A COMPANION TO THE ACHAEMENID PERSIAN EMPIRE A comprehensive review of the political, cultural, social, economic and religious history of the Achaemenid Empirem Often called the first world empire, the Achaemenid Empire is rooted in older Near Eastern traditions. A Companion to the Achaemenid Persian Empire offers a perspective in which the history of the empire is embedded in the preceding and subsequent epochs. In this way, the traditions that shaped the Achaemenid Empire become as visible as the powerful impact it had on further historical development. But the work does not only break new ground in this respect, but also in the fact that, in addition to written testimonies of all kinds, it also considers material tradition as an equal factor in historical reconstruction. This comprehensive two-volume set features contributions by internationally-recognized experts that offer balanced coverage of the whole of the empire from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia. Comprehensive in scope, the Companion provides readers with a panoramic view of the diversity, richness, and complexity of the Achaemenid Empire, dealing with all the many aspects of history, event history, administration, economy, society, communication, art, science and religion, illustrating the multifaceted nature of the first true empire. A unique historical account presented in its multiregional dimensions, this important resource deals with many aspects of history, administration, economy, society, communication, art, science and religion it deals with topics that have only recently attracted interest such as court life, leisure activities, gender roles, and more examines a variety of available sources to consider those predecessors who influenced Achaemenid structure, ideology, and self-expression contains the study of Nachleben and the history of perception up to the present day offers a spectrum of opinions in disputed fields of research, such as the interpretation of the imagery of Achaemenid art, or questions of religion includes extensive bibliographies in each chapter for use as starting points for further research devotes special interest to the east of the empire, which is often neglected in comparison to the western territories Part of the acclaimed Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series, A Companion to the Achaemenid Persian Empire is an indispensable work for students, instructors, and scholars of Persian and ancient world history, particularly the First Persian Empire.