In this fascicle, Marco Ferrario challenges the black-white scenarios offered by literary sources in respect of the relations between the Achaemenid Empire and the peoples of the steppe. By adding recent archaeological findings and applying comparative research results he can show that the interactions between both the Empire and often-considered “marginal people” were by far more complex than the literary narratives suggest. The coins of the first four Ptolemaic kings in the collection of the Numismatic Department of the State Historical Museum (Moscow) are published and commented on by Svyatoslav V. Smirnov and Eugenii V. Zakharov. The second part of our research survey on space, topography, and cartography in the ancient world contains a paper by Jagpal Singh on the trade and cultural contacts between the Indus valley and the ancient Near Eastern region. Please note that from JAC 38/1 (2023) onwards, our journal uses new ISSN and CN: the ISSN is now 2097-2296 (old: 1004-9371), and CN is now 22-1428/K (old: CN 22-1213/K).
FERRARIO, MARCO: The Steppe Frontiers of Pārsa: Negotiating the Northeastern Borderlands of the Teispid-Achaemenid Empire (129-189)
SMIRNOV, SVYATOSLAV V. / ZAKHAROV, EUGENII V.: Early Ptolemaic Coins from the Collection of the State Historical Museum (Moscow) (191-235)
RESEARCH SURVEY: SPACE, TOPOGRAPHY, AND CARTOGRAPHY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, PART IISINGH, JAGPAL: Trade and Cultural Interaction between the Indus Valley and Ancient Near East: A Survey, Review, and Personal Outlook (237-248)
Marco FERRARIO (University of Trento / University of Augsburg)THE STEPPE FRONTIERS OF PĀRSA: NEGOTIATING THE NORTHEASTERN BORDERLANDS OF THE TEISPID-ACHAEMENID EMPIRE (pp. 129–189)doi: 10.16758/j.cnki.1004-9371.2023.04.016
The present paper seeks to offer a new interpretative scenario against the background of which to assess the dynamics underlying the interactions between the Achaemenid Empire (starting with Cyrus’ conquest of Central Asia) and the peoples of the steppes, which presided over the formation of what it is usually referred to as the frontier of the Empire itself in Baktria, Sogdiana, and Chorasmia.To this end, a set of literary sources comes under critical scrutiny, beginning with Herodotus and Strabo. The reason for this is that, despite the increase of the available evidentiary record, their interpretation in strongly oppositional terms (steppes versus sown) of the above-sketched process has been, and continues to be, very influential. In a second step, archaeological data and comparative evidence of a historical-ethnographic nature will be added, with the overarching aim of framing the narrative of the classical sources into a broader and, as it shall be argued, more proper social, economic, and ecological context.The outcome of such a study will hopefully be a more nuanced and complex picture of a crucial phase of Achaemenid history in Central Asia. In the light of the framework presented in the following pages, while on the one hand the driving force and organizational capacity of the newly formed Empire will emerge as decisive elements in the establishment of a new, distinctive, “imperial space” north of Bactr(i)a, on the other hand, the role of local communities in negotiating the modalities of their integration within the networks resulting from the birth and expansion of Achaemenid rule in the area will appear as having been of no less paramount importance.
Svyatoslav V. SMIRNOV (Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia) / Eugenii V. ZAKHAROV (The State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia)EARLY PTOLEMAIC COINS FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE STATE HISTORICAL MUSEUM (MOSCOW) (pp. 191–235)doi: 10.16758/j.cnki.1004-9371.2023.04.017
The present paper publishes the collection of early Ptolemaic coins from the Numismatic Department of the State Historical Museum (Moscow). It contains 125 items of the first four Ptolemaic kings from Ptolemy I to Ptolemy IV, including some rare and unrecorded specimens.
RESEARCH SURVEY: SPACE, TOPOGRAPHY, AND CARTOGRAPHY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, PART IICritical approaches to the study of geography in general, and to space, topography, and cartography in particular have enriched historical studies over the past decades. In a series of survey articles starting from JAC 38/1 (2023) onwards, we intend to provide an overview of current research and discussions within the various disciplines of ancient western studies and regions of the ancient world, ranging from the Ancient Near East and Egypt by way of the Greco-Roman periods to Late Antiquity.
Jagpal SINGH (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Gurukula Kangri Vishwavidyalaya (University), India)TRADE AND CULTURAL INTERACTION BETWEEN THE INDUS VALLEY AND ANCIENT NEAR EAST: A SURVEY, REVIEW, AND PERSONAL OUTLOOK (pp. 237–248)doi: 10.16758/j.cnki.1004-9371.2023.04.018
The paper re-examines studies of different scholars on trade and cultural relations between the Mesopotamia and the Indus valley civilizations, after the archaeologist John Marshall identified the Indus Valley as a civilization in 1924. Since then, archaeologists have been looking for evidence of trade and cultural interaction with the ancient Near East. Elisabeth During Caspers, the Parpola brothers, and some Assyriologists claim that there is evidence of long-distance contacts through trade and cultural interaction between the Indus Valley and Near Eastern cultures. However, some archaeologists have critically questioned the evidence put forward by theses scholars, while latest works testify again to closer interactions between Babylonia, the Gulf Region, and the Indus region. The author concludes with some personal perspective on the topic, derived from his dissertation.
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