Ctesias' History of Persia: Tales of the Orient

Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd and Robson, James (2009). Ctesias' History of Persia: Tales of the Orient. Routledge Classical Translations. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/Ctesias-History-of-...

Abstract

At the beginning of the fourth century BC Ctesias of Cnidus wrote his 23 book History of Persia. Ctesias is a remarkable figure: he lived and worked in the Persian court of the Achaemenid kings and, as a doctor, tended to the world’s most powerful kings and queens. His position gave him special insight into the workings of Persian court life and court politics.
His History of Persia was completed at a time when the Greeks were fascinated by Persia and seems, on one level, very much to cater to contemporary Greek interest in Persian wealth and opulence, powerful Persian women, the institution of the harem, kings and queens, eunuchs and secret plots. However, Ctesias' work is more than simple palace gossip; it is suggested here that Ctesias was attempting to write something new: a history of Persia from the inside, a Persian account of the past.
Presented here in English translation for the first time with an extensive introduction, Ctesias' History of Persia: Tales of the Orient offers a fascinating insight into Persian history and re-evaluates Ctesias' legacy as a historian of the ancient Near East.

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