King and Court in Ancient Persia 559 to 331 BCE

By Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones | Go to book overview

Preface

During the last thirty years or so, the study of Achaemenid Persia has developed into a rigorous discipline and has become an integral aspect of ancient history research and teaching at colleges, universities, and other scholarly institutions throughout much of the world. In this book the reader will meet with a number of the influential scholars who have turned Achaemenid history into that esteemed area of study, and I pay homage to the wisdom and energy they have brought (and continue to bring) to this burgeoning subject. But we stand, I think, on the cusp of another exciting period in the on-going study of the Achaemenid world in which newer scholars, secure in the discipline’s scholarly recognition, are building on the foundations of their predecessors to engage with (and challenge) their findings, and advance diverse methodologies, themes, and subjects, which will only help to enhance our perceptions of both the ancient Persians themselves and of the sources through which we are obliged to find them.

This book does not attempt to offer a narrative or analytical account of the sweep of Achaemenid history, or to provide a study of any specific regions of the Empire, or a re-evaluation of the historical source materials; nor does it try to be exhaustive in its scope. A recent series of books and articles has already done these things – comprehensively (and no doubt more will follow). Pierre Briant’s mammoth 2002 study From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian Empire (a translation of his 1996 French original) has become – and deservedly so – a cornerstone of modern Achaemenid historiography and it shares pride of place alongside the on-going publications of the Achaemenid History Workshop and Amélie Kuhrt’s equally monumental and eminently useful 2007 publication The Persian Empire – an exhaustive sourcebook rich in commentary and detail and extensive in its choice of subject matter. This present study takes a far more polarised view of a central (but crucially important) element of Achaemenid culture,

-xiii-

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King and Court in Ancient Persia 559 to 331 BCE
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editors’ Preface xi
  • Preface xiii
  • A Note on Abbreviations xvii
  • Timeline xix
  • Part I - Debates 1
  • Part II - Documents 149
  • Further Reading 229
  • Internet Resources 233
  • Bibliography 234
  • Index 254
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