Pierre Briant, Chaire Histoire et civilisation du monde achemenide et de l'empire d'Alexandre, College de France, is a specialist in the history of the Near East during the era of the Persian Empire and the conquests of Alexander. He is the author of numerous books. Peter T. Daniels, the translator, is an independent scholar, editor, and translator who studied at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. He lives and works in New York City.
"...this is a magnificent history of the Persian Empire. In my opinion, it is a model of history writing. Briant wrestles with all the problems we have in trying to write a history of the times, does not reject sources out of hand but handles everything critically, and makes clear the basis of his own opinions. If I can do half as well in my own history of Persian-period Judah, I would be well satisfied." --Reviewer: Lester L. Grabbe of the University of Hull in Review of Biblical Literature 05/2003 "Briant's From Cyrus to Alexander is, without question, the most compendious, complete, up-to-date, and ground-breaking history of the Persian Empire yet to appear. No serious research into the Persian period can proceed without taking Briant's thorough analyses into account... [This book] must now be considered the primary source for Persian history and historiographical research. No other resource can compare to this volume's coverage and analysis of the period's difficult historical issues. Briant deftly uses a myriad of ancient and modern sources to weave a most fascinating historical portrait of the Persian Empire." --Reviewer: John W. Betlyon of Penn State University in BASOR 330 (2002) "Book Reviews" "The history of the first Persian Empire was long known only from the distorted picture given in the Old Testament and in the works of classical authors. From the second half of the last century this traditional picture has been slowly changing thanks to new archaeological and written sources. In 1996 P. Briant presented a new interpretation of Achaemenid history based on an analysis of primary sources and on a discussion of secondary sources. It is not a narrative history of the Persian Empire, but rather a deep analysis of the character of Achaemenid rule over large territories marked by great ethnocultural diversity and a variety of forms of local organization. The author critically approaches many long held opinions by confronting various, often conflicting sources. This monumental work, first published in French, is now available in an excellent English translation." --Jana Pecirkova, Archiv orientalni 71 2003