de Chypre : du royaume phénicien à la cité hellénistique

Patrice Brun — L’hellénisation passe-t-elle par le nom ? L’exemple de la Carie aux IVe et IIIe siècles av. J.-C.

Michel Chauveau — Éviter la réquisition militaire ou une menace surnaturelle ? À propos d’un contrat démotique inédit entre un Égyptien et un Grec (P.Carlsberg 471, 251 av. J.-C.)

Pierre Schneider — Une épigramme pour célébrer l’expansion lagide en mer Érythrée ? À propos du papyrus d’El Hibeh (deuxième moitié du IIIe siècle av. J.-C.)

Yvona Trnka-Amrhein — The Alexandria Effect: City Foundation in Ptolemaic Culture and the Egyptian Histories of Manetho and Diodorus


François Lefèvre — Assemblées éphémères, assemblées spontanées, assemblées élargies : alternatives démocratiques en Grèce ancienne

Edith Foster — Devastation of Cultivated Land in Herodotus

Julien Fournier — Bases thasiennes pour des empereurs d’époque constantinienne. Les derniers feux d’une épigraphie civique


The End of Empires

Gehler, Michael, Robert Rollinger & Philipp Strobl (eds.). The End of Empires. Wiesbaden: Springer.

The articles of this comprehensive edited volume offer a multidisciplinary, global and comparative approach to the history of empires. They analyze their ends over a long spectrum of humankind’s history, ranging from Ancient History through Modern Times. As the main guiding question, every author of this volume scrutinizes the reasons for the decline, the erosion, and the implosion of individual empires.

All contributions locate and highlight different factors that triggered or at least supported the ending or the implosion of empires. This overall question makes all the contributions to this volume comparable and allows to detect similarities, differences as well as inconsistencies of historical processes.

Several contributions tackle with the problems of the end of ancient Iranian empires:


Looking at Persians

Stuttard, David (Ed.). 2023. Looking at Persians. London: Bloomsbury.

Aeschylus’ Persians is unique in being the only extant Greek tragedy on an historical subject: Greece’s victory in 480 BC over the great Persian King, Xerxes, eight years before the play was written and first performed in 472 BC. Looking at Persians examines how Aeschylus responded to such a turning point in Athenian history and how his audience may have reacted to his play. As well as considering the play’s relationship with earlier lost tragedies and discussing its central themes, including war, nature and the value of human life, the volume considers how Persians may have been staged in fifth-century Athens and how it has been performed today.

The twelve essays presented here are written by prominent international academics and offer insightful analyses of the play from the perspectives of performance, history and society. Intended for readers ranging from school students and undergraduates to teachers and those interested in drama (including practitioners), this volume also includes an accurate, accessible and performance-friendly English translation of Persians by David Stuttard.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Persians in Context (David Stuttard, Goodenough College, UK)

  1. Persians on Stage (Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge, UK)
  2. Athens and Persia, 472 BCE (Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Cardiff University, UK)
  3. Persians’ First Audience (Robert Garland, Colgate University, USA)
  4. Imperial Stirrings in Aeschylus’ Persians (Sophie Mills, University of North Carolina at Asheville, USA)
  5. Homeric Echoes on the Battlefield of Persians (Laura Swift, The Open University, UK)
  6. Individual and Collective in Persians (Michael Carroll, University of St Andrews, UK)
  7. Land, Sea and Freedom: The Force of Nature in Aeschylus’ Persians (Rush Rehm, Stanford University, USA)
  8. The Persians Love Their Children Too: Common Humanity in Persians (Alan Sommerstein, University of Nottingham, UK)
  9. Atossa (Hanna Roisman, Colby College, Maine, USA)
  10. Theatrical Ghosts in Persians and Elsewhere (Anna Uhlig, University of California, USA)
  11. Words and Pictures (Carmel McCallum-Barry, formerly of University College, Ireland)
  12. National Theatre Wales, The Persians (2010) (Mike Pearson, University of Aberystwyth, UK)

Aeschylus Persians, translated by David Stuttard (Goodenough College, UK)



Military Diasporas

Christ, G., P. Sänger & M.Carr (Eds.). 2022. Military Diasporas: Building of Empire in the Middle East and Europe (550 BCE-1500 CE). London: Routledge.

Military Diasporas proposes a new research approach to analyse the role of foreign military personnel as composite and partly imagined para-ethnic groups.

Two chapters contribute to ancient Iranian history:


Persia’s Lycian Work Force and the Satrap of Sardis

Hyland, John. 2022. Persia’s Lycian Work Force and the Satrap of Sardis. Arta 2022. 002.

New journal entries from the Persepolis Fortification Archive present a hitherto unknown subgroup of laborers known as marataš, many of whom appear in contexts of group travel from the Lycian borderlands of southwest Anatolia to Iran. This paper proposes an etymology for the marataš, and discusses the implications for the origins of Lycian workers in Persis, the administrative relationship between Lycia and the Sardis satrapy, and the role of deportation within the larger Achaemenid labor system.