The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
Trends in Achaemenid History
de France, Paris 
It has become common to emphasize that the conquests of Cyrus [the Great] and his successors opened an entirely new historical phase.
the first time, all the peoples and territories between the Indus and
the Mediterranean, between the Syr Darya and the Western Desert of
Egypt, were joined into a unified political formation, the Achaemenid
Persian empire. Although Achaemenid studies have been persistently
undervalued (for reasons which I have often discussed), they have
entered a new, flourishing period, especially in the last twenty years.
In this lecture, I would like to try to comprehend and to explain how
Achaemenid history is structured today, and what perspectives will
determine its development in the future.
pose such a question is an easy task.
But how to answer it in a brief, synthetic fashion?
It is five years since I tried to do so in my Histoire de
The fifth part of that book is called “The Fourth Century and
the Empire of Darius the Third in Achaemenid longue durée: an
Assessment and Prospect.” I would like to pursue the reflections which
I introduced there. Since then, in fact, I have continued to build up my
files, which I have placed at the disposition of researchers in a
periodic publication called Bulletin d’Histoire Achéménide,
“Bulletin of Achaemenid History.” The first issue
(BHAch I) appeared in 1997, in the form of a very large article,
and is also now available on line. The second issue (BHAch II) has just
emerged in the form of the book.
The first Bulletin analyzed more than five hundred books and
articles that appeared between Autumn, 1995 and Autumn, 1997. The second
deals with about 850 titles that appeared between Autumn, 1997 and
Autumn, 2000. The purpose of this work is plainly not to prepare tedious
bibliographic lists. It is rather to make a structured inventory in a
way that tries to present new information and new results produced not
only by new documents recently brought to light and/or recently
published, but produced also by the testing of hypotheses and by truly
innovative lines of research.
one strives to follow and evaluate
research and publication on a day-to-day basis and in an
exhaustive manner, one unavoidably develops a permanent habit of painful
epistemological questioning of the real results of the research.
This question is particularly difficult to resolve in the
Humanities, where accumulated erudition and bibliographical tautology
sometimes take the place of evidence that is accepted but misleading for
scientific innovation. To speak bluntly: what is really new in
what is published recently? In our domain, what are the signs
that permit us to assert that this or that study marks progress
in the order of knowledge? The answer may seem easy as long as one is
dealing with publications of documents, but it is quite a different
matter when one considers interpretative publications. And even among
publications of documents one has to make distinctions: some of them add
only one unpublished document in a series that is already known, without
modifying the general sense by much; others, on the other hand, call
attention to documentation that in itself may suggest wholly new lines
will begin by giving an overall evaluation, in a very synthetic form.
Then, in a second part, I will try to go more deeply into the analysis,
starting with a close-up view of a regional case: I have chosen Egypt
for reasons that I will give presently. As a conclusion, I will try to
explain what seem to me to be the conditions and methods for an
international collaboration in this field.
order to avoid diffuseness, and in order to give a conceptual coherence
to my topic, I have chosen to organise the presentation around a theme,
“Center and Periphery,” which I consider of decisive importance even
if it is expressed in such a banal phrase.
At this point, I would like to recall a memory.
In May, 1986 the fourth “Achaemenid Workshop” took place at
Groningen, convened jointly by the late Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and
The theme was precisely “Centre and Periphery.” The
relationships between the Achaemenid central authority and the various
provinces were actively discussed there.
Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg herself presented a paper with an
extremely revealing title, “The Quest for an Elusive Empire.” Indeed
the discussants underscored the apparent weakness of control by the
center over the periphery, so much so that the chairman of one of the
sessions expressed this thought, with a sort of exasperated surprise:
“Was there ever a Persian empire?” (p.XIII)
I myself repeated the thought as the introduction to a very
recent article on method, published in the form of a dialogue with my
friend and colleague Matt Stolper, who had been invited by the editors
of the celebrated French journal, Les Annales, to comment on my
book, Histoire de l’empire perse (Paris, 1996).
As Matt Stolper remarked in his contribution, the question that I
posed--“Did the Persian Empire exist?”--was rhetorical. I agree:
no-one actually doubts the historical reality of the Achaemenid empire.
Nevertheless, beneath its falsely naïve or truly absurd appearance, the
question expresses very neatly one of the major trends of the research
carried out during the last twenty years, a trend which I would
summarize with a series of interconnected questions:
What are the various markers of the Persian presence in the lands
of the empire? How can they
be identified? What
relationship can one establish between the number of Achaemenid objects
found in the provinces and the intensity of imperial power?
Must one continue to espouse the thesis that has so long been
taken as something obvious, according to which the imperial hold on the
territories was limited to a few closely-controlled enclaves and to the
axes of the major royal routes? Mentioning
this sort of interpretation leads back at once to the question that I
have already raised: obviously not whether the Achaemenid empire existed
as such, but what its nature and organization were.
will begin by considering the imperial territories as a whole, but
without trying to be exhaustive. By
way of samples, I have selected for analysis the results of recent
research under four headings: (i)
first, new archaeological findings; (ii) second, the development of
iconographic studies; (iii) third, the sometimes radical
reinterpretation of known documents; (iv) finally, a re-examination of
the “statististical” approach to imperial control.
It is essential to recognize first the progress brought about by the
growing number of excavations and surveys.
In Iran proper, excavations are continuing at Tepe Hagmataneh,
excavations are carried out at Susa, and eletromagnetic survey recently
carried out at Pasargadae by a Franco-Iranian team has revealed
sub-surface structures even where the available plans offered no hint of
Nevertheless, for well-known circumstantial reasons, interest has been
displaced from the lands at the center of the empire to the lands on the
periphery, especially the western periphery. Aside from Egypt, of which
I will speak at greater length in a moment, one should mention the
Transeuphratian territories; the team connected with the journal Transeuphratène
has just produced a voluminous general assessment, which accounts of
work during the years 1985-2000.
New information is also coming from lands which had hitherto been
thought of as lying on the margins of the empire:
excavations in Georgia and Armenia now reveal the intensity of
Achaemenid influence. Several sites in Turkey are especially important
for our topic, the satrapal capitals of Dascylium and Sardis, but also
Gordion in Phrygia, as well as the two cities of Lycia, namely Xanthos
and Limyra, which were the centers of client principalities under
imperial rule. As an example, I point to the particularly interesting
direction given to the excavations at Gordion since 1992-93, and the
first results that the two directors recently characterized thus:
“Research on the effect of Achaemenid rule on other aspects of
technology and economy at Gordion has just begun, but significant
changes in ceramics, horse gear, and military equipment are apparent
even at this preliminary stage of analysis.”
A second matter to be acknowledged is an axis of research that has been
especially well developed recently. That is the political analysis of
inconography from the center of the empire, beginning with this
question: to what extent does the presence of images copied or adapted
from the imperial court (audience scenes, the royal hero, and so forth)
reflect the Persian presence in the provinces, and, indeed, the imperial
The question is not new,
but the discussion has taken on a new life, on the one hand, because of
the refinement of new ways of reading the images, and, on the other
hand, because of the publication of very interesting corpora. I am
thinking in particular about the seal impressions and coins from
Samaria, published between 1997 and 2000;
but I am also thinking about truly extraordinary reliefs of Persepolitan
type discovered at the Cilician site of Meydancikkale (the final
publication of these was very recent );
and again, I am also thinking of an Egyptian stele, which I will discuss
in a moment. Other corpora, already known from examples, will be
extensively published in the next few months:
the seal impressions from Dascylium and part of the impressions
on the Persepolis tablets. The
number and distribution of Persian images in provincial corpora raises
interpretive problems that have been treated in several recent colloquia
A third point: of course, progress does not come only from the
publication of new documentary material; it comes also from the
re-examination of documents that have been known for some time. I will
take just one example that I know well, the epigraphic corpus from Asia
Minor, composed of Greek, Aramaic and multilingual inscriptions.
Three of these documents--the “Letter of Darius to Gadatas”
(known since 1889), the Xanthos trilingual (published in 1974), and the
inscription of Droaphernes at Sardes (published in 1975) belong to the
dossier on the bonds between the imperial authorities and the local
sanctuaries and pantheons. The
documents have been analyzed frequently in the general context of
Achaemenid royal policies toward the sanctuaries of Babylonia, Egypt,
and even Jerusalem. But the
re-examinations that I have offered recently (between 1998 and 2001),
have led me to the following conclusions:
one case (the “Letter of Darius to Gadatas”), the document is a
forgery of the Roman period.
a second case (the inscription of Droaphernes at Sardis), the text does
not illustrate how the Persian community at Sardis fell back upon its
own religious traditions; quite the contrary, it indicates the intense
intercultural exchanges between Persians of the imperial diaspora the
in the third case (the Xanthos trilingual), the life of the local
sanctuaries was not overseen or controlled by a special office of the
satrapal administration; the local communities managed their sanctuaries
and organized their cults autonomously.
To bring this selective tour around the horizon to a close, I come to my
fourth point, he critique of what I am call a pseudo-statistical
approach to imperial realities, an approach which consists of asserting
a mechanical relationship between the number of documents found in a
province and the intensity of the control exercised by the central
authorities. On this logic, an apparent sharp diminution in the number
of documents is interpreted as the mark of a decisive political
devolution. One of the best
examples is Babylonia, where it has been observed that some archives are
interrupted in the first years of the reign of Xerxes. It has been usual
to connect this observations with the revolts known from Classical
sources, and with the Babylonian usurpers attested in a few tablets. All
these matters are put in a cause-and-effect relationship with Xerxes’
brutal repressive measures against the Babylonian temples, and against
Babylonia itself, supposing that Babylonia was separated at this date
from the Transeuphratian territories.
In recent years, however, publications of tablets long held in
museum reserves have led Assyriologists to question their ideas about
archives and the closing of archives, and to be far more prudent about
the political inferences which one can or cannot draw from them.
four areas that I have just surveyed have a common characteristic.
The development of research in them illustrates a pronounced
movement toward better recognition of the Achaemenid phase in the
historical scale of the lands of the Near East during the first
millennium, by archaeologists as well as by historians. The periods
called “late,” long neglected by specialists, now give rise to many
is a good example. Until
the Seventies, the period of Persian rule had been studied relatively
little by Assyriologists. But the landscape has changed completely
because between 1982 and 2000 no less than fifteen books on this region
were published, not to mention corpora and catalogues of tablets. At
present, Babylonia has become one of the best-known lands of the empire,
although a provisional synthesis is still lacking.
One can assert the same development for Egypt, to which I will
fact, as a way of going more deeply into the practice of research I
would like to do a case study--Egypt, which was under Persian domination
first between 525 and about 400, and then again for a short period
between 343 and 332. Recent studies have modified the historian’s
point of view remarkably. The
view that has long prevailed is of a land in rebellion against foreign
domination--a land which did not hesitate to go into armed revolt
against the Persian authorities on many occasions. Egyptians were
incapable, it was supposed, of remaining under the imperial yoke for
long. This thesis went in lock-step with another, no less significant,
the thesis that Persian material evidence was absent or insignificant in
Egypt--a thesis that was in turn tied to a conviction that was
reaffirmed incessantly, namely, that Egyptian civilization continued to
live and develop, unaffected, after the Persian conquest just as before.
The proof of this was seen in the maintenance of traditional
architecture and sculpture.
In this centrifugal view of the empire, the Egyptian aristocrats who
were known to have worked within the imperial administration were
regularly characterized as “traitors” or “collaborators,”
isolated from an indigenous population that regularly burst into revolts
I do not intend to review each of the arguments proposed, nor each of
the frameworks of reasoning and interpretation most frequently proposed.
No-one would dream nowadays of denying the vitality of Egyptian cultural
traditions, nor the occurrence of revolts. I would simply observe,
first, that the case of Egypt, specific as it may be, should not be set
apart from the other lands of the empire. As I have insisted, the
pseudo-statistical vision of the imperial presence must be refined, at
the very least. The force of the dominant thesis has sometimes prevented
specialists from cataloging objects or artifacts correctly. This has
been recently shown by D.A. Aston in a study devoted to the funerary
archaeology of the Persian period in Egypt.
Progress comes from a distinct improvement in the precision of work on
the ceramics of the Achaemenid period. These efforts make it possible to
establish much more finely differentiated chronologies. But progress
also comes--and will come--even more from a modification of the way in
which the Egyptologists view the Persian period in Egypt. Aston
observes, somewhat caustically: “It is hard to believe that,
magically, in 525 BC a change in funerary customs suddenly resulted in
nothing being buried with the deceased!” He can thus demonstrate that
some of the funerary material had long been attributed to the Saite
period rather than to the Persian period because of erroneous
assumptions. On the level of method, his article seems to me to
exemplify the renewed interest in the Achaemenid period, but also to
exemplify the need for active research in museum reserves and for
revisions of catalogues and inventories.
is more, Egypt has not been left out of the renewal of Achaemenid
documentation. I do not intend to present a catalogue of discoveries
made during the last fifteen or twenty years, or even in the last five
years. But before dwelling
more specifically on a discovery that I consider to be one of the most
important for the Achaemenid empire as a whole, I will quickly mention
the discovery of the tomb of an Egyptian long since known from his
inscribed statue, Udjahorresnet, traditionally listed among the Egyptian
“collaborators” with Persian imperial power under Cambyses and
Darius. The recent
publication (1999) of his tomb by our Czech colleagues has put the whole
assemblage of archaeological and epigraphic information at the disposal
important and also newest is the 1995 publication of funerary stele that
is already justly famous.
The stele has three registers: on top, a winged disc; in the middle, a
traditional Egyptian scene of the display of the deceased on a bed; and
on the bottom, an extraordinary scene: facing left are two individuals,
apparently Egyptian, each shown standing behind an
offering table; one holds out a sort of crown decorated with a
flower to an individual seated on a Persian-style throne, turned to the
right; his feet rest on a footstool; he is depicted in Persian costume,
wearing the long pleated robe with wide sleeves that is also worn by
kings on the reliefs and seals from Persepolis and elsewhere; he has a
lotus flower in his left hand, and he raises a cup in his right hand; on
his hair, worn in a bun, he has a sort of metal diadem decorated with a
flower-bud in the middle, that is, over the man’s forehead. This
iconography, fascinating in itself for the mixture and union between
Egyptian traditions and Persian elements, is accompanied by a double
inscription, in demotic and hieroglyphic. Along with a traditional
prayer to Osiris, the inscription refers to the ka of Djedherbes,
son of Artam, born of the Lady Tanofrether. Thus we have an explicit
mention of a mixed marriage, between a Persian or an Iranian, Artam, and
an Egyptian woman, Tanofrether, and it is very interesting to observe
that the son has an Egyptian personal name.
This document gives rise to thoughts about the intensity of
intercultural exchanges in the Egypt of the Great Kings.
third example: in 1993 Bezalel Porten and Ada Yardeni brought out the
third volume of their corpus of Aramaic documents from Egypt.
(The fourth volume appeared in 1999.) It included a fascinating
document, recovered from a palimpsest under the famous text of the
“Wisdom of Ahiqar.” It
is an administrative text, dated in a regnal year of one of the
Achaemenid kings, either Xerxes or Artaxerxes I, with a summary of ships
entering and leaving Egypt.
Some of these ships are described as Ionian, and the names of
their captains sound Greek; the ethnicity of the second category is not
explicitly recorded, but it is practically certain that these boats come
from Syria-Phoenicia. This is clearly a partial register from a customs
post located at the entry of the Canopic mouth of the Nile, probably in
the town of Thônis. It
mentions the nature and rate of
the taxes levied on the ships and on the goods.
The Ionian ships pay in gold or silver, the other ships pay ten
percent of each item--which tells us what the cargos contained (wine,
oil, wood, metals, pottery, etc.). I need not insist on the exceptional
character of a document like this, absolutely unique in Antiquity.
Its contents show not only a continuity with practices attested
in Egypt both during the Saite period and during the period of
independence in the fourth century, but also adaptations introduced by
the Achaemenid imperial administration. The document renewed two
hitherto little-known chapters of Achaemenid history, one on customs
levies, the other on commercial exchanges in the Mediterranean basin.
come now to what is in my view one of the most important discoveries of
recent years. It took place less than ten years ago in the Western
Desert, south of the Khargeh Oasis, more precisely in the region of Dush.
The Achaemenid period at the oasis was long known, since the temple of
Hibis built by Darius I was identified long ago. Qanats [aqueducts]
been discovered there, but there was debate about their dating and the
possible introduction of an Iranian technique into Egypt. In 1992-93 a
new site was discovered, 3 km west of Dush, the site of Ayn Manâwîr,
located at the foot of an isolated hill.
Since then the site has been excavated by a mission of the
Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale under the direction of
Michel Wuttmann. Voluminous reports have been published every year, so I
will not review in detail the results to date.
I merely want to draw attention to the new elements that these
discoveries have introduced into discussion of the history and structure
of the Achaemenid empire, both at the level of regional history and at
the level of imperial history.
brief, the archaeologists have discovered an entire ancient village
buried in the sand, with houses, fields, orchards, irrigation channels
and even the hoofprints of bovines in the dried mud of a pond where the
animals were watered. The establishment and survival of the community
were secured by a novel means of access to the subsurface water trapped
in the sandstone hill: more than ten qanats have been discovered
there. And in an almost miraculous coincidence, a temple of Osiris has
been discovered, and, in an attached
house, hundreds of archival texts written in demotic on large
ostraca. That is, the archaeologists were able to work in nearly ideal
conditions, since they could use archaeological and written sources in
combination. The presence of precisely dated texts on the ostraca made
it immediately possible to date the pottery with great precision and
complete certainty, and so to make a new and decisive contribution to
the general framework of Persian-period archaeology in Egypt.
Furthermore, the contents of the documents themselves are very
illuminating. They are private contracts of purely Egyptian type, drawn
up among Egyptians. Not a single Iranian or Persian personal name has
yet been found in them. At the same time, the contracts are dated by the
regnal years of Achaemenid kings, Artaxerxes and Darius. The consensus
is that they are Artaxerxes the First and Darius the Second.
But during the last campaign (Autumn, 2000), an ostracon dated by
Xerxes was discovered,
so it is possible that some ostraca dated by Darius could be attributed
to the reign of Darius the First: on this plausible hypothesis, the
documentation of Ayn Manâwîr covers the entire Fifth Century.
does this documentation afford us?
I would say: a
certainty, and a new lead.
First of all, a certainty: It has long been a matter of
agreement, even in recent publications, that after the reign of Xerxes
the imperial authorities were largely uninterested in Egypt. The main
thing offered in support of this view was the supposedly sudden drop in
the quantity of Achaemenid documentation, according to the
pseudo-statistical view whose foundations I have been challenging since
a study published in 1987.
The documentation from Ayn Manâwîr has destroyed this vision once and
for all: now, the second half of the Fifth Century is especially well
In the second place, a new lead:
It has been opened by the firm Achaemenid dating of the qanats.
This discovery has contributed to two important, interconnected, topical
areas, the qanats themselves on the one hand, and the possible
policy of regional development on the other. These new discoveries
plainly invite us to resume the discussion on the origin and dating of qanats.
For the first time, on can date qanats to the Achaemenid
period with near-certainty. What should we deduce from this?
I organized a conference last year at the Collège de France,
precisely in order to deal with this point; the papers of the meeting
will be published next June, in the series that I recently inaugurated, Persika.
During the conference, archaeologists compared evidence from Ayn Manâwîr,
Iran, the Persian Gulf, and Urartu.
The participants included specialists in Greek epigraphic and
literary sources. I will briefly review the discussion.
only ancient mention of qanats, as has been well known, is a
passage of the Hellenistic historian Polybius (Histories, X.28),
describing an expedition conducted by Antiochos the Third against the
Parthian king Arsaces the Third, in Parthia itself, between Rhagai (just
next to Tehran) and Hekatompylos (at modern Shahr-i Qumis). The
information in the text is both technical and political.
Here is what it says (for convenience, I quote the translation by
Paton, in the Loeb Classical Library, even though it is debatable in
this region of which I speak, there is no water visible on the surface,
but even in the desert there are a number of underground channels
communicating with wells unknown to those not acquainted with the
also provides information on the origin of these qanats:
the time when the Persians were the rulers of Asia they gave to those
who conveyed a supply of water to places previously unirrigated the
right of cultivating the land for five generations … [so that] people
incurred great expense and trouble making underground channels reaching
a long distance …”
the technical level, the passage is quite imprecise. Polybius clearly
did not understand the logic and function of a qanat. Indeed, I
am certain that if one were not familiar with the qanat from
experience, one could never reconstruct it from this passage. On the
other hand, the passage has great interest for the historian because it
mentions privileges granted to the diggers of the qanats.
In exchange for their investment of money and labor, local
communities obtained usufruct of the land brought under cultivation for
a very long period, five generations, about a century and a half. Even
more decisive, Polybius explicitly credits the Achaemenid Great Kings
with this policy, and he draws a direct connection between the spread of
a technology and a political initiative. He thus opens for the modern
historian a familiar problem, that of the relationships between
technology, state and society. The information that Polybius
communicates clearly refers to a plan of regional development under the
initiative of the central government. This observation in itself
contributes to the debate on the rationality of the imperial economic
what can we glimpse at Ayn Manâwîr? The excavations to date show that
the village as it has been found was a new creation of the Achaemenid
period. It is also plain to see that this creation ex nihilo
could only have happened with recourse to a new technology, the qanat,
very probably a technology that came from the Iranian Plateau. We may
add that the site of Ayn Manâwîr is not unique, for surveys have shown
that other nearby sites were supplied with water during the same period.
If we add the construction of the temple of Hibis during the time of
Darius I, all these elements combined suggest the existence of a plan of
regional development, comparable to the one we can infer as the
background to Polybius. To be sure, problems remain, including the
reasons for such plans. Two
hypotheses are possible: an
economic hypothesis, which stresses a desire on the part of the
political power to exploit previously unproductive land and to draw
tribute from it; or else a political hypothesis, which instead gives
greater emphasis to the desire of the same imperial power to control the
main conduits of movement, the Great Khorasan road in the one case, and
the oasis route in the other. At bottom, these two hypotheses are not
necessarily mutually exclusive.
It is apparent here to what extent the discoveries still in
progress at Ayn Manâwîr have confirmed and amplified our knowledge of
Egypt under the Great Kings, in a spectacular and decisive manner.
If we consider the totality of new published documents, we must
conclude that, in a few years, the whole of the traditional
interpretative framework has been put on trial, on the basis of evidence
whose reality is incontrovertible. To be sure, I must repeat, no-one can
doubt the vitality of Egyptian social structures and ideology, nor the
existence of revolts against the conquerors.
But at the same time, one should not doubt the solidity of the
imperial hold on the Nile valley, and one should not reduce the Persian
presence in Egypt to a kind of epiphenomenon without any real
consequence. In this respect, the discoveries and publications on
Achaemenid Egypt that I have presented in brief are not just recent,
they are really new, and they open prospects of fundamental new
growth in the near future.
conclusion, I would like to say a few words about Achaemenid research in
the foreseeable future. It must be admitted that Achaemenid research
still suffers from persistent marginalization in the academic world.
Nowhere is there a research team specifically devoted to this field, and
to my knowledge there is only one solitary chair of Achaemenid history,
the one that the Collège de France recently created for me. In these
conditions, future vitality is by no means assured, for presenting a
doctoral dissertation on Achaemenid history is not a viable way of
obtaining a university post. The
teaching of antiquity is still organized around the Parthenon and the
Forum, and (in a less hegemonic fashion) around the more ancient Near
East of the third and second millennia B.C.
This situation is all the more unfortunate because,
paradoxically, archaeologists, numismatists and art historians are
showing a renewed interest in this period.
The problem is that the research is extremely compartmentalized,
conducted within a community which has had neither a common location for
a common strategy since the end of the Achaemenid Workshops in
It was for this reason that about a year ago, bearing in mind the
experiences and pioneering results of the Oriental Institute at Chicago,
I decided to plan an Internet site devoted exclusively to Achaemenid
history. This site, achemenet.com,
was presented for the first time at the Rencontre Assyriologique
Internationale that took place at the Collège de France in July 2000.
And in last December, an international colloquium at the Collège de
France gathered many researchers who were interested or already involved
in the project, and an International Steering Committee was formed.
Perhaps some of you have visited the web-site. If not, you will find a
presentation of its strategy and its aims in a brochure which I will
present to you, and which is also available on the website. The basic
aim is to make accessible and downloadable all documents pertinent to
Achaemenid history: texts
and inscriptions in every language and script, seals and seal
impressions, coins, reliefs, results of excavations and surveys, etc.
All this will take time, but the process has been launched.
final word. It is often remarked that the Internet permits the
development of “virtual communities.” In the case of Achaemenid
research, the situation is a little different. I think that a site like achemenet.com
will rather permit the transformation of a virtual scientific community
into a real scientific community--that, at least, is the hope that
thank you very much for your patient attention.
 I express my warmest thanks to Matt Stolper (Oriental Institute, Chicago) who has kindky accepted to translate my text into English.
 Histoire de l’empire perse. De Cyrus à Alexandre, Paris, Fayard, 1996.
 In Topoi [Lyon], Supp. 1 (1997): 5-127
 P.Briant, Bulletin d’Histoire Achéménide II (BHAch II), Paris, Éditions Thotm, Paris [http://www.thotm-editions.fr].
 Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg and Amélie Kuhrt (edd.), Achaemenid History IV, Leiden, 1990.
 M.W. Stolper, “Une ‘vision dure’ de l’histoire achéménide. (Note critique)”, Annales HHS, septembre-octobre, N°5 (1999) : 1109-1126; P. Briant, “L’histoire de l’empire achéménide aujourd’hui : l’historien et ses documents. (Commentaire de l’auteur)”, ibid. 1127-1136.
 See bibliography and analysis in my BHAch I (1997): 42-43 and BHAch II (2001): 71-73.
 J.Elayi-J. Sapin, Quinze ans de recherche (1985-2000) sur la Transeuphratène à l’époque perse (Transeuphratène, Supp.8), Gabalda, Paris, 2000.
 M.Voigt-T. Cuyler Young Jr, “From Phrygian capital to Achaemenid entrepot : middle and late Phrygian Gordion”, IA XXXIV (=Neo-Assyrian, Median, Achaemenian and other Studies in honor of David Stronach II), 1999 : 191-242 (p.236); également BHAch I: 22-24.
 See the discussions in BHAch I: 98-194 and BHAch II: 191-206.
 BHAch I: 29-30; II: 55-56, 197-199.
 BHAch II: 51, 199-200.
 “Droaphernès et la statue de Sardes”, in : M.Brosius-A.Kuhrt (edd.), Studies in Persian History : Essays in Memory of David M.Lewis (AchHist XI), Leiden (1998) : 205-226; “Cités et satrapes dans l’Empire achéménide: Pixôdaros et Xanthos”, CRAI (1998) : 305-340; “Histoire et archéologie d’un texte : la Lettre de Darius à Gadatas entre Perses, Grecs et Romains”, in M.Salvini-R. Gusmani (edd.), Licia e Lidia prima dell’ellenizzazione (Convegno Internazionale, Roma, ISMEA, 11-12 ottobre 1999), Roma, 2001.
 See my contribution to Achaemenid History III (1988): 131-173.
 “Dynasty 26, Dynasty 30, or Dynasty 27 ? In search of the funerary archeology of the Persian period”, in : A.Leahy-J.Tait (ed.), Studies on Ancient Egypt in honour of H.S. Smith, The Egypt Exploration Society (Occasional Publications 13) : London : 17-22
 L. Bare§, L., Abusir IV. The shaf tomb of Udjahorresnet at Abusir, Universitas Carolina Pragensis, The Karolinum Press, 1999.
 I. Mathieson. et al., “A stela of the Persian period from Saqqa¢ra”, JEA 81 (1995) : 23-41; cf. BHAch I, 34-35, 98-99; also my “Inscriptions multilingues d’époque achéménide : le texte et l’image”, in : D. Valbelle-J.Leclant (éd.), Le décret de Memphis (Actes du Colloque de la Fondation Singer-Polignac, Paris 1er juin 1999), Paris, Ed. de Boccard (2000) : 91-115 (p.101-105).
 See our commentary: P.Briant-R.Descat, “Un registre douanier de la satrapie d’Égypte à l’époque achéménide”, dans N.Grimal-B.Menu (edd.), Le commerce en Égypte ancienne (IFAO, Bibliothèque d’Études 121), Le Caire (1998): 59-104.
 Personal communication Michel Wuttmann.
 See Achaemenid History I (1987): 1-31; for Egypt, see my critical remarks on such a assumption in Histoire de l’empire perse (1996): 620, 1007-1008.
 P. Briant (ed.), Irrigation et drainage dans l’Antiquité. Qanats et canalisations souterraines en Iran, en Égypte et en Grèce (Ier millénaire av.n.è.), Persika 2, Paris, Éditions Thotm, 2001 (in press).
 Voir Id. “Polybe et les qanats: le témoignage et ses limites”, ibid.
 Cf. P. Briant, International Network of Achaemenid Studies and Resarches. Call for collaboration. (achemenet.com), Paris, Collège de France, 2000; see also BHAch II: 13-14.
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Page Keywords: Aryans, Achaemenian, Achaemenids, Hakhamanesh, Hakhamaneshian, Persians
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