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King Artaxerxes’ Aegean Policy

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image of Journal of Persianate Studies

Ernst Badian has argued that it would have been ideologically unacceptable for the great king of Persia to submit to negotiations with Athens and to bind himself by oath to the resulting Peace of Callias. This interpretation, however, is the result of the later Greek conception of the Peace of Callias as an Athenian victory over Persia, and the Peace of Antalcidas as a Persian humiliation of Greece. In this paper, I argue that the Achaemenid kings of Persia inherited notions of kinship, empire, and diplomacy from their Neo-Assyrian predecessors, and therefore saw treaties as an honorable and legitimate tool of empire.

Affiliations: 1: University of California Los Angeles


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