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Potamianos, Helen Anastasia (1971) Archaeological evidence for the activity of the Achaemenid Persians in Greece. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028652

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Abstract

The Achaemenids were to the Greeks the supreme examples of power and wealth. Their political power extended to the confines of the known world and their wealth according to the Greek historians was unlimited. Towards the end of the fifth century and during the fourth they influenced Greek political like through their financial intervention. In the chapters that follow we shall discuss what is known as to the archaeological remains of the Achaemenids in Greece, because apart from Burns historical study, The Greeks and the Persians, there has been no comprehensive study on this subject. Specific items of Persian culture have of course been dealt with by Scholars. Boardmann has discussed Persian gems from Greece in his monumental work, Greek Gems and Finger Rings; the Kamini stele has been published by Bivar; the marble throne on the Akropolis with the figure in Persian dress has been dealt with by Richter; the impact that particular Persian customs have had on Greek culture have been discussed by Gow, Thompson, Broneer, and Bovon. We propose to explore some of the evidence derived from textiles and carpets, metalwork and coins, though to a certain extent we have been guided by the material to be found in Greece. Geographically we have limited ourselves to the boundaries of modern Greece excluding Cyprus and have dealt with certain sites which have been governed by Persian dignitaries; we shall also try and see the reasons why they were chosen. Historically we have confined ourselves to the fifth and fourth century B.C. until the battle of Granicus and Issus. One further point needs to be made before we proceed. This is the meaning of the term "Achaemenid Art." Achaemenid art is an art developed in the court of the Persian Monarch. It is a composite art, in that the Great King welcomed people from all over his empire to contribute to its formation. Paradoxically, its originality and unity lies exactly in the diverse origines of its component parts. Because it was an artificial art form having been created for the glory of the Great King, it was in a sense sterile. Decorative rather than organic, principles govern the representation and a marked uniformity exists between applied and major arts. Its death was, therefore, inherent in its origins. The term "Achaemenid Art" then designates not only a style but also a specific geographical area and a historical period in which such art is found. A further distinction should be made between the art of the 5th century and that of the 4th; because in the last period this composite art in turn influences the areas from which it originally derived.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028652
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28652

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