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The Persian Empire, the Social Sciences, and Ancient Historiography: An Exploratory Workshop - 09-10


Studying the first Persian Empire (550 – 330 BCE) is both frustratingly immense and too restrictive, with extant evidence often not directly answering the questions we wish to ask of it. For social and cultural dynamics, very careful methodology is necessary to tease out more sophisticated understandings. However, it is no longer sufficient merely to mine existing theory that appears to be adaptable; rather, ancient historians need better integration in the broader social scientific discourse.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 09-10-11/01/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland)


INFO: web - -


Inscripción online / registration online / registrazione online


Wednesday, 9 January – Sociology 0900–1000 Keynote: Julia Jennings (University at Albany, SUNY) 1100–1300 Paper session I Farzad Abedi. The Philo-Persian Societies in Classical Greece Nenad Marković. Memphis, Sais, Buto and beyond: Indigenous Priesthood Networks in Persian Egypt (c. 526-484 BCE) Melanie Wasmuth. Negotiating Authority: The Acceptance of Cambyses as Egyptian Pharaoh as Means of Constructing Elite Identity 1430–1630 Paper session II Francis Borchardt. Ezra–Nehemiah and Torah as a Product of Social Authority Maarja Seire. The Authority and Autonomy of Archival Scribes in Mid-First Millennium BCE: the client-scribe relationships in Bēl-rēmanni and Marduk-rēmanni archives E. V. P. Vanderstraeten. The Social World of Marriage: Power relations prior to and after marriage in the Ea-Ilūtu-bani archive 1700–1820 Paper session III Jacob Stavis. Monuments and Memory at Pasargadae Nina Nikki and Lauri Laine. The Promise of Socio-Cognitive Approaches as Middle-Range Theories 1820–1900 Concluding discussion/ response Response: Petri Ylikoski 1900 Reception Thursday, 10 January – Political Science 0900–1000 Keynote: Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (New York University) 1100–1300 Paper session I Ossi Arpe. Political Science Approach Plan Seán W. Pieper. The Achaemenid Lion: Proto-Heraldry and the Significance of Imagery for Elite Culture Wu Xin. Drinking from the Old Cups: Elite of Central Asia in the Achaemenid Empire 1430–1630 Paper session II Kacper Ziemba. Law-Codes and Local Elites: case for the southern Levant Uzume Z. Wijnsma. Barking Dogs Never Bite? Elite criticism and quietism in First Persian Period Egypt Melissa Benson. How do Networks Relate to Ideas of ‘Authority’ and What Does ‘Authority’ Mean in the Persian Empire, on a Social Level? 1700–1820 Paper session III Andrew Deloucas. Dancing Around the Akītu: Envisioning a Lost Subject of the Persian Period Leila Makvandi. Local Calendars and Problem of their Adaptation in the Achaemenid Empire Archives 1820–1900 Concluding discussion/ response 1930 Workshop Dinner Friday, 11 January – Economics 0900–1000 Keynote: Jari Eloranta (University of Helsinki) 1100–1300 Paper session I Maurits W. Ertsen. Agencies of Empire: a Comparative History of the Importance of Daily Activities in Building Imperial Power Melanie Gross. The Conduct of Trade in Babylonian Sippar during the reign of Darius I Raz Kletter. Writing the Economies of Judah/ Yehud: Ideologies and Practices 1430–1630 Paper session II Rhyne King. De-urbanizing Political and Economic Power in the Achaemenid Persian Empire Caroline Wallis. Taxes as a Nexus: good for me, good for you, good for us? On collective well-being and utilitarianism in the Persian Empire Jason M. Silverman. Economics without Society or Politics? The interrelation of Assumptions concerning models in the ANE 1700–1800 Final discussion / response

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