Thesis Title

A Study of Fifth Century Persian Administration in Western Anatolia and Eber Nari

Author

Paul W. Lewis

Date of Graduation

Summer 1992

Degree

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

Committee Chair

Meridith Adams

Subject Categories

History

Abstract

The Persian Empire and the Persian period are important fields of historical study. Their art and language became the standard for the whole ancient near east. The Persians developed a pattern of culture whose influence is still felt today. The Persian period has two distinct features which has set it apart. First, this period lasted for over two hundred years with an expanse from the Indus river valley to the Greek peninsula. Second, the duration and size of the Persian Empire had created a Pax Persiana which enabled trade and cultural endeavors to prosper. These rulers built on their successes to improve the administration of their empire. Neither ancient nor modern have written much (at least what is extant) about the Persian Empire, particularly the dynasty of the Achaemenids, even though in the last half century, Persian studies has emerged as an important and separate entity. This is especially true in the last fifteen years with the Achaemenid Workshops, the works by Hans Frei/Klaus Koch, and Jack Martin Balcer, and also the Cambridge History of Iran (vol. 2), the Cambridge History of Judaism (vol.1), with others. However in the past as a whole, the Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Israelite and Hittite Empires were, and to a great extent are, the subjects that are the most studied in the pre-Classical world. Most of these scholars appreciate the influence and strength of Hammurabi of Babylon, Sargon of Akkad, Ramses II of Egypt, David of Israel, and others in the ancient and Classicial world, but they often only give a cursory glance at Darius I or Cyrus II, who accomplished many feats comparable to those accomplished by these others. Due to this attitude, both ancient and modern authorities have neglected the study of the Achaemenid period in three ways: by not searching for the information, by not writing about their findings or by not making these findings available in research institutes. Achaemenid rulers, epecially Cyrus II and Darius I, showed themselves ready and willing to face the task of improving the administration of the empire. The government of the Persian empire should be an expecially interesting topic. Although there are several articles and books upon specific aspects of Persian administration, there is still a void of reliable handbooks, and textbooks on this period for Palestine, and the Phoenician provinces and the area of Ionic city-states. In particular, works covering the Persian administration of these regions is lacking. This thesis is an attempt to synthesize and compare the Persian administration of these two regions.

Copyright

© Paul W. Lewis

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