Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Elspeth Dusinberre

Abstract

The Achaemenid Empire (550 to 330 BCE) emerged out of the strong imperial leadership of Cyrus the Great and was vast, covering many different landscapes and incorporating a wide variety of peoples. In order for this empire to be successful, a system of administrative territories called satrapies was employed. Due to the massive size of the Achaemenid Empire and the myriad of cultures and histories contained within, it is important that each satrapy is investigated on its own terms, considering local cultural and political traditions. One such territory is the Achaemenid Satrapy of Armenia. Armenia emerged out of the fallen kingdom of Urartu and played a role in the imagination of both the Achaemenids and their neighbors, the Greeks. As part of the Achaemenid Empire, Armenia emerges as a land of hearty people, abundant natural resources, and powerful political players. By considering Achaemenid epigraphic sources, Classical literary sources, and the difficult archaeological evidence from the former satrapy, this thesis begins to explore Armenia as part of this vast empire and how Achaemenid rule influenced the region.

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