Women in Ancient Persia, 559-331 B.C

By Maria Brosius | Go to book overview

members of the royal household while the harrinup are not. Four Fortification tablets (PF 1236, PF-NN 1734, PF-NN 1727, PF-NN Fort. 5206) and one Treasury tablet (PT 6) describe pašap as in the service of Artystone and Irdabama. Pašap were an important group of workers in the royal economy of Persepolis. The word pašap very likely refers to a specific 'class' of workers of Persepolis. The same might apply to the term harrinup.


SUMMARY

The evidence of the Fortification texts has allowed us a unique insight into the social and economic situation of Persian women, royal and non-royal, as well as female workers. Babylonian and Greek evidence that complements the description of the economic activities of royal women given in the Fortification texts has been presented. Since the dates of the Fortification texts are restricted to the reign of Darius I the Babylonian and Greek sources are crucial because they make it possible to extend the conclusions drawn from the Fortification texts to the situation of estate ownership of royal women in the fourth century BC.

The Fortification texts clearly identify royal women, but they also allow us to conclude that women who belonged to the wider circle of the royal household, for example through marriage with a member of that family, as may have been the case of Amisiri', also enjoyed considerable economic independence. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of showing that Achaemenid royal women were estate owners. This is even more the case if we consider that they were not restricted to a narrow geographical area but owned land in other satrapies of the empire. This was known in a general way from Greek sources. The Fortification texts and the Murašû texts, however, have allowed us to gain a more detailed impression of the different royal women who owned estates, as well as demonstrating that royal women could own several estates within a region, and that they were involved in managing the estates and in their administration by officials.

The independent position enjoyed by royal women is evident from their use of personal seals and their ability to give orders to their officials in form of letters. They clearly had at their disposal administrative facilities similar to those available to the king and Parnaka.

-180-

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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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