Thirteen of the papers presented in this volume originate from a colloquium of the same title, held at Istanbul on April 24-25, 2014 and dedicated to the cultural and political memory of the Achaemenid Empire in antiquity. Subsequently, another eight authors accepted an invitation to add their views on aspects of ‘Persianism’, bringing the total to 21 papers, 20 in English and one in German. The aim of the colloquium was to explore “how the concept of ‘Persianism’ can help us to better understand the intracultural entanglements by which … [cultural and political] memory [of the Achaemenid Empire] is created, and so move beyond the traditional separation between West and East that still pervades the grand narratives of ancient history and cultural studies” (7). In the introductory chapter (9-32), the editors define ‘Persianism’ as “ideas and associations revolving around Persia and appropriated in specific contexts for specific (socio-cultural or political) reasons” (9). ...Not surprisingly, "Persianism" in ancient Judea and ancient Judaism receives some attention.
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