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The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period [Paperback]

Amélie Kuhrt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2009 0415552796 978-0415552790 1

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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The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period + The Persian Empire from Cyrus II to Artaxerxes I (Lactor)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415552796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415552790
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 19 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'Amelie Kuhrt is an invaluable guide. Not only has she assembled all the material on the Archaemenids that most historians will ever need, but she has also provided commentaries on it that are models of informed and balanced scholarship.' – Times Literary Supplement

'[T]he books do indeed constitute the most complete collection of source material for Achaemenid history that has yet been assembled... Kuhrt’s volumes will be an indispensable tool for all those interested in the Persian Empire for a very long time to come. The author is to be congratulated on a magnificent achievement that makes a fundamental contribution to studies of the Achaemenid period. This was recently recognized by the award to Amélie Kuhrt by the Islamic Republic of Iran of a Book of the Year prize for 2010.' - Palestine Exploration Quarterly

About the Author

Amelie Kuhrt is an Ancient Historian specialising in the Middle East, particularly the history of Mesopotamia and Iran in the first millennium BC.  She is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History at UCL and Fellow of the British Academy.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All about the Persian Empire 3 Jan 2010
Doing research on a particular aspect of the Achaemenid dynasty, I was advised by Dr W Henkelman of Amsterdam University, a foremost expert on this period, of the usefulness of this work by Dr Amélie Kuhrt -- and he certainly did not exaggerate. Dr Kuhrt's overview of the sources on the Achaemenid period is not only solid and thorough: it is a pleasure to read, too. Her well founded explanations of the documents give a great insight into their meaning. I warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Persian Empire.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Persian Sources (Hardback) 2 Jun 2011
By Dark41 - Published on
This compilation of sources is excellent in many ways.

First the professional background of Prof. Kuhrt, is distinguished and thus she has decades of research and editing on the Achaemenid Period to draw from for this project. (See published conference proceedings, Achaemenid History Volumes 1-14) This is a "selection" and it must be understood that this is not comprehensive of ALL written sources. What is here definitely covers the main themes and many more details. If you are inclined to either go to the original sources, or find the sources not included, information about their location is listed.

First, it brings a number of "Eastern" ancient texts and sources to a single place where they can be accessed. This is important for many researchers, and with the release of the paperback version, it brings a rich compilation of eastern and western sources (with clear English translations) to anyone who would like to access them.

The organization of the work is chronological by ruler, and several maps, diagrams, and explanations are included throughout. The various sources are formatted to allow a reader or researcher easy access. Most books of this nature are quite confusing. The author and publisher are to be commended for not making that mistake. For a researcher or academic of the Achaemenid Persian period, this book is invaluable.

This reference work meets the standard of what scholarship is supposed to be. It does reach across a number of disciplines (Art, Archaeology, History, Linguistics, Anthropological) as well as reach across traditionally rigid boundaries from Classical Greco-Roman studies to Near Eastern Studies. It hits the mark on all fronts.
5.0 out of 5 stars All you are looking for 9 Jun 2014
By Tom Erik Arnkil - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A corpus of sources - yes, certainly! All there, cited and discussed against and in the light of each other.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough 24 Feb 2013
By Mark D. Hornbogen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amelie Kuhrt is thorough in her research but not boring to read. I also bought her 2 volume set on the near east.
9 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, now where is volume I?!?! 26 Dec 2009
By D. Naraghi - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I noted that the Kindle store had "The Persian Empire, Volume II," but not "Volume I." I assumed this was some sort of mistake, and that the downloaded book would have both volumes. I was wrong. Can someone at Amazon please add the first volume to the store (or maybe just remove the second volume)?
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