Historiography

New PDF release: Ancient Persia in Western history : Hellenism and the

By Sasan Samiei

ISBN-10: 0857724142

ISBN-13: 9780857724144

ISBN-10: 085773606X

ISBN-13: 9780857736062

ISBN-10: 1780764804

ISBN-13: 9781780764801

The Achaemenid Empire, based by way of Cyrus the good within the sixth century, was once at its top the most important empire the realm had but obvious, stretching throughout Asia, the center East and North Africa. simply because this primary Persian Empire fought a chain of wars opposed to the traditional Greek city-states, it has usually been forged towards the Hellenistic cultures of the interval. historic Persia in Western historical past is a measured rejoinder to the dominant narrative that considers the Graeco-Persian Wars to be in simple terms the 1st around of an oft-repeated conflict among the despotic 'East' and the widely enlightened 'West'. Sasan Samiei analyses the historiography which has skewed our knowing of this important period - contrasting the paintings of Edward Gibbon and Goethe, which commemorated Classicism and Hellenistic historical past, with later writers reminiscent of John Linton Myres. ultimately, Samiei explores the cross-cultural encounters which constituted the Achaemenid interval itself, and repositions it as necessary to the heritage of Europe, Asia and the center East.

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There are three aspects to the centrality of German thought to Hellenism. The first is the aesthetic appreciation of the Hellene, as delineated by Johann Winckelmann (1717– 68) and other German Romantics, such as Lessing, Herder, Goethe and Schiller. The second is the sizeable contribution of Friedrich Hegel (1770– 1854), and in particular his idea that what matters in writing and relating history is the existence or otherwise of a historical geist (spirit). The third is Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844– 1900) unique take on the tragedy of Prometheus.

Thus by the last quarter of the century, the science of anthropology had come of age. However, whereas it was fairly straightforward to classify, say, technology, archaeology, zoology, and palaeontology as belonging to either the cultural or physical branch of anthropology, the science of language or linguistics was proving harder and more controversial to define and classify. The science of language or comparative philology had its earliest antecedence in (Late) Renaissance Europe. The Italian traveller F.

According to Humphrey Trevelyan in Goethe and the Greeks (1941), Johann Goethe (1749– 1832) saw in them [the Greeks] a people that had understood better than any other how to give form to life on a great scale. 77 In other words, the notion that the study of nature was in some way ‘toilsome’ would have mystified both Goethe and his Greeks. Goethe was not, it has to be said, averse to 32 ANCIENT PERSIA IN WESTERN HISTORY extolling the qualities of the Greeks. His fascination, however, was, in the main, with the beautiful complexity of the inner life of the (Greek) man: Greek tragedy [.

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Ancient Persia in Western history : Hellenism and the representation of the Achaemenid Empire by Sasan Samiei


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