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The Achaemenid Empire in Herodotus: identity and politics in the histories

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Matheus Treuk Medeiros de Araujo
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Marcelo Aparecido Rede; Henrique Modanez de Sant'Anna; Breno Battistin Sebastiani; Anderson Zalewski Vargas
Advisor: Marcelo Aparecido Rede

This thesis aims to analyze Greek perceptions of the Achaemenid Persian Empire and other Near Eastern empires taken as political entities, emphasizing the early look of Herodotus. The author first summarizes the state of scholarly research on Herodotus Histories and Greek attitudes towards Persia in an effort to clarify the complexity of Greco-Persian relations, which, according to the most recent research, were not only hostile, but also full of receptivity. The author examines next Assyrian and Persian ideas of empire and their concrete imperial organizations. One analyzes at length Persian royal iconography and political concepts such as bumi- and xaça-, concluding that these could convey an innovative idea of empire, albeit deeply rooted in older Mesopotamian traditions. One describes the way classical sources named the empire over time, with particular attention to the wording of early authors such as Herodotus, Aeschylus, and Thucydides. The author strives to explain in each case the use of hgemonía, arch, and even pólis to designate the Persian Empire. Finally, the author examines Herodotus terminology to name the Achaemenid Empire and how it conveys a strategy of allusions and resonances with critical overtones towards Athenian expansive policy. One proposes that Athens paradoxically incorporated Persian ideas of empire, while publicly denouncing Persian violence and international tyranny. This contradictory stance had its impacts over historians such as Herodotus and Thucydides and it is an instructive interpretative key to the Histories. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 16/14318-0 - The Achaemenid Empire in Herodotus: identity and politics in Herodotus' histories
Grantee:Matheus Treuk Medeiros de Araujo
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)