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Déjà Vu? Visual Culture in Western Asia Minor at the Beginning of Hellenistic Rule

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Chapter Summary

As the core of the subject is 'shifting social imaginaries' in the Hellenistic period, exploring the baseline first would be a good place to start. This chapter views the Achaemenid past as a significant source in this attempt, and uses a selection from the seal record of Western Asia Minor to characterize visual culture during the Achaemenid period. It presents some of the trends in the adoption of certain imagery and their correlation with the identities of individuals in the polyethnic society of the Achaemenid Empire. In the progress of Achaemenid Empire studies, seals, especially a large class referred to as 'Graeco-Persian', played a significant role in discussions about ethnocentricity in art historical research. The Achaemenid court and court society, court etiquette, and their replication at the regional level by satraps and local elite, have attracted the increased attention of researchers recently.

Keywords: Achaemenid court; Hellenistic period; visual culture; Western Asia Minor



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