Toulouse 2022 Call for Papers
Presences and Absences of Persian God(s), Kings, and Queens
The research unit PERSIAS examines imaginations of Persia in Jewish writings of different historical, geographical, social, and cultural contexts from mid-6th century BCE to 6th century CE. These two sections aim at reaching a deeper understanding of these various groups’ entanglement in different imperial settings, focused on presentations of the god(s), kings, and queens of Persia in selected writings. We will explore how such writings convey local negotiations of power relations with the empire, maintaining a position of strength in the imperial hierarchy while fostering the identity of the subaltern groups through the uses of symbols and practices. We invite contributions analyzing when royal figures are interpreted through the framework of Persia and where they have instead become ciphers for contemporary rulers. This includes writings in the current Hebrew Bible produced in the Persian period and writings representing different Jewish groups in subsequent periods when the actual rulers were Seleucid, Ptolemaic, and Hasmonean kings, Roman emperors, or Sasanian rule. By a comparative lens, we will also contribute to bridging the lack of Iranian and Graeco-Roman sources concerning the Levant in the Achaemenid and later periods by contextualizing sources with an imperial perspective. The sessions will be combined with invited papers and an open call for papers. We plan to publish the contributions in an anthology.