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12499RE: [ANE-2] Re: The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East

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  • Lisbeth S. Fried
    May 25, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Clark,

      I don't know what you consider to be "material evidence." We have
      inscriptions which yield numerous Persian names overseeing canals, etc. in
      Babylon - see the work of Dandamaev. Thousands of contracts and receipts
      from Mesopotamia are dated according to the Persian kings. We now have an
      archive from the satrap of Bactria containing copies of letters to a
      governor of his in a city on the border of present-day Afghanistan dated to
      the years of Artaxerxes (III). The difficulty is that people began to use
      perishable papyri rather than clay tablets, but we have enough anyway to
      confirm the Greek texts.



      Liz



      Lisbeth S. Fried, Ph.D.

      Department of Near Eastern Studies

      and the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies

      University of Michigan

      202 S. Thayer -- Room 4111

      Ann Arbor, MI 48104

      www.lizfried.com <http://www.lizfried.com/>





      _____

      From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      Graham Hagens
      Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 1:54 PM
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and
      Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East





      It is not very good, and much evidence is literary, second or third hand.
      However most historians of the Achaemenid period concede that there was a
      Persian 'presence' in the northern Indian sub-continent west of the Indus
      from the time of Darius. Including Briant (2002: 756): 'The reality of
      Achaemenid power in the countries on the west bank of the Indus can hardly
      be doubted. Archaeology also appears to support those sources which
      identified Taxila as one of the capitals of Gandhara.

      Most importantly however, the existence of a Persian presence in Gandhara,
      an important centre of Vedic, Upanishadic and Hindu culture, would help
      clarify how ideas were exchanged between East and West during the so called
      Axial Age. The mechanism of this process has long been something of a
      mystery.

      Graham Hagens
      Hamilton, Ontario

      --- On Mon, 5/17/10, Clark Whelton <cwhelton@...
      <mailto:cwhelton%40mindspring.com> > wrote:

      From: Clark Whelton <cwhelton@...
      <mailto:cwhelton%40mindspring.com> >
      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and
      Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Monday, May 17, 2010, 12:35 PM



      Subject: [ANE-2] Re: The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and
      Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East

      Graham Hagens wrote:

      >>>>>>>>Thanks for this Liz. I look forward to getting a copy.
      That two century Achaemenid period was arguably one of the most creative in
      the long history of what we like to call civilization.
      In a forthcoming article in the classics journal Mouseion I argue that the
      Achaemenid satrapies in Gandhara played a pivotal role in the emergence of
      western and eastern (Greek, Buddhist, Upanishad, Jain) philosophies.
      Syncretic evidence supports the seldom cited 5th century BCE chronology of
      Siddartha Gautama and major Upanishad teachers suggesting that they like
      Herodotus, Democritus, Isaiah II/III, Nehemiah etc. were all at one time
      subjects of the same empire, and enjoyed similar degress of freedom to
      explore new ideas.

      As noted before on ANE, material evidence of the Persian Empire is missing
      in the archaeological records of Assyria and the Indus, two satrapies cited
      by Herodotus as producers of great wealth for the Persian treasury. What
      material evidence in there in Gandhara of the people who lived and worked
      there under Persian rule?

      Clark Whelton
      New York

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