Unità umana e diversità dei popoli nell'ideologia achemenide

Bruce Lincoln


This paper sketches the outlines of an imperial theology that informed and animated Achaemenian military, political, and economic policies. Cosmogonic mythology asserted that humanity originally possessed unity, but demonic forces - specifically that of "the Lie" (Old Persian /drauga/-) - fragmented that ideal state, producing the multiple lands and peoples of the globe that no longer recognize one another as parts of the same whole and who often come into conflict with each other. The creator is described as having responded to this problematic situation by establishing Darius and his successors as kings, charged first with overcoming the Lie and the divisions it introduced, and ultimately with restoring primordial unity and perfection. Persian conquests were theorized as advancing this goal, as were the imposition of Persian law, the extraction of tribute, and other processes of imperial domination.

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