7 p.m., Wednesday, Mar. 6
The Achaemenid Persian empire (ca. 550-330 BCE) was enormous, incorporating thousands of miles and many cultures within its bounds. Thanks to textual, visual, and archaeological materials, we can reconstruct the sophisticated ways this empire governed its people before it was conquered by Alexander the Great. This talk considers archives, palaces, food and alcohol, gender relations, the original Pony Express, and the (literal!) use of smoke and mirrors in its analysis of Ancient Persia.