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Persianism in Antiquity

The socio-political and cultural memory of the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire played a very important role in Antiquity and later ages. This book is the first to systematically chart these multiform ideas and associations over time and to define them in relation to one another, as Persianism.

Rolf Strootman and Miguel John Versluys
11 April 2017

Hellenistic kings, Parthian monarchs, Romans and Sasanians: they all made a lot of meaning through the evolving concept of "Persia", as the twenty-one papers in this rich volume illustrate at length. Persianism underlies the notion of an East-West dichotomy that still pervades modern political rhetoric. In Antiquity and beyond, however, it also functioned in rather different ways, sometimes even as an alternative to Hellenism. Departing from the notion that texts, monuments and objects often belong to the domain of mnemohistory and written by a distinguished group of archaeologists, historians, classicists and Iranists, the volume underlines the importance of a global, Eurasian perspective to understand the cultural dynamics of Antiquity beyond East-West dichotomies.

In co-operation with the Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT) in Istanbul.