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The Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BC) ruled over the first and largest 'world empire' in history: the Persian empire extended from the Babylonians in the east to the Jews and Greeks in the west, with fingers of control in the fringes of the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. Its sheer size was a factor in its destruction by Alexander the Great, yet long after its dismemberment its influence can be seen in the development of Judaism, the Old Testament of the Bible, and the formation of classical Greece.
Studying Achaemenid history has therefore been difficult in the past because original sources include texts from hugely disparate origins, many different languages and various periods in history; the risk is to rely too heavily on prejudiced and often inaccurate Greek and Roman sources.
Amélie Kuhrt presents here an unprecedented collection of key texts to form a complete and balanced representation of all aspects of the empire, in her own translations from their original Greek, Old Persian, Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Egyptian or Latin.
Kuhrt selects from classical writers, the Old Testament, royal inscriptions, administrative documents and Babylonian historical writing, as well as examining evidence from archaeological sites. All material is accompanied by a detailed introduction to the sources and guidelines to their interpretation.
A truly monumental achievement, this collection will prove to be the ultimate resource for any student of Persian history, from undergraduate level to the most advanced scholar.
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