Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC

By Margaret C. Miller,

Book cover of Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity

Book description

It is a commonplace of modern scholarship that the Athenians hated and despised the Persians, but the claims of contempt are disproved by the evidence of archaeology, epigraphy, iconography and literature, all of which reveal some facet of Athenian receptivity to Achaemenid Persian culture. The Athenian response was as richly…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This remarkable study views the encounters between Persia and Athens through the movement of artwork and material artifacts. Beginning just after Xerxes’ invasion with the Athenian acquisition of Persian objects as wartime spoils, it explores other avenues for cultural dissemination in the contexts of economic exchange, diplomatic gifts, architectural influence, and the emulation and transformation of selected Persian fashions in status-signaling by wealthy Athenians. Carefully illustrated and argued, it expands the horizons of Persian-Greek studies from conflict to culture, driving home Lewis’ maxim that there was no “Iron Curtain” across the Aegean. 

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