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Imagining Xerxes: Ancient Perspectives on a Persian King: 1 Hardcover – Illustrated, 20 November 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover : 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1472514270
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1472514271
  • Dimensions : 15.6 x 1.57 x 23.39 cm
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic; 1st edition (20 November 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 2 ratings

Product description


Bridges well demonstrates the remarkable longevity that the ideologically-charged figure of Xerxes enjoyed in Greek and Roman literature over a span of almost a thousand years. One of the most valuable aspects of Bridges' book is its marshalling of such a great variety of Greek and Roman texts that deal with Xerxes. (David Branscome, Florida State University, USA Classical Journal)

[A] fascinating and compendious survey of ancient attitudes to Xerxes. (The Spectator 2015-02-14)

A fresh and rewarding approach to some familiar (and some less so) material ... [and a] rewarding study. (Classics Ireland)

This book convincingly illustrates the significance of the early Xerxes traditions found in Aeschylus and Herodotus, and the enduring interest in the Great King throughout classical antiquity. It will also serve as a vital starting point for those who wish to consider further ancient responses to Persian kingship, and might well inspire further inquiry into post-classical receptions of Xerxes and the Achaemenid dynasty. (The Journal of Hellenic Studies)

This readable book is highly recommended to anyone interested in cultural history, especially those who study the Greco-Roman portrayals of ancient Iranian history. (TYCHE (Bloomsbury Translation))

Few events left such a vivid impression on history as the invasion of Greece by Xerxes, King of Persia. In this lively, erudite and nuanced cultural history of the ancient portraits of Xerxes, Emma Bridges throws fresh new light on the ancient - and modern - western images of Asia and its archetypal ruler. (Edith Hall, Professor of Classics, King's College London, UK)

The central concern of Dr Bridges' original and challenging exercise in ancient reception-studies is to explore the richness and variety of Persian Great King Xerxes' afterlives within a diverse and complex literary tradition. This is a powerfully written and conceptually sophisticated treatment of an important topic within classical studies, which has the added appeal of including an excellent discussion of the cinematic reception of Xerxes in the 21st century. (Paul Cartledge is the A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, University of Cambridge, UK)

What to make of Xerxes? Ruthless tyrant? Hubris personified? Prisoner of history? Glorious war-lord? Victim of fortune? Decadent playboy? Lubricious harem-master? Or just the foil for Greece's glory, the great invader who brought out the best in those freedom-fighters of 480 BCE? He was all of those things, and Emma Bridges' beautifully written book traces all the shifts in the ideas and stories and fantasies that later generations wove as they dwelt on Greece's finest hour. (Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek, Oxford University, UK)

Book Description

A study of the ways in which Xerxes was envisaged and presented in sources ranging from the fifth century BC to the third century AD.

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