Women in Ancient Persia, 559-331 B.C

By Maria Brosius | Go to book overview

6
Conclusion

What can be concluded from this investigation of the position of royal and non-royal women in Achaemenid Persia in the light of the Greek and Near Eastern sources? What has been achieved by re-examining the Greek evidence and to what extent have the Persepolis Fortification texts contributed to improving our understanding of Achaemenid women? How does the new knowledge we have gained alter the judgement modern scholars had formed about them?

We have established various titles and terms of reference for royal women and for non-royal women who belonged to the workforce of the Persis and its surrounding regions. The titles used for royal women were determined by the relationship between these women and the king. This was a custom known from Neo- Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian sources, and also was a practice documented in earlier Near Eastern monarchies. While such references for royal women who belonged to the immediate family of the king may reflect a continuation of monarchistic practice, we must recognize that there were differences in the position and status of royal women of the different Near Eastern monarchies. These differences were reflected in the types of action these women could take.

We have shown that Neo-Babylonian forms of address for royal women, such aššat šarri and mārat šarri, were used for members of the Achaemenid royal family, and we have identified equivalent forms in the Fortification texts. For example, the term sunki pakri was used for the king's daughter. The noun irti designated royal, noble, and non-royal women in the Fortification texts as wives. We have suggested that a reconstructed form *sunki irtiri could have identified the king's wife, and that the expression *sunki ammari was the form of reference for the king's mother, analogous to the Neo-Babylonian expression ummi šarri. It must be stressed that we

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Women in Ancient Persia, 559-331 B.C
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • Abbreviations and Symbols xiii
  • Weights and Measures xviii
  • Note to the Reader xix
  • I - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Titles for Royal Women 13
  • Introduction 13
  • 3 - Royal Marriage Alliances 35
  • 4 - Royal Women and the Achaemenid Court 83
  • Introduction 83
  • Conclusion 119
  • 5 - Women and the Economy of Achaemenid Persia 123
  • Summary 180
  • 6 - Conclusion 183
  • Glossary 201
  • List of Royal Marriage Alliances 204
  • Bibliography 207
  • Index of Ancient Sources 245
  • General Index 254
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