Yauna: identity, religion, and tyranny in Achaemenid Asia Minor
My project aims to investigate the reality of Greek experience within the Achaemenid Empire. Scholars see life in Persian Asia Minor as one of two extremes. On the one hand, some commentators suggest that the Greek poleis suffered severely under Persian rule. On the other hand, most scholars see Persian domination as ‘light-by-touch’ since it was only during rebellions that Greeks subjects were treated harshly. This thesis proposes to gain a more balanced understanding of life during Achaemenid hegemony by exploring a variety of themes such as religion, identity, political culture, and economic realities. For example, the Achaemenids’ reputation for religious tolerance, and the ‘easy-going’ nature of Greek religious experience under Persian rule, will be challenged. I want to investigate the relationship between religious pollution and Achaemenid-sponsored Greek tyranny and consider how these ideas of impurity relate to the nature of Achaemenid rule more generally.