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date: 29 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an outline of the Achaemenid empire’s political history followed by an overview of the diverse sources for understanding some of its institutions. Despite inherent difficulties, the sources allow scholars to reconstruct vital aspects, such as the provincial system, variations in the way different provinces were managed, the “king’s law,” Persian religion, and the strength of central control which held the imperial regions together. The chapter ends with a consideration of the king’s position and royal ceremony and ideology.

Keywords: Achaemenid, Elam and Elamite, Aramaic, Greek writers, Old Persian, Darius I, Xerxes, Auramazda, satraps and satrapies, coronation

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