The Achaemenid Persian kings ruled over the largest empire of antiquity, stretching from Libya to the steppes of Asia and from Ethiopia to Pakistan. From the palace-city of Persepolis, Cyrus the Great, Darius, Xerxes, and their heirs reigned supreme for centuries until the conquests of Alexander of Macedon brought the empire to a swift and unexpected end in the late 330s BCE.
In Persians, historian Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones tells the epic story of this dynasty and the world it ruled. Drawing on Iranian inscriptions, cuneiform tablets, art, and archaeology, he shows how the Achaemenid Persian Empire was the world’s first superpower—one built, despite its imperial ambition, on cooperation and tolerance. This is the definitive history of the Achaemenid dynasty and its legacies in modern-day Iran, a book that completely reshapes our understanding of the ancient world.
Manousos Kambouris revisits the epic events of the first Greco-Persian War and the Persian invasion of Greece. He gives excellent detail on the Persian perspective and sets the war in the context of the rise of Achaemenid Persia as the superpower of the day and the expansion of their empire into Europe. After relating the earlier Persian campaigns in Europe the author shows how the Ionian Revolt, by the Greeks of Asia Minor already under Persian rule, was instrumental. Darius I, the Persian King of Kings ordered the invasion of Greece ostensibly to punish the Greeks, and more specifically the Athenians, for their support of the Revolt and to contain further insurgencies but in truth to achieve god-ordained world dominance.
Describing the invasion in great detail, the author analyses the king’s immense (even if occasionally exaggerated) army, considering its composition and logistical constraints. The campaign leading to Marathon and the decisive battle itself are then clearly narrated. Manousos Kambouris’ meticulous research brings fresh insights to this timeless tale of defiance of the odds and victory for the underdog.
Josef Wiesehöfer is one of the leading German-speaking historians of ancient history and is a world-renowned scholar, who has made outstanding achievements in his fields of research. In keeping with the diversity of his research interests, especially in the field of Iran and the Iranian Great Empires as well as the history of scholarship of the field, four thematically volumes of his “Kleine Schriften” are planned. These Kleine Schriften are intended to provide an insight into his scholarly work and contain a selection of the 250 scholarly articles Wiesehöfer has published to date in over 45 years of research.
Volume 1, edited by Robert Rollinger and Kai Ruffing, focuses on the history of the Achaimenid Empire and brings together 14 essays, some of which were published in more remote places. The contributions are indexed and Josef Wiesehöfer himself has added a short commentary on the progress of research. The following volumes will be devoted to Hellenism and the Arsacids, the Sasanian and finally the history of scholarship of the field.
William Barker’s translation of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia is the first substantial translation from Greek directly to English in Tudor England. It presents to its English readers an extraordinarily important text for humanists across Europe: a semi-fictional biography of the ancient Persian emperor, Cyrus the Great, so generically rich that it became (in England as well as Europe) a popular authority and model in the very different fields of educational, political and literary theory, as well as in literature by Sidney, Spenser and others.
This edition, for the first time, identifies its translator as a hitherto overlooked figure from the circle of Sir John Cheke at St John’s College, Cambridge, locus of an important and influential revival of Greek scholarship. A prolific translator from Greek and Italian, Barker was a Catholic, and spent most of his career working as secretary to Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk. What little notoriety he eventually gained was as the ‘Italianified Englishman’ who told of Howard’s involvement in the Ridolfi plot. But even here, this edition shows, Barker’s intellectual patronage by Cheke and friends, and their enduring support of him, his translations and the Chekeian agenda, can be discerned.
The Achaemenid Empire is often addressed as the first World Empire. However, its roots are in Near Eastern traditions, some of which have been the subject of recent intensive reevaluation. This book takes a unique and innovative approach to the subject, considering those predecessors to whom the Achaemenid Empire was indebted for its structure, ideology, and self-expression, by examining both written and archaeological sources. It addresses the empire’s legacy, and its contemporary, later, and even modern reception.
A Companion to the Achaemenid Persian Empire takes into account all relevant historical sources, including archaeological ones. It places particular emphasis on looking at the Achaemenid Empire from its different centers, paying just as much attention to the widely neglected eastern parts as to the commonly covered western parts of the empire. The book considers, not only its political history, but also its social, economic, and religious history, institutions, and art and science, in an effort to draw a complete picture of the empire and to foster an appreciation for its lasting reputation.
The Achaemenid Royal Road was one of the crucial aspects of the Achaemenid imperial governance through which the affairs of this great empire were carried out. This major thoroughfare which on account of Herodotus’ reference extended from Sardis to Susa, was only one component of a more extended route network and allowed the Achaemenids to access and control conquered cities. Anatolia by the greatest number of the satrapies has played an important role in the center of this dominion. So far, determination of the actual course of the ‘Royal Road’ has been subject to much discussion due to ambiguities and discrepancies of historical explanations. Moreover, there has been little focus for archaeological research about the course of the ‘Royal Road’ in Anatolia. The purpose of this article is to reappraise and delineate the course of the ‘Royal Road’ in Anatolia during 550-330 BC concentrating mainly on the archaeological sites. To introduce a model for designating this road, the approach assumes that successive Achaemenid settlements are associated with this road. Therefore, the itinerary is retraced by recording the Achaemenid settlements based on the gamut of archaeological evidence, geographical features, diverse precursors to the ‘Royal Road’, and historical records where available. A new prospect is proposed, according to which the Achaemenid Royal Road extends more westward than what has been assumed before. An appreciation of this trunk line presents not only an invaluable opportunity to identify Achaemenid political and administrative might but also a proper understanding of the Achaemenid settlements in Anatolia.
The first work of its kind, this book offers students and faculty of all levels an easy-to-use, up-to-date reference tool on Herodotus of Halicarnassus (the “Father of History”) and provides Herodotean scholars with a collection of important strands of recent work. Topics include the debt of Greek historical writing to epic poetry (and other genres); narratological analysis of the text; Herodotus’ position vis-à-vis his predecessors and contemporaries; his use of sources; his notion of Greekness; and the growing body of Persian and other Near Eastern evidence for sixth- and fifth century events.
Spanning three volumes, The Herodotus Encyclopedia surveys the current state of knowledge and understanding of Herodotus’ work, and discusses past, current, and emerging approaches to the text. Featuring contributions from an international team of more than 150 scholars, it offers more than 2,500 entries which cover the individuals, peoples, and places Herodotus names in his Histories; the composition and central themes in his work; and the historical, social, intellectual, and literary context of the period. Many entries also explore the text’s scholarship and reception from antiquity up to the present day. Offers entries for every proper name, group, and region mentioned in Herodotus’ Histories Provides discussions of the history of Herodotean studies and scholarship Considers the historical and cultural contexts within which Herodotus wrote and lived Addresses the reception of Herodotus during antiquity and beyond Incorporates the methods and findings of several different disciplines in the humanities Features maps and illustrations, a user guide, an index, and full bibliographical information in each entry The Herodotus Encyclopedia is an indispensable text for scholars in classics and related fields, instructors who cover Herodotus or Greek history in their courses, research libraries, and students of ancient Greek history and literature.
* Offers entries for every proper name, group, and region mentioned in Herodotus’ Histories
* Provides discussions of the history of Herodotean studies and scholarship
*Considers the historical and cultural contexts within which Herodotus wrote and lived
*Addresses the reception of Herodotus during antiquity and beyond *Incorporates the methods and findings of several different disciplines in the humanities
* Features maps and illustrations, a user guide, an index, and full bibliographical information in each entry
The Herodotus Encyclopedia is an indispensable text for scholars in classics and related fields, instructors who cover Herodotus or Greek history in their courses, research libraries, and students of ancient Greek history and literature.
It has become controversial to use the word ‘harem’ to designate the wives and concubines of the Great King of the Persian Empire, but differing attitudes may be observed among scholars, from rejecting this term to claiming it for use, most often without a detailed justification. Although it seems at first sight to be helpful, the present paper argues against using the word ‘harem’ by highlighting its major interpretative drawbacks: (1) its definition is unstable and unclear; (2) it creates confusion between the different categories of women who are distinguished in our evidence; (3) it is misleading, since it imposes on antiquity western representations mainly linked with Ottoman sultans; (4) it has strong modern connotations, and implies value judgments which are not suitable for a sound historical analysis; (5) it feeds a form of orientalism, since it fosters the idea that the Orient does exist, that it is the opposite of the Occident of the western speaker, and that it has not changed for more than two thousand years. It is lastly argued that this notion of a Persian ‘harem’ does not date back to the Greeks, who had neither a similar word nor similar representations and value judgments, nor the same feeling of otherness in respect to the Persians.
Die Studie beleuchtet das Phänomen von Deportationen in Persien in der Zeit vor Alexander dem Großen. Das Sujet ist aus mehreren Gründen herausfordernd und anspruchsvoll und entbehrte deshalb lange der wissenschaftlichen Aufarbeitung. Zum einen ist die Quellenlage problematisch: Neben dem Mangel an indigenen Überlieferungen sind die zur Verfügung stehenden gräko-römischen Quellen von zahlreichen Klischees geprägt, die es zunächst auszuräumen gilt. Zum anderen muss das Phänomen der Deportation theoretisch erfasst und von anderen Migrationsprozessen unterschieden werden.
Chiara Matarese gelingt es durch eine detaillierte und kritische Analyse der Quellen, die Auslöser und die Ziele der persischen Deportationen deutlich zu machen und die Komplexität dieses vielfältigen Phänomens darzustellen. Die Autorin beantwortet zusätzlich entscheidende Fragen beispielsweise danach, ob die Deportierten zu Sklaven gemacht wurden, oder zu ihrem Identitätsverständnis nach der Umsiedlung. Dabei wird deutlich dass sich die Perser in Praxis und Herrschaftsauffassung in vielem als gelehrige Nachfolger der Herrscher des Neuassyrischen und des Neubabylonischen Reiches zeigten. Die Deportationspraxis stellte hier keine Ausnahme dar.