Xenophon’s Anabasis: A Socratic History

Brennan, Shane. 2022. Xenophon’s Anabasis: A Socratic History. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Xenophon’s Anabasis has engaged and entertained readers from antiquity to the present day. Through his telling of the story of Cyrus the Younger’s attempt on the Persian throne and its aftermath, Xenophon integrates many of the prominent themes and concerns in his writings, including leadership, panhellenism, Sparta and apologia.

Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, Brennan offers a fresh reading of the text which originates in a broad-ranging consideration of Xenophon’s aims in writing the book some thirty years after the event. The central argument brings the presence of Socrates into relief and demonstrates how the author, representing himself in the story as a model pupil of the philosopher, perpetuates Socratic teachings and values through ‘Xenophon’s’ leadership. Ultimately, Anabasis is revealed to be a ‘Socratic history’, a narrative rooted in a historical event or period and in which the author embeds a reflection of the philosopher and his values.


They went to Tamukkan

Potts, Daniel T. 2022. ‘They went to Tamukkan:’ Some Observations on Bushehr, Borazjan and Overland Travel between the Persian Gulf and the Achaemenid Capitals. Motaleat-e Bastanshenasi-e Parseh 19: 14-38.

Fig. 1. Map of principal halts on the route between Bushehr and Shiraz, showing Persepolis and Pasargadae (courtesy Dr. Andrea Squitieri, Munich).

In recent years the Achaemenid sites in the Borazjan area have attracted a great deal of attention and their identification with Elamite Tamukkan/Greek Taocê has been widely accepted. Aside from the architectural interest of these sites, however, their location along what later became an important route linking the Persian Gulf and the Iranian plateau is significant. Whether travelling between the Persian Gulf coast and Shiraz, or the earlier Achaemenid capitals (Pasargadae and Persepolis), Borazjan represents the first stage for travellers moving along this route. This study examines some of the logistical aspects of travel between Borazjan and the highlands, as well as the climatic extremes experienced by travellers during much of the year. The difficulties of traversing the route are illustrated with selections from 19th and early 20th century travellers accounts. The advantages of commencing or ending the journey at Shif, as opposed to Bushehr, are discussed with reference to numerous examples. The importance of mules as pack animals along the route is emphasized. Finally, the implications of the evidence marshaled for the burgeoning field of sensory studies are underscored.


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.


God is in the Detail

Henkelman, Wouter. F.M. 2022. God is in the Detail: The Divine Determinative and the Expression of Animacy in Elamite with an Appendix on the Achaemenid Calendar. In: Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum & Ingo Schrakamp (eds.), Transfer, Adaption und Neukonfiguration von Schrift- und Sprachwissen im Alten Orient (Episteme, 25), 405-477. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Instead of giving an abstract of the above-cited paper, a detailed table of its contents will follow:

1. Introduction

1.1. Of Aryan dictators and Elamite Tape Recorders

1.2. Iranian Elamite

2. Redefining the Divine?

3. Months as Divine or Numinous Beings

4. Semantic Animacy in Middle and Neo-Elamite

4.1. Semantic Animacy Expressed by Determinatives

4.2. Expression of Semantic Animacy by Primary Nominal Suffixes

4.3. Expression of Semantic Animacy by Animate Concord

4.4. Animacy in Elam: An Interim Summary

5. The Months of Achaemenid Pārsa

5.1. Cultural Preferences from Persepolis to the Fahliyān

5.2. Continuity and Change

5.3. The Importance of the Old Iranian Month Names

6. Appendix: the Achaemenid Calendar

6.1. A Multilingual Calendar

6.2. A Calendar for the Empire


Making Peace in the Ancient World

Lanfranchi, Giovanni B., Simonetta Ponchia and Robert Rollinger (eds.). 2022. Making Peace in the Ancient World: Proceedings of the 7th Melammu Workshop, Padova, 5–7 November 2018 (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 5). Münster: Zaphon.

Table of Contents

Giovanni B. Lanfranchi / Simonetta Ponchia / Robert Rollinger: Introduction

Antonio Daniele: Saluto dell’Accademia Galileiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Padova

I Key Note Lectures

Paolo Matthiae: The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Syria and Iraq and the Perspective of a Rebirth

Marc Van De Mieroop: Making Peace in the Ancient Near East

Kurt A. Raaflaub: Making and Experiencing Peace in the Ancient World

II Ancient Near East and Egypt

Manfred Bietak: The Antagonism between Animosity and Peace-making in Ancient Egypt: Between Ideology and Practical Foreign Policy: An Extended Synopsis

Seth Richardson: Raiders, Neighbours, and Night-time: “Hybrid Peace” in Babylonia

Stefano de Martino: Making Peace in the Hittite Kingdom

Salvatore Gaspa: Making Peace in the Ancient Near East of the First Millennium BCE: The Case of the Assyrian Empire

Martti Nissinen: Peace and Peacemaking in the Hebrew Bible

Ann C. Gunter: Commemorating the End of Conflict in the Ancient Near East: Material Perspectives

Matthew Waters: Peace in Pieces: Making Peace in Elam

Josef Wiesehöfer: Peace and Views of Peace in Achaemenid Iran

III The Mediterranean Worlds and Beyond

Christoph Schäfer: Making Peace in the Hellenistic World

Wolfgang Spickermann: Problems of Making Peace in the Roman Republic: The Case of Appius Claudius Caecus and King Pyrrhus

Sven Günther: Frames of Making Peace and Treaties in the Roman Empire

Umberto Roberto: Making Peace with the Goths and the Burial of Athanaric in Constantinople (January 381): A Note on Jordanes, Getica 28, 142–145

Johannes Preiser-Kapeller: Many Eyes of the World? Making Peace between Byzantium and Other Empires, 600–1200 CE



The Idea of Marathon

Nevin, Sonya. 2022. The Idea of Marathon: Battle and Culture. London: Bloomsbury.

The Battle of Marathon changed the course of history in ancient Greece. To many, the impossible seemed to have been achieved – the mighty Persian Empire halted in its advance. What happened that day, why was the battle fought, and how did people make sense of it? This bold new history of the battle examines how the conflict unfolded and the ideas attached to it in antiquity and beyond. Many thought the battle offered lessons in how people should behave, with heroism to be emulated and faults to be avoided. While the battle itself was fought in one day, the battle for the idea of Marathon has lasted ever since. After immersing you in the battle, this work will help you to explore how the ancient Athenians used the battle in their relations between themselves and others, and how the battle continued to be used to express ideas about gods, empire, and morality in the age of Alexander and his successors, at Rome and in Greece under the Roman Empire, and in the ages after antiquity, even in our own era, in which Marathon plays a remarkable role in sport, film, and children’s literature with each retelling a re-imagining of the battle and its meaning. A clash of weapons, gods, and principles, this is Marathon as you’ve never seen it before!

Table of Contents

  1. Athenians at a Turning Point
  2. The Greek World
  3. Persia
  4. Revolt in Ionia
  5. The Plain of Marathon
  6. The Fight
  7. Surviving Marathon
  8. Events after Marathon
  9. Memories of Marathon in Fifth-Century Art and Literature
  10. Marathon beyond the Fifth-Century
  11. Marathon under Rome
  12. Marathon after Antiquity




The Hunt for Ancient Israel

Shafer-Elliott, Cynthia, Kristin Joachimsen, Ehud Ben Zvi & Pauline A. Viviano (eds.). 2022. The Hunt for Ancient Israel: Essays in Honour of Diana V. Edelman. Sheffield: Equinox.

The Hunt for Ancient Israel celebrates the contribution of Diana V. Edelman to the field of biblical studies and celebrates her personally as researcher, teacher, mentor, colleague, and mastermind of new research paths and groups. It salutes her unconventional, constant thinking and rethinking outside the box, and her challenging of established consensuses. This volume includes essays addressing biblical themes and texts, archaeological fieldwork, historical method, social memory and reception history.

Table of Contents

Front Matter


Cynthia Shafer-Elliott,Kristin Joachimsen,Ehud Ben Zvi,Pauline A. Viviano


Introduction [+]1-9

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott,Kristin Joachimsen,Ehud Ben Zvi,Pauline A. Viviano

Chapter 1

The Covenant of Circumcision (Genesis 17) as an Identity Marker of Nascent Judaism [+]10-26

Thomas Römer

Chapter 2

Pain, Gain, or Both? Circumcision, Trauma, and (R)Emasculation in Post-Exlic Israel [+]27-49

Anne-Mareike Schol-Wetter

Chapter 3

Remembering the Roles of Mother, Wives and Daughter in the Formation of the Identity and Story of Israel in Genesis 25–36 [+]50-68

Steinar Skarpnes

Chapter 4

The Joseph Story: Between a Family and a Polemical Story [+]69-92

Yairah Amit

Chapter 5

Shibboleth: Folklore and Redaction-History [+]93-104

Christoph Levin

Chapter 6

A Masterpiece of Early Hebrew Storytelling: The Seance at En-Dor (1 Samuel 28) [+]105-125

Reinhard Müller

Chapter 7

The Irrevocable Word of God (1 Kings 13:1–32) [+]126-136

Pauline A. Viviano

Chapter 8

The Pragmatic Challenge to Moses: Jeremiah 30:1-4 in Light of Deuteronomy [+]137-151

Benedetta Rossi

Chapter 9

Dating Haggai: Or Reframing the Context of a Prophetic Book [+]152-167

Bob Becking

Chapter 10

It’s All in the Lists! Building the Community through the Lists in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah [+]168-194

Maria Häusl

Chapter 11

References to Josiah in the Chronicles’ Narrative [+]195-217

Lowell K. Handy

Chapter 12

Keys to the Past? Archaeological Correlates of Social and Cultural Memory from the Ancient Levant [+]218-232

Aren Maeir

Chapter 13

Putting One’s House in Order: Household Archaeology at Tell Halif, Israel [+]233-257

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott

Chapter 14

Jericho by Qumran and Qumran by Jericho in Late Antiquity: A Multispectral Cultural Landscape through the New Cultural Studies [+]258-293

David Hamidovic

Chapter 15

Kings Saul, David, and Arthur: On Writing a History of the ‘Dark Age’ [+]294-312

Lester L. Grabbe

Chapter 16

The Appearance of Hebrew Prose and the Fabric of History [+]313-335

Daniel Pioske

Chapter 17

If I Ever Forget You, Benjamin… [+]336-359

James Anderson,Philippe Guillaume

Chapter 18

“He Shall Accomplish My Desired Will”: The Yehudized Cyrus in the Book of Isaiah [+]360-382

Kristin Joachimsen

Chapter 19

Where a Shattered Visage Lies? Warrants for Authority in Persian Yehud [+]383-406

Jason Silverman

Chapter 20

The Production of Literature in Judean Military Communities in Egypt [+]407-435

Anne Fitzpatrick-McKinley

Chapter 21

Praying History: Taking a Joyful Leap of Trust [+]436-454

Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher

Chapter 22

Cultural Memory, Identity, and the Past [+]455-475

Kåre Berge

Chapter 23

Alexander as a Site of Memory in Hellenistic Judah in the Context of Mnemonic Appropriations of ‘High-Value’ Outsiders [+]476-495

Ehud Ben Zvi

Chapter 24

Women’s Bravery: Jane Dieulafoy, Queen Parysatis, and the Reception of the Persian Empire in Nineteenth-Century France [+]496-520

Jorunn Okland

End Matter

List of Diana V. Edelman’s Publications [+]521-530

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott,Kristin Joachimsen,Ehud Ben Zvi,Pauline A. Viviano

Index of Authors [+]531-544

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott,Kristin Joachimsen,Ehud Ben Zvi,Pauline A. Viviano

Index of Ancient Textual Sources[+]545-571

Cynthia Shafer-Elliott,Kristin Joachimsen,Ehud Ben Zvi,Pauline A. Viviano


About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period

Hensel, Benedikt, Ehud Ben Zvi & Diana V. Edelman (eds.). 2022. About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period: Recent Research and Approaches from Archaeology, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Sheffield: Equinox.

This volume highlights and advances new developments in the study of Edom and Idumea in eighteen essays written by researchers from different disciplines (history, archaeology, Assyriology, epigraphy, memory studies, and Hebrew Bible studies). The topics examined include the emergence of Idumea, the evolution of Edomite/Idumean identity, the impact of the Arabian trade on the region, comparative and regional studies of Idumea and Judah, studies of specific sites, artifacts, epigraphic and literary sources, and a section on literary and ideological constructions and memories of “Edom” reflected in the Hebrew Bible. This volume is a “go-to” for all who are interested in the current state of research about Edom and Idumea.


Camels and their rations in the Persepolis Fortification Archive

Potts, Daniel T. 2021. Camels and their rations in the Persepolis Fortification Archive: An enigma and its variations. Egitto e Vicino Oriente 44, 231-247.

The feeding habits of camels entail exceedingly long periods (6-9 hours) of daily grazing and browsing unless fodder and/or rations are given to them as dietary supplements. Historical sources from the 17th to the 20th century attest to the use of such rations, particularly when camels were working, whether in commercial caravans or on military campaigns, and time constraints or a shortage of grazing would not provide the caloric intake necessary to keep the animals healthy and able to sustain their workload. These sources provide the key to understanding a small number of Persepolis Fortification Archive texts recording the disbursement of flour rations for camels. They also explain how ‘flour,’ normally a coarsely ground meal made of barley or another grain, was prepared with the addition of water, oil and/or other additives (fish, legumes), and formed into balls that were fed to camels as supplemental foodstuff. The study also presents some thoughts on long-distance travel involving camels. Based on several historical itineraries from the 17th and 18th century, it is possible to calculate likely rates of travel per day and time out for rest days, suggesting how long it may have taken to cover some of the distances mentioned in the Persepolis texts.


King of the World

Waters, Matt. 2022. King of the world: The life of Cyrus the Great. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The Persian Empire was the world’s first hyperpower, with territory stretching from Central Asia to Northeastern Africa and from Southeastern Europe to the Indus Valley. It was the dominant geopolitical force from the later sixth century to its conquest by Alexander in the 330s BCE. Much of the empire’s territory was conquered by its founder, Cyrus the Great, who reigned from 559-530 BCE. Cyrus became a legend in his own lifetime, and his career inspired keen interest from Persia’s unruly neighbors to the west, the ancient Greeks. The idealized portrait of Cyrus by the Greek Xenophon had a profound impact on ancient, medieval, and early modern debates about rulership.

King of the World provides an authoritative and accessible account of Cyrus the Great’s life, career, and legacy. While Greek sources remain central to any narrative about Cyrus, a wealth of primary evidence is found in the ancient Near East, including documentary, archaeological, art historical, and biblical material. Matt Waters draws from all of these sources while consistently contextualizing them in order to provide a cohesive understanding of Cyrus the Great. This overview addresses issues of interpretation and reconciles limited material, while the narrative keeps Cyrus the Great’s compelling career at the forefront. Cyrus’ legacy is enormous and not fully appreciated― King of the World takes readers on a journey that reveals his powerful impact and preserves his story for future generations.