UW Press
 

 

 

FaceBook

FaceBook Twitter Tumblr GoodReads UW Press Newsletter

UW Press Blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

UW Madison

American Association of University Presses

 

 



 

Ctesias’ Persica and Its Near Eastern Context
Matt Waters

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Laura McClure, Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, and Matthew Roller, Series Editors

 

A modern historian of Persia looks at an ancient Greek history

The Persica is an extensive history of Assyria and Persia written by the Greek historian Ctesias, who served as a doctor to the Persian king Artaxerxes II around 400 BCE. Written for a Greek readership, the Persica influenced the development of both historiographic and literary traditions in Greece. It also, contends Matt Waters, is an essential but often misunderstood source for the history of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

Waters, as a historian of Persia with command of Akkadian, Elamite, and Old Persian languages in addition to Latin and Greek, offers a fresh interdisciplinary analysis of the Persica. He shows in detail how Ctesias’ history, though written in a Greek literary style, was infused with two millennia of Mesopotamian and Persian motifs, legends, and traditions. This Hellenized version of Persian culture was enormously influential in antiquity, shaping Greek stereotypes of effeminate Persian monarchs, licentious and vengeful queens, and conniving eunuchs. Waters’ revealing study contributes significantly to knowledge of ancient historiography, Persian dynastic traditions and culture, and the influence of Near Eastern texts and oral tradition on Greek literature.

 

Matt Waters Matt Waters is a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He is the author of Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550–330 BCE and A Survey of Neo-Elamite History.

 


 

Praise

“A pleasure to read. Waters opens new paths in Ctesian studies, showing that the Persica is not merely the product of a Greek playing literary games, but may actually have its origins in genuine documents from the ancient Near East.”
—Jan Pieter Stronk, editor and translator of Ctesias’ Persian History, Part 1

“This welcome study examines how the Greek author Ctesias processed an ancient Near Eastern and Iranian body of thought into a Greek world of ideas.”
—Josef Wiesehöfer, Kiel University

 

Publicity and Press Kit Resources

Click here for current & upcoming UW Press events

Download high resolution cover, color

Download high resolution cover, b/w

Download high resolution author photo, color

Download high resolution author photo, b/w

All images are at least 2.25 inches at 300 dpi wide; current title covers are a minimum of 1500 px wide/6 inches wide at 300 dpi. Please contact us if you need a custom size.

 

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at publicity@uwpress.wisc.edu or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

 


Of Related Interest


The Athenian Adonia in Context

The Athenian Adonia in Context
The Adonis Festival as Cultural Practice
Laurialan Reitzammer

Couched in Death

Couched in Death
Klinai and Identity in Anatolia and Beyond
Elizabeth P. Baughan

Ctesias’ Persica and Its Near Eastern Context
Larger images

January 2017
LC: 2016016555 PA
184 pp. 6 x 9
18 b/w illus., 1 map

Book icon
Casebound $64.95s
ISBN 978-0-299-31090-5
Shopping cart

ADD TO CART
Review Cart