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THE PERSIAN VERSION Thomas Harrison Graves, ‘The Persian version’ ‘Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon.

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Presentation on theme: "THE PERSIAN VERSION Thomas Harrison Graves, ‘The Persian version’ ‘Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon."— Presentation transcript:

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3 THE PERSIAN VERSION Thomas Harrison

4 Graves, ‘The Persian version’ ‘Truth-loving Persians do not dwell upon The trivial skirmish fought near Marathon. As for the Greek theatrical tradition Which represents that summer's expedition Not as a mere reconnaisance in force By three brigades of foot and one of horse (Their left flank covered by some obsolete Light craft detached from the main Persian fleet) But as a grandiose, ill-starred attempt To conquer Greece - they treat it with contempt; And only incidentally refute Major Greek claims, by stressing what repute The Persian monarch and the Persian nation on by this salutary demonstration: Despite a strong defence and adverse weather All arms combined magnificently together.

5 The Behistun inscription of Darius For Henry Rawlinson, see especially his brother’s memoir: Rawlinson, G. (1898) Memoir of Major- General Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (London, New York, Bombay: Longmans, Green & Co.)

6 Rewriting Persian history: some key works Briant, P. (2002) From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian Empire, tr. Peter T. Daniels, (Lake Winona), originally published as Histoire de l’Empire Perse de Cyrus à Alexandre (Paris, 1996). Kuhrt, A. (2007) The Persian Empire. A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period (2 vols., London) Root, M.C. (1979) The King and Kingship in Achaemenid Art. Essays in the creation of an iconography of empire (Leiden: Brill) Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. (ed.) (1987-) Achaemenid History [a series of published workshops] (Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten) Wiesehoefer, J. (1996) Ancient Persia 550BC-550 AD (London: IB Tauris) And for an appreciation and critique, see my (2011) Writing Ancient Persia (London: Bloomsbury)

7 The Persepolis clay tablets For the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project, go to: ects/pfa/ ects/pfa/ For the best introduction to what we understand of the texts, see W. Henkelman (2008) The Other Gods who Are. Studies in Elamite-Iranian Acculturation Based on the Persepolis Fortification Texts, Achaemenid History XIV (Leiden)

8 The Bactrian delegation from the Persepolis Apadana The King in Audience

9 The royal hero in combat (from a door jamb at Persepolis)

10 The King with his parasol-bearer

11 Darius at Naqsh-i- Rustam By the favour of Ahuramazda these are the countries which I seized outside of Persia; I ruled over them; they bore tribute to me; what was said to them by me, that they did; my law – that held them firm … If now you shall think that "How many are the countries which King Darius held?" look at the sculptures (of those) who bear the throne, then shall you know, then shall it become known to you: the spear of a Persian man has gone forth far; then shall it become known to you: a Persian man has delivered battle far indeed from Persia

12 Reward and retribution; the King as global policeman ‘What a man does or performs (for me) according to his (natural) powers, (therewith) I am satisfied, and my pleasure is abundant, and i am well satisfied’ ‘Who does harm, him according to the damage thus I punish.’ ‘Saith Darius the King: Much which was ill-done that I made good. Provinces were in commotion (yaud); one man was smiting the other. The following I brought about by the favour of Ahuramazda, that the one does not smite the other at all, each one is in his place. My law – of that they feel fear, so that the stronger does not smite or destroy the weak’.

13 How to find Persian material in Greek sources? Pierre Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander p. 256: ‘In reading the classical authors, we must distinguish the Greek interpretative coating from the Achaemenid nugget of information. Rejecting the interpretation the Greek writers gave to an Achaemenid court custom does not imply that the custom or practice they were dealing with was pure and simple invention on their part.’

14 Miltiades at Marathon ‘If you vote with me, your country will be free and your city the first in Hellas. But if you side with those eager to avoid battle, you will have the opposite to all the good things I enumerated.’

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