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It is a commonplace of modern scholarship that the Athenians hated and despised the Persians, but the claims of contempt are disproved by the evidence of archaeology, epigraphy, iconography and literature, all of which reveal some facet of Athenian receptivity to Achaemenid Persian culture. The Athenian response was as richly complex as the spheres of interaction: both private and public, elite and sub-elite. It appears in pot shapes, clothing, luxurious display and monumental architecture. This innovative study, the first comprehensive collection of evidence pertaining to the relations between Athens and Persia in the fifth century BC, aims to make this evidence better known and in so doing to argue that the social culture of classical Athens was not the monolithic construct it might appear.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Preface; Maps; Part I. Spheres of Contact: 1. Relations between Athenians and Persians to the late fifth century: an overview; 2. Infusion and diffusion of alien goods: spoils of the Persian wars; 3. Cultural exchange through trade; 4. Zones of contact between Greeks and the Western Empire; 5. Diplomatic exchange: visions of splendour; Part II. Perserie: 6. Persian gold and Attic clay; 7. Incorporation of foreign items of dress; 8. Metamorphosis of a luxury culture; 9. The Odeion of Perikles and imperial expression; 10. Perserie: Athenian receptivity to Achaemenid culture; Figures; Glossary; Bibliography; List of figures; Index.

Reviews

"All who read this thought-provoking book will find their understanding of fifth-century Athens greatly enriched, and come to realise that her extraordinary achievements are predicated on intimate contact with the Persian empire." Ame lie Kuhrt, Phoenix

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