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Title: Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire
Author: Fried, Lisbeth S
Publisher: Eisenbrauns; Publication Date: 2004
Hardcover; ISBN: 9781575060903
Volumes: 1; Pages: xiii, 248
List Price in Hardcover: $49.50 Our price: $41.99
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Lisbeth S. Fried's insightful study investigates the impact of Achaemenid rule on the political power of local priesthoods during the 6th-4th centuries B.C.E. Scholars typically assume that, as long as tribute was sent to Susa, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, subject peoples remained autonomous. Fried's work challenges this assumption. She examines the inscriptions, coins, temple archives, and literary texts from Babylon, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Judah and concludes that there was no local autonomy. The only people with power in the Empire were Persians and their appointees. This was true for Judah as well. The High Priest had no real power; there was no theocracy. The wars that periodically engulfed the Levant in the fourth century temporarily pulled the ruling governors and satraps away from Judah, and during these times, the Judaean priesthood may have capitalized on the brief absence of Persian officials to mint coins, but they achieved their longed-for independence only much later, under the Maccabees.
Table of Contents
Contents include chapters on temple-palace relations in Babylonia, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Yehud (the Persian province of Judah).
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