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Ctesias at the Crossroads: Integrating Greek and Near Eastern Traditions in the Persica

By Matt Waters

The Greek historian Ctesias (Ktesias) served as a doctor to the Persian king Artaxerxes II, who reigned 404-358 BCE. Fragments of his Persica survive scattered in various ancient authors and in a severely-truncated epitome by the Byzantine patriarch and scholar Photius of the 9th century CE (main text editions Lenfant 2004 and Stronk 2010). Ctesias provides an important, but often frustrating, counter to Herodotus and other narrative Greek sources on the Persians.

Mortuary Traditions and Cultural Exchange in Anatolia

By Elspeth R.M. Dusinberre

The inhabitants of Anatolia during the Achaemenid period and Greeks shared an entwined history, shaped not only by war but also by extensive diplomacy, trade, and cultural exchange. Mortuary remains provide some of the most illuminating evidence for these interactions. Across Anatolia, mortuary treatment is tremendously variable. Even at a single site, we may observe multiple means of disposing of the dead. Certain forms follow local traditions, while others demonstrate radical departures that incorporate Greek or other traditions.

Athens, Cyprus, and Phoenicia: Trade Relations and Official Policies in the Fourth Century BC

By Brian Rutishauser

The nature of economic relations between the Greek mainland and the Persian Empire has been a long-neglected area in scholarship. Most studies have focused on the issue from a Greek (specifically Athenian) viewpoint, and also from a viewpoint of hostility and mutual distrust. An example would be the old concept of ‘culture wars’ between Greeks and Phoenicians on Cyprus (for criticism of this view see Raptou 2004).

Freedom and Its Relationship to the Greco-Persian Conflict

By Harold Vedeler

From our Greek sources, one of the most oft-cited reasons for Greek resistance to Persian westward expansion in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE is the question of freedom, perhaps best described in the conversation between the Spartan emissaries and their Persian host Hydarnes in Herodotus 7:135, where the Greeks, we are told, are “free” and the Persians are not, lacking even an understanding of the term.