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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article considers ways of approaching Hellenism from the perspective of non-Hellenes and invites the reader to rethink some of the fundamental tenets of Hellenism. It argues that ancient Near Eastern sources offer a contrasting picture of cross-cultural contact in comparison with the Greek. For example, several kinds of evidence from the era of the Persian wars point to Greek involvement in the workforce at Persepolis, Susa, and Pasargadae, and in the bureaucracy of the Achaemenids. The article does not suggest that the non-Greek sources are necessarily more accurate or less biased than the Greek; rather, it illustrates how Near Eastern sources, which have been relatively neglected in the study of the eastern Mediterranean, cast a complementary light on historical situations that are also described by or impinge upon Greeks.

Keywords: Achaemenid Empire, Hellenism, Persian wars, eastern Mediterranean, Persepolis

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