The culture and ideology of Achaemenid kingship 404-323 B.C.
This study comprises a synthesis of textual, iconographic and archaeological evidence
relating to kingship in the later Achaemenid empire, from the end of the reign of
Darius II to the invasion and death of Alexander III of Macedon. Chapter 1 deals with
the textual evidence for the defenition of the Achaemenid dynasty in the fourth
century and considers literary definitions of kingship in epitaphic eulogies and heroic
conquest narratives. Authors referred to include Xenophon, Isocrates, Arrian and
Herodotus and Darius I's inscriptions are discussed in detail. Chapter 2 considers
'Court Tales' in Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew, looking at how foreign groups
presented themselves in the Achaemenid court and in relationship to the king.
Chapter 3 begins with court tales about objects and luxury material culture associated
with the Persian king and goes on to discuss pictorial and archaeological evidence for
its extent and associations. A detailed survey is made of extant Achaemenid-style glass
tableware. Chapter 4 expands this discussion into a survey of the fourth century royal
visual environment. Two case studies examine the iconographic presentation of the
king in two roles in a variety of media: the enthroned monarch accessible to
petitioners and the combative royal hero fighting beasts and representatives of subject
nations. Both genres represent structures through which regional cultures could
formulate distinctive relationships with Achaemenid authority. Key themes
throughout include regional engagement with royal culture and ideas and the
continuing depth of Near Eastern historical tradition in the later Achaemenid period.