Preliminary draft release. Additional documentation is forthcoming



The geographically remote and culturally distinct worlds of ancient Greece and ancient Iran were brought into direct contact with each other as a consequence of successive Persian and Greek aspirations to conquest and rule. In the mid-sixth century BC, far-flung territorial expansion by the founder of the Persian empire, Cyrus the Great, marked the beginning of a two centuries long era of intense Greek-Persian interaction, mostly in the eastern Mediterranean. The campaigns of Alexander the Great in the late fourth century BC ushered in a new period of Greek-Iranian contacts in the East, leaving a legacy that was to be echoed in the Iranian world long after the collapse of the Greek-Macedonian regime, down to the beginning of the Islamic era (ca. AD 650) and beyond.

The meetings of the Iranian and Greek cultures on Iranian territory —meetings that visibly took on a different character in the successive Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian and Sasanian periods— are attested today by a wide range of archaeological, literary, epigraphic and numismatic evidence. This testifies for a dialogue between ancient Iranian and Greek art and architecture, political, administrative, civic, economic and religious practices, linguistic and ideological expressions, and ways of life: in short, for an extensive potential for mutual Greek and Iranian cross-cultural enrichment. On the whole, however, the profiles of this symbiosis and mutual acculturation remain difficult to pin down. The surviving documentation for Greek-Iranian phenomena locally is highly fragmentary, uneven and fraught with ambiguities, the various pieces of evidence giving rise, more often than not, to more questions than answers.

ACHAEMENID PERIOD (ca. 550 - 331 BC)

In the Persian homeland relations with the Greeks and the conquest of Greek territories are echoed from very early on by the imperial rhetoric of the Achaemenid kings. Though of lesser importance to the Persians, by comparison with, say, the Babylonians and Egyptians, the different Greek subjects of the Achaemenid monarchs were nonetheless evoked by a number of separate entries in royal subject lists (e.g., Kent 1943) and featured in imperial representations of the conquered peoples (e.g. Sancisi-Weerdenburg 2001). All these references proclaimed, as did the numismatic issues of Aegean and Cypriot states buried in the foundation deposits of the Apadāna at Persepolis, the hitherto unparalleled extent of eastern imperialist expansion in the West under the Persians (e.g., Zournatzi 2003).

At the same time, indications for a Greek presence locally as workmen and artisans —not to mention a host of others who came to Iran, as we learn from classical sources, as deportees from their homelands, ambassadors, fugitives, and even as resident physicians and advisors in the Persian court (Hofstetter 1978)— are offered in a number of instances by rare graffiti left by the Greeks themselves on Persepolitan sculpture (e.g., Nylander and Flemberg 1981/83) and in the Persepolis stone quarries (e.g., Pugliese Carratelli 1966; Rougemont 2012a: 55-58), by Ionian-Lydian masonry techniques and tool marks and formal elements attested in monumental architecture as early as the building program of Cyrus the Great at Pasargadae (Nylander 1970; Stronach 1978; Boardman 2000), and, not least, by the Greek style of drapery found in Achaemenid monumental sculpture (Richter 1946; Boardman 2000).

To date, the precise extent of Greek input in the creation of the home monumental settings of Persian rule is obscured by the mingling of Greek elements with features derived from the traditions of the empire’s other subjects in the imperially-created forms of Persian art. The technical minutiae (e.g., Nylander 1970, 1979; Roaf 1983; idem 1990) of Greek craftsmen’s involvement in these monumental works are also a topic for further investigation.


The broader picture of developments in the Alexandrine-Seleucid period speaks for a still more significant Greek presence and a greater potential for mutual enrichment and transformation between Greek and Iranian elements in Iranian territory when, following Alexander’s conquest, Greeks-Macedonians were physically established in the Iranian homeland, no longer as subjects, but as heirs to the previous Achaemenid hegemony.

As elsewhere in the Alexandrine and Hellenistic world, installations, ranging from mere garrison posts to actual cities in the Greek sense (poleis with Greek institutions), were founded in Iran by Alexander and his Seleucid successors (Fraser 1996; Cohen 2013) to consolidate conquest and, not least, with a view to promote economic development and monetization (Aperghis 2004). Settled at least in part with Greek-Macedonian colonists, these garrisons and cities could offer a setting for the introduction within Iranian territory, sometimes in centers of Iranian culture of soaring antiquity (such as Susa), of Greek institutions, ways of life, artistic and intellectual creations, as well as for direct contacts between the Greek and Iranian populations who co-existed in urban environments, served together in Seleucid armies and the Seleucid court and intermarried.

Rare under the Achaemenids, imported Greek artifacts also occur in greater numbers in Iran, and there are indications for the production of imitations of Greek works locally (e.g., Martinez-Sève 2002b). Formerly sparsely represented by a handful of Greek craftsmen’s graffiti at the Persepolis limestone quarries and a single Persepolitan chancery text (Hallock 1969: 2 no. 1771; Rougemont 2012a: no. 54, with earlier bibliography), the Greek language also appears to have become under the Seleucids the medium of official expression, as indicated by finds of state inscriptions in Greek (e.g., Rougemont 2012a-b). Introduced on an empire-wide scale by Alexander and the Seleucids, coinage was to function thereafter in Iran (as in the adjacent territories of Western and Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent) as the basis for state economic transactions and worked its way into local economies. Greek religion, virtually unattested in Iran under the Achaemenids, acquired a material presence locally through the foundation of Greek sanctuaries, references in local inscriptions, iconographic devices on coins and seals, and religious statuary in terracotta, metal and stone.

As in the Achaemenid period, crucial aspects of the local dialogue between the Greek and Iranian cultures remain difficult to define. The available evidence on Seleucid administration seemingly allows a wide scope for conflicting reconstructions concerning the interplay of Greek-Macedonian with earlier Achaemenid state practices (e.g., the contrasting views of Aperghis 2008 and Tuplin 2008). Information about the key physical settings (urban, military, religious) of Greek-Iranian co-existence, such as could enable one to form a picture of possible Greek-Macedonian adaptations to native Iranian notions of settlement organization and architectural predilections and vice-versa, or supply evidence for spatial/social demarcations between Iranian and Greek communities, or allow one to gauge the degree of the susceptibility of the Greeks and Iranians to each other’s religious ideas, social and civic institutions, customs and material culture, is very limited. What little evidence there is comes primarily from Susa (e.g., Le Rider 1965; Martinez-Sève 2002a and eadem 2015 with relevant bibliography). Major centers of a Seleucid presence in Iran itself are still underexplored (e.g., Ecbatana [Brown 1997; Boucharlat 1998; relevant papers in Fahimi and Alizadeh 2012 and Hozhabri 2013] and Nahāvand [e.g., Rahbar and Alibaigi 1390/2011; Rahbar et al. 2014]) or difficult to locate (e.g., Antioch in Persis [e.g., Rougemont 2016).

The extent to which Greek works and local imitations found in Iran might have been imported or produced for Greek-Macedonian colonists, or also for, at least, the hellenized Iranian elite, remains a moot point. At present, the specifics of the phenomena of acculturation —which are also strongly implied by literary references to extensive intermarriages in the time of Alexander and later— are largely elusive in the written and archaeological records. On the Greek-Macedonian side, a rare clear statement concerning acquired Iranian manners is the instance of Peucestas, the governor appointed by Alexander over Persis, who learned the Persian language and adopted Iranian attire and customs (Arr. Anab. 6.30.2-3, 7.6.3; but see also Bosworth 1980, Wiesehöfer 1994 and Briant 2005, for Alexander’s Iranian policies).

PARTHIAN (ca. 150 BC - AD 224) AND SASANIAN (AD 224 - 651) PERIODS

A number of the Greek features that were transplanted during the Achaemenid and Seleucid periods were clearly perpetuated and continued to evolve after the collapse of the Seleucid state in Iran, while the cultural outlook of the revived Iranian polity under the Arsacid Parthian and Sasanian dynasties was evidently further modulated by ongoing contacts with the Greco-Roman world.

The Parthians continued the Greek practice of coinage. Parthian minting fashions preserved Greek weights, adapted Seleucid iconographic types, used legends in the Greek language and script, and even advertised, through the epithets used by kings (e.g., philhellēnos: Sellwood 1980: type 13; Alram 1986: 122), the favorable disposition of the Parthian regime to things hellenic. Greek, the language of the Seleucid chancery and royal announcements, continued to be attested, beyond its occurrence on Parthian coinage, in legal documents (e.g. in two Greek documents from the Owrāmān [Avroman] Caves: Minns 1915; Rougemont 2012a: nos. 73-74) and official pronouncements in the first three centuries of the Parthian era. It was still used on occasion in Sasanian times, as a medium of royal Sasanian addresses to contemporary Greek-speaking communities (e.g., in the res gestae of Šāhpūhr I on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt at Naqš-e Rostam, inscribed in three languages, Middle Persian, Parthian and Greek: Huyse 1999; Canali De Rossi 2004: no. 261). The names and forms of Greek divinities (such as Artemis and Dionysus) and mythological figures of cult (notably, Heracles) are also attested beyond the Seleucid period (e.g., Boyce and Grenet 1991: 43-48). The stucco decoration of a late Parthian pavilion at Qalʿa ye Yazdegerd (e.g., Keall et al. 1980), the ‘hellenizing’ architecture of the so-called Anāhitā Temple at Kangāvar (e.g., Azarnoush 1981), the technique and iconography of the famous Bīšāpūr mosaics (Ghirshman 1956), the western affinities of statuary found in the fourth-century AD Sasanian manor at Hājīābād (e.g., Azarnoush 1994; idem 2008), are all instances testifying to a continuing dialogue between the Iranian and Greek worlds down to the Sasanian period, not least as a part of the well-attested Sasanian appreciation for the Greco-Roman artistic and intellectual traditions.

Once again, however, one is dealing with phenomena that it is difficult to contextualize properly. There is still a lack of adequate insights into the settings of settlements and continuities/discontinuities of institutions from the Seleucid to the Parthian period from a local Iranian perspective. Greek devices and legends on Parthian coinage foster the notion of a ‘direct’ Parthian succession to Seleucid rule. The possible expression, however, of Iranian ideas and concepts of rule through such Greek elements remains a crucial subject for exploration (cf. Wolski 1989; Invernizzi 2001; Olbrycht 2013). So does the occurrence of names and forms of Greek deities and mythological figures beyond the Seleucid period. Are these testimony to the survival of Greek communities or possible instances of syncretism of Greek and Iranian religious concepts and ritual (e.g., in the case of the Heracles/Vərəθraγna of the Greek and Parthian inscriptions on the bronze statue of Heracles from Mesene: Bernard 1990)? For that matter, were the communities to whom the Greek version of Šāhpūhr’s res gestae was addressed of hellenic origin, who preserved their ancestral language? Or could they also include Greek-speaking Iranians? What were the links in the transmission of certain ultimately Greek canons of representation recognized at Hājīābād (and elsewhere)? What was the impact of the Iranian revival after the collapse of the Greek-Macedonian rule on phenomena of Greek-Iranian acculturation that began under the Seleucid state? Equally importantly, what was the role of Greeks living under the Parthian and Sasanian regimes in the ongoing, parallel transmission of Iranian cultural elements to the West?


The foregoing instances do not exhaust the range of ambiguities, questions, and gaps in our knowledge concerning the meeting of the ancient Greek and Iranian cultures and polities in Iranian territory — or the amount of scholarly discussion that these have generated. They do reflect, however, key limitations that have framed research on the subject.

To a significant extent, difficulties stem from an inadequate attention of the classical sources —the most voluminous and accessible body of information about Greek encounters with and within Iran— to the circumstances of the co-existence locally of Greek and Iranian elements. One is largely confronted with the statements of authors, who focus on the events and logistics of military campaigns. The vague, often divergent reports of classical geographers have long proven to be of limited utility by themselves alone in identifying the locations of Greek foundations in the East in general, including famous cities founded by Alexander and his successors in Iran (Fraser 1996 and Aperghis 2004; but see Hansman 1968 for the case of Šahr-e Qumis/Hecatompylus). Cast, as a rule, in the form of sporadic remarks, Greek and Latin testimony about the Iranian cultural landscape offers just as little useful information concerning the extent to which co-existence in an Iranian environment may have served to transform Greek and Iranian practices and culture.

At the same time, though clearly significant, the potential of archaeology to supply insights, which are not otherwise attested in the philological tradition (and the few extant epigraphic texts), has been barely exploited in Iran, and not merely for lack of clues to informative contexts. Subject in general to the accident of survival of material remains and discovery, the archaeological contribution to the discussion was also long impaired by patterns of archaeological exploration (for which see in general Stronach 1998).

Beginning in the second half of the nineteenth century, archaeological research opened up new horizons for investigation in all periods of the Iranian past. However, up until 1980, when the pace of excavations was slowed down by local developments, information from controlled contexts about Greek-Iranian urban encounters mainly derived from sites explored owing to their importance for native Iranian history. Occupation and cemetery remains, for instance, from the important Hellenistic city of Šuš (Susa)/Seleucia on the Eulaeus, as well as the local Parthian levels, came to light as a part of the larger investigation of this site’s five-thousand-year historical past (e.g., Stronach 1974 and overviews by Amiet 2001, Martinez-Sève 2002a, eadem 2015). Individual finds of Greek inscriptions and Greek or Greek-inspired sculptures, edifices, and rock reliefs were promptly recorded by travelers and archaeological expeditions (e.g., Cumont 1928; Stein 1936: pl. 29:33; idem 1940: figs. 48-49, 98-99 and passim). Seleucid settlements, however, the focal points of Greek presence, whose investigation could substantially advance, or perhaps dramatically transform our perspective on the circumstances of the Greek presence in and interaction with the native milieu, do not appear to have formed, in their own right, a main priority on the agendas of the various local and foreign archaeological teams working in the country. This is nowhere more apparent than in the case of Nahāvand. Remains, including an inscription of Antiochus III (Robert 1949; Rougemont 2012a: no. 66), of an important Seleucid temple and settlement (Laodicea in Media) have been identified in the vicinity of this modern city since 1946. They lay untouched by the archaeological spade until recently, when a survey and soundings undertaken by Iranian excavators offered additional confirmation of Seleucid monumental construction at the site in the form of, among other finds, an Ionic capital (Rahbar and Alibaigi 1390/2011; Rahbar et al. 2014).

To the lack of an adequate exposure of the material culture of the later first millennium BC and early first millennium AD are added further difficulties emanating from the continuity of settlement through succeeding periods and/or insufficient specialist concentration on features of Greek-Iranian interactions locally. The dating of artifacts, structures, archaeological levels and sites relevant to the study of such interactions often wavers uncertainly among the historical chronologies of the Achaemenid/Hellenistic or Hellenistic/Parthian and even Hellenistic/Parthian/Sasanian periods (e.g., Schippmann 1986), despite a number of more recent amendments to earlier, erroneous attributions (as in Herzfeld 1935 and 1941). Corrections of chronology are an ongoing effort. Initially held to be Sasanian (Keall 1967), Qalʿa ye Yazdegerd has been re-attributed to the late Parthian period (Keall 1977) on the basis, not least, of its stucco decoration, which includes a number of Greco-Roman motifs. The majestic ‘temple’ remains at Kangāvar, initially associated with the Seleucid/Parthian periods, were ascribed to late Sasanian times on the basis of fairly recent excavated evidence (e.g., Azarnoush 1981; idem 2009).

These inherent inadequacies in the classical sources and in the traditional priorities of archaeological exploration in Iran pose serious obstacles in the way of scholarly efforts to elucidate the history of Greek-Iranian interactions in this region. Subject to these limitations, however, the understanding of Greek-Iranian phenomena in Iranian territory is also seriously impaired by the patterns of scholarly research and publication.

Knowledge of Greek-Iranian encounters in Iran in all periods addressed in this project can benefit today from a large number of individual and collective specialized studies. There is, for instance, notable progress in the study of epigraphic documents. The Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum now complements the earlier published instances of Greek inscriptions from Iran (e.g., Huyse 1995; idem 1998; idem 1999; Canali De Rossi 2004; Merkelbach and Stauber 2005) with a comprehensive study of Greek inscriptions on stone, pottery, and objects of metal from Iran and Central Asia down to the Parthian period (Rougemont 2012a).

Numismatic projects, such as the Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards (Thompson et al. 1973) and the series of Coin Hoards publications (Price et al. 1975- ), corpora of Seleucid (Houghton and Lorber 2002; Houghton, Lorber and Hoover 2008) and Parthian (Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum, in progress) coinages, and updated numismatic bibliographies may now be used to track the minting and circulation of Greek or Greek-influenced coinage in Iran. Together with corpora of seals, they constitute a useful pool of evidence concerning the interactions of Greek-Iranian elements in the economic, administrative, technical, iconographic, and ideological domains.

In addition to published reports on the results of excavations at individual sites, strands of archaeological evidence related to the Greek presence and to Greek-Iranian interactions in Iran may also begin to be derived from surveys and studies of different archaeological horizons (e.g., Potts 1999 [a conspectus of the archaeology of Elam to the Sasanian era]; Hole 1987 [a conspectus of the archaeology of western Iran to the Islamic period]; Boucharlat 2005 [nominally focusing on Achaemenid period sites, but going backward and forward in time to the Neo-Elamite and Seleucid/Parthian eras]; Callieri 2007 [a precious synthesis of the archaeological evidence for the Hellenistic period in Fārs; see also earlier Wiesehöfer 1994]; Schippmann 1986 and Boucharlat 2014 [overviews of Hellenistic and Parthian period sites]), systematic compilations of bibliographies of archaeological reports and archaeological literature (e.g., Vanden Berghe 1979; Vanden Berghe and Haerinck 1981 and 1987; Haerinck and Stevens 1996 and 2005; Askari Chaverdi 2006; de Schacht and Haerinck 2013; and in a number of international archaeological journals to date), and synthetic articles concerned with, say, ‘Greek art and architecture’ (Boucharlat 2002) and ‘Hellenism’ (Martinez-Sève 2003) in Iran — synthetic articles, such as the latter ones being owed especially to the all-encompassing vision of the Encyclopædia Iranica on Iranian history and civilization.

The last four decades have also witnessed significant efforts for synthetic studies of ancient Iranian history. In addition to earlier classic works (e.g., Frye 1962) and the monumental endeavor of the Encyclopædia Iranica, one may benefit, among others, from learned chapters in the Cambridge History of Iran (Gershevitch 1985; Yarshater 1983a-b), a plethora of monographs and collective endeavors (e.g., Boyce 1982; Dandamaev and Lukonin 1989; Boyce and Grenet 1991; Wiesehöfer 2001; Sarkhosh Curtis and Stewart 2005, 2007, 2008; Potts 2013), overviews of developments in ancient Iranian studies (e.g., Daryaee 2009b) and, not least, efforts to consolidate the wider international research space on different periods of ancient Iranian history through the organization of major conferences (e.g., the meetings of the International Society for Iranian Studies; Curtis and Simpson 2010) and by appealing to the potential of the World Wide Web (e.g., Achemenet;; Sasanika). At the same time, the Iranian space has been placed into a still closer focus owing to recent endeavors concerned with the geography and cartography of Iran (e.g., Hourcade et al. 1998) and the ancient world (e.g., Talbert 2000, continued in electronic format by the Pleiades project).

Knowledge of the different historical and cultural horizons within which Greek-Iranian encounters in Iran are attested has also been further promoted by archaeological discoveries outside Iran (e.g., Bernard et al. 1973 - [Āy Ḵānom (Aï Khanum)]; Miller 1997 [Athens-Greece]; Cambon 2006 [Central Asia]; Invernizzi and Lippolis 2008 [Nisa]; Leriche 2014 [broader Hellenistic world]; Menegazzi 2014 [Seleucia on the Tigris]), and new approaches to the history of the Achaemenid (e.g., Achaemenid History Workshops [Achaemenid History I-VIII]; Briant 1996), Seleucid (more notably, Sherwin-White and Kuhrt 1993), Parthian (e.g., Herrmann 1977; Wolski 1993; Wiesehöfer 1998; Hackl et al. 2010), and Sasanian (e.g., Wiesehöfer and Huyse 2006; Daryaee 2009a) worlds. Such material evidence, studies and initiatives broaden our scope on Iranian phenomena by making us, among other things, better aware of the complex cultural environments of the Greek presence in the East, the plurality of the mental and material forms of East-West interactions and, not least, the pitfalls that exist in West-centered scholarly approaches (shaped by the bias of Greco-Roman texts) that might presuppose and set out to ‘document’ a ‘hellenization’ of the East.

Valuable though all the earlier contributions may be, there has been as yet no concerted effort for a comprehensive mining and assessment of the surviving evidence for ancient Greek-Iranian interactions in Iran. The relevant documentation is largely dispersed in publications that are mainly weighted toward particular categories of source material, sites, or historical periods, reflecting traditional research and educational curricula. This lack of an overall, in-depth informative account of the extant materials is especially prominent in the case of the archaeological testimony — a corpus of evidence whose typological range, contexts, and geographical and chronological distribution, once fully charted, could be potentially especially useful in promoting the decipherment of the dialogue between Greek and Iranian institutions and ways of life and the modulations of that dialogue in different periods, in tracking locations of Iranian-Greek symbiosis in Iran that currently defy identification on the ground, for further elucidating the various paths for contacts and exchanges between the Greek and Iranian worlds, between East and West.

Research on the millennium-long, momentous intercourse between the ancient Iranian and Greek civilizations and its impact on both Eastern and Western culture and thought stands to benefit substantially from an effort to expose the full range and volume of the relevant archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic evidence from Iran and the insights that the integration of such evidence may bring to bear on the subject — a task that is very much within the scope of the present project.



Achaemenid History I: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. (ed.) 1987. Sources, Structures, Synthesis, proceedings of the Groningen 1983 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History I. Leiden.

Achaemenid History II: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. and Kuhrt, A. (eds.) 1987. The Greek Sources, proceedings of the Groningen 1984 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History II. Leiden.

Achaemenid History III: Kuhrt, A. and Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. (eds.) 1988. Method and Theory, proceedings of the London 1985 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History III. Leiden.

Achaemenid History IV: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. and Kuhrt, A. (eds.) 1990. Centre and Periphery, proceedings of the Groningen 1986 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History IV. Leiden.

Achaemenid History V: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. and Drijvers, J.W. (eds.) 1990. The Roots of the European Tradition, proceedings of the 1987 Groningen Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History V. Leiden.

Achaemenid History VI: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. and Kuhrt, A. (eds.) 1991. Asia Minor and Egypt: Old Cultures in a New Empire, proceedings of the Groningen 1988 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History VI. Leiden.

Achaemenid History VII: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. and Drijvers, J.-W. (eds.) 1991. Through Travellers’ Eyes, proceedings of the Groningen 1989 Achaemenid History Workshop. Achaemenid History VII. Leiden.

Achaemenid History VIII: Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H., Kuhrt, A. and Root, M. C. (eds.) 1994. Continuity and Change, proceedings of the last Achaemenid History Workshop, April 6-8 1990, Ann Arbor. Achaemenid History VIII. Leiden.

Alram, M. 1986. Nomina propria Iranica in nummis. Materialgrundlagen zu den iranischen Personennamen auf antiken Münzen. Iranisches Personennamenbuch IV. Vienna.

Alram, M. and Sarkhosh Curtis, V. (dir.) 2012 - . Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum. New York, Paris, London, Vienna, Tehran, Berlin. A listing of volumes published in this series by different authors is available at

Amiet, P. 2001. 'La sculpture susienne à l'époque de l'empire parthe.' Iranica antiqua 36: 239-291.

Aperghis, G. G. 2004. The Seleukid Royal Economy. The Finances and Financial Administration of the Seleukid Empire. Cambridge.

——. 2008. 'Managing an empire – teacher and pupil.' In Darbandi and Zournatzi 2008: 137-147.

Arrian (Arr.) = Roos, A. G. (ed.) 1907. Flavii Arriani Anabasis Alexandri. Leipzig. A searchable HTML version with commentary by Perseus Digital Library is available at

Askari Chaverdi, A. 2006. An Archaeological Bibliography of Fars. 70 Years of Archaeological Research in Fars Province (1931-2001). Studies on the Region of Fars 13. Tehran.

Azarnoush, M. 1981. 'Excavations at Kangavar.' Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 14: 69-94.

——. 1994. The Sasanian Manor House at Hājīābād, Iran. Monografie di Mesopotamia III. Florence.

——. 2008. 'Hājīābād and the dialogue of cilivizations.' In Darbandi and Zournatzi 2008: 41-52.

——. 2009. 'New evidence on the chronology of the Anahita Temple.' Iranica antiqua 44: 393-402.

Bernard, P. 1990. 'Vicissitudes au gré de l'histoire d'une statue en bronze d'Héraclès entre Séleucie du Tigre et la Mésène.' Journal des savants 1: 3-68.

Bernard, P. et al. 1973- . Fouilles d'Aï Khanoum. Nine collaborative publications have appeared until 2013 in Mémoires de la Délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan, vols. XXI, XXVI-XXXI, XXXIII-XXXIV. Paris.

Boardman, J. 2000. Persia and the West. An Archaeological Investigation of the Genesis of Achaemenid Persian Art. New York.

Bosworth, A. B. 1980. 'Alexander and the Iranians.' Journal of Hellenic Studies 100: 1-21.

Boucharlat, R. 1998. ‘À la recherche d’Ecbatane sur Tepe Hegmataneh.’ Iranica antiqua 33: 173-186.

——. 2002. 'Greece vii. Greek art and architecture in Iran.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. XI: 329-333. An updated version is available online at (accessed on 25 July 2014).

——. 2005. 'Iran.' In Briant, P. and Boucharlat, R. (eds.), L'archéologie de l'empire achéménide: nouvelles recherches, actes du colloque organisé au Collège de France par le ‘Réseau international d'études et de recherches achéménides’ (GDR 2538 CNRS), 21-22 novembre 2003. Persika 6. Paris: 221 - 292.

——. 2014. ‘L’Iran à l’époque hellénistique et parthe: un état des données archéologiques.’ In Leriche, P. (ed.), Art et civilisations de l’Orient hellénisé. Rencontres et échanges culturels d'Alexandre aux Sassanides. Paris: 123-138.

Boyce, M. 1982. A History of Zoroastrianism, vol. II: Under the Achaemenians. Leiden and Cologne.

Boyce, M. and Grenet, F. 1991. A History of Zoroastrianism, vol. III: Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman Rule, with a contribution by R. Beck. Leiden and Cologne.

Briant, P. 1996. Histoire de l' empire perse. De Cyrus à Alexandre. Paris.

——. 2005. Alexandre le Grand. 6th rev. ed. Paris.

Brown, S. C. 1997. 'Ecbatana.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. VIII: 80-84. An updated version is available online at (accessed on 8 December 2011).

Callieri, P. 2007. L'archéologie du Fārs à l'époque hellénistique. Quatre leçons au Collège de France, 8, 15, 22 et 29 mars 2007. Persika 11. Paris.

Cambon, P. (ed.) 2006. Afghanistan, les trésors retrouvés. Collections du musée national de Kaboul, en collaboration avec J.-F. Jarrige, avec le concours scientifique de P. Bernard et V. Schiltz. Paris.

Canali De Rossi, F. 2004. Iscrizioni dello estremo oriente greco. Un repertorio. Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 65. Bonn.

Cohen, G. M. 2013. The Hellenistic Settlements in the East from Armenia and Mesopotamia to Bactria and India. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London.

Cumont, F. 1928. 'Inscriptions grecques de Suse.' Mémoires de la Mission archéologique de Perse XX. Paris: 77-98.

Curtis, J. and Simpson, St J. (eds.) 2010. The World of Achaemenid Persia. History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East, proceedings of a conference at the British Museum 29th September - 1st October 2005. London.

Dandamaev, M. A. and Lukonin, V. G. 1989. The Culture and Social Institutions of Ancient Iran. Cambridge and New York. [Revised English edition by Kohl, P. L., with the assistance of Dadson, D. J., of the Moscow 1980 edition, Kul'tura i ekonomika Drevnego Irana]

Darbandi, S. M. R. and Zournatzi, A. (eds.) 2008. 1st International Conference, Ancient Greece and Ancient Iran: Cross-Cultural Encounters, Athens, 11-13 November 2006. Athens.

Daryaee, T. 2009a. Sasanian Persia. The Rise and Fall of an Empire. London and New York.

——. 2009b. 'The study of ancient Iran in the twentieth century.' Iranian Studies 42: 579-589.

Fahimi, H. and Alizadeh, K. (eds.) 2012. Nāmvarnāmeh. Papers in Honor of Massoud Azarnoush. Tehran.

Fraser, P. M. 1996. Cities of Alexander the Great. Oxford.

Frye, R. 1962. The Heritage of Persia. London.

Gershevitch, I. (ed.) 1985. The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 2: The Median and Achaemenian Periods. Cambridge. Also available online at

Ghirshman, R. 1956. Bichâpour II. Les mosaïques sassanides. Musée du Louvre, Département des antiquités orientales, série archéologique 7. Paris.

Hackl, U., Jacobs, B., and Weber, D. (eds.) 2010. Quellen zur Geschichte des Partherreiches. Textsammlung mit Übersetzungen und Kommentaren. Novum Testamentum et Orbis Antiquus / Studien zur Umwelt des Neuen Testaments 83-85. Göttingen.

Haerinck, E. and Stevens, K. G. 1996. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancien, Supplément 3: 1986-1995. Suppléments à Iranica antiqua 8. Leiden.

——. 2005. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancien, Supplément 4: 1996-2003. Suppléments à Iranica antiqua 9. Leiden.

Hallock, R. T. 1969. Persepolis Fortifications Tablets. Oriental Institute Publications 92. Chicago.

Hansman, J. 1968. 'The problems of Qūmis.' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 111-139.

Herrmann, G. 1977. The Iranian Revival. Oxford.

Herzfeld, E. 1935. Archaeological History of Iran. The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1934. London.

——. 1941. Iran in the Ancient East. Archaeological Studies Presented in the Lowell Lectures at Boston. London, Boston, New York.

Hofstetter, J. 1978. Die Griechen in Persien. Prosopographie der Griechen im persischen Reich vor Alexander. Berlin.

Hole, F. (ed.) 1987. The Archaeology of Western Iran. Settlement and Society from Prehistory to the Islamic Conquest. Washington.

Houghton, A. and Lorber, C. 2002. Seleucid Coins. A Comprehensive Catalogue, part I: Seleucus I through Antiochus III. New York.

Houghton, A., Lorber, C. and Hoover, O. 2008. Seleucid Coins. A Comprehensive Catalogue, part II: Seleucus IV through Antiochus XIII. New York.

Hourcade, B., Mazurek, H., Papoli-Yazdi, M.-H. and Taleghani, M. 1998. Atlas d’Iran. Collection Dynamiques du territoire n°17. Montpellier and Paris.

Hozhabri, A. (ed.) 2013. A Collection of Archaeological and Historical Articles on Hamedan, Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First Season of Excavations in Hamedan. Tehran.

Huyse, Ph. 1995. 'Die Begegnung zwischen Hellenen und Iraniern. Griechische epigraphische Zeugnisse von Griechenland bis Pakistan.' In Reck, C. and Zieme, P. (eds.), Iran und Turfan: Beiträge Berliner Wissenschaftler, Werner Sundermann zum 60. Geburtstag gewidmet. Iranica 2. Wiesbaden: 99-113.

——. 1998. 'Epigraphy ii. Greek inscriptions from ancient Iran.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. VIII: 488-490. Also available online at (accessed on 15 December 2011).

——. 1999. Die dreisprachige Inschrift Sabuhrs I an der Ka'ba-i Zardust (SKZ), 2 vols. Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, part III, vol. I, texts I. London.

Invernizzi, A. 2001. 'Arsacid dynastic art.' Parthica 3: 133-157.

Invernizzi, A. and Lippolis, C. (eds.) 2008. Nisa Partica. Ricerche nel complesso monumentale Arsacide 1990-2006. Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino per il Medeo Oriente e l'Asia. Missione in Turkmenistan I. Florence.

 Keall, E. J. 1967. 'Qalʿeh-i Yazdigird. A Sasanian palace stronghold in Persian Kurdistan.' Iran 5: 99-121. 

——. 1977. 'Qalʿeh-i Yazdigird: the question of its date.' Iran 15: 1-9.

Keall, E. J., Leveque, M. A. and Willson, N. 1980. 'Qalʿeh-i Yazdigird: its architectural decorations.' Iran 18: 1-41.

Kent, R. G. 1943. 'Old Persian texts, IV. The list of provinces.' Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2: 302-306.

Le Rider, G. 1965. Suse sous les Séleucides et les Parthes. Les trouvailles monétaires et l'histoire de la ville. Mémoires de la Mission archéologique en Iran XXXVIII. Paris.

Leriche, P. (ed.) 2014. Art et civilisations de l’Orient hellénisé. Rencontres et échanges culturels d'Alexandre aux Sassanides. Paris.

Martinez-Sève, L. 2002a. 'La ville de Suse à l'époque hellénistique.' Revue archéologique 33: 31-54.

——. 2002b. Les figurines de Suse. De l'époque néo-élamite à l'époque sassanide. Paris.

——. 2003. 'Hellenism.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. XII: 156-164. An updated version is available online at (accessed on 23 August 2012).

——. 2015. 'Susa iv. The Hellenistic and Parthian periods.' Encyclopædia Iranica, online edition, available at (accessed on 08 May 2015).

Merkelbach, R. and Stauber, J. 2005. Jenseits des Euphrat. Munich and Leipzig.

Miller, M. C. 1997. Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Cambridge.

Minns, E. H. 1915. 'Parchments of the Parthian period from Avroman in Kurdistan.' Journal of Hellenic Studies 35: 22-65.

Nylander, C. 1970. Ionians in Pasargadae. Studies in Old Persian Architecture. BOREAS, Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations 1. Uppsala.

Nylander, C. and Flemberg, J. 1981/83. 'A foot-note from Persepolis.' AnadoluAnatolia 22: 57-68.

Olbrycht, M. J. 2013. 'The titulature of Arsaces I, king of Parthia.' Parthica 15: 63-74.

Potts, D. T. 1999. The Archaeology of Elam. Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State. Cambridge.

——. (ed.) 2013. The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran. Oxford. Also available online at

Price, M. J. et al. (eds.) 1975 - . Coin Hoards. London.

Pugliese Carratelli, G. 1966. 'Greek Inscriptions of the Middle East.' East and West 16: 31-36.

Rahbar, M. and Alibaigi, S. 1390/2011. Gozāresh-e pāzuhsh-ye Bāstānshenākhti be manzoure makan yabi Mabād-e Lāodise dar Nahāvand’ [‘Report of an archaeological investigation for the location of the Laodice temple in Nahāvand’]. Majalle-ye Payam-e Bastanshenas 15 (spring-summer): 133-60.

Rahbar, M., Alibaigi, S., Haerinck, E. and Overlaet, B. 2014. 'In search of the Laodike Temple at Laodikeia in Media / Nahavand, Iran.' Iranica antiqua 49: 301-330.

Richter, G. M. A. 1946. 'Greeks in Persia.' American Journal of Archaeology 50: 15-30.

Roaf, M. 1983. Sculptures and Sculptors at Persepolis. Iran 21.

——. 1990. 'Sculptors and designers at Persepolis.' In Gunter, A. C. (ed.), Investigating Artistic Enviroments in the Near East. Washington D.C.: 105-114.

Robert, L. 1949. 'Inscriptions séleucides de Phrygie et d'Iran.' Hellenica VII. Paris: 5-29.

Rougemont, G. 2012a. Inscriptions grecques d'Iran et d'Asie centrale, avec des contributions de Paul Bernard. Corpus Inscriptionum Iranicarum, part II, vol. I.1. London.

——. 2012b. 'Les inscriptions grecques d’Iran et d’Asie centrale. Bilinguismes, interférences culturelles, colonisation.' Journal des savants (janvier-juin): 3-27.

——. 2016. ‘Que sait-on d’Antioche de Perside?' Studi ellenistici 30: 197-215.

Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. 2001. 'Yaunā by the sea and across the sea.' In Malkin, I. (ed.), Ancient Perceptions of Greek Ethnicity. Cambridge, Mass., and London: 323-346.

Sarkhosh Curtis, V. and Stewart, S. (eds.) 2005. The Idea of Iran, vol. I: Birth of the Persian Empire. London.

——. 2007. The Idea of Iran, vol. II: The Parthian Age. London and New York.

——. 2008. The Idea of Iran, vol. III: The Sasanian Era. London and New York.

de Schacht, T. and Haerinck, E. 2013. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancien, Supplément 5: 2004-2010. Suppléments à Iranica antiqua 10. Leiden.

Schippmann, K. 1986. 'Archeology iii. Seleucid and Parthian.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. II: 297-301. An updated version is available online at (accessed on 11 August 2011).

Sellwood, D. 1980. An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia. 2nd ed. London.

Sherwin-White, S. and Kuhrt, A. 1993. From Samarkhand to Sardis. A New Approach to the Seleucid Empire. Hellenistic Culture and Society 13. Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Stein, A. 1936. 'An archaeological tour in the ancient Persis.' Iraq 3.2: 111-225.

——. 1940. Old Routes of Western Īrān. Narrative of an Archaeological Journey, Carried Out and Recorded by Sir Aurel Stein. Antiquities Examined, Described and Illustrated with the Assistance of Fred H. Andrews. London.

Stronach, D. 1974. 'Achaemenid Village I at Susa and the Persian migration to Fars.' Iraq 36: 239-248.

——. 1978. Pasargadae. A Report on the Excavations Conducted by the British Institute of Persian Studies from 1961 to 1963. Oxford.

——. 1998. 'Excavations i. In Persia.' Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. IX: 88-94. An updated version is available online at (accessed on 20 January 2012).

Talbert, R. J. A. (ed.) 2000. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton. A map-by-map directory is available online at

Thompson, M., Mørkholm, O. and Kraay, C. M. (eds.) 1973. An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards. New York. Also available online at

Tuplin, C. 2008. ‘The Seleucids and their Achaemenid predecessors: a Persian inheritance?’ In Darbandi and Zournatzi 2008: 109-136.

Vanden Berghe, L. 1979. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancien, avec la collaboration de De Wulf, B. et Haerinck, E. Leiden.

Vanden Berghe, L. and Haerinck, E. 1981. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancient, Supplément 1: 1978-1980. Leiden.

——. 1987. Bibliographie analytique de l'archéologie de l'Irān ancien, Supplément 2: 1981-1985. Suppléments à Iranica antiqua 7. Leiden.

Wiesehöfer, J. 1994. Die 'dunklen Jahrhunderte' der Persis. Untersuchungen zu Geschichte und Kultur von Fārs in frühhellenistischer Zeit (330-140 v. Chr.). Zetemata 90. Munich.

——. (ed.) 1998. Das Partherreich und seine Zeugnisse, Beiträge des internationalen Colloquiums – Eutin (27.-30. Juni 1996). Historia Einzelschriften 122. Stuttgart.

——. 2001. Ancient Persia. From 550 BC to 650 AD. Paperback edition. London. [Trans. by Azodi, A., of the original Munich 1994 edition, Das antike Persien. Von 550 v. Chr. bis 650 n. Chr.]

Wiesehöfer, J. and Huyse, P. (eds.) 2006. Ērān ud Anērān. Studien zu den Beziehungen zwischen dem Sasanidenreich und der Mittelmeerwelt, Beiträge des internationalen Colloquiums in Eutin, 8.-9. Juni 2000. Oriens et Occidens 13. Stuttgart.

Wolski, J. 1989. 'L'hellénisme et l'Iran.' In Mactoux, M.-M. and Geny, E. (eds.), Mélanges Pierre Lévêque 2. Anthropologie et société. Paris: 439-446.

——. 1993. L’Empire des Arsacides. Acta Iranica. 3e série 18. Leuven.

Yarshater, E. (ed.) 1982-. Encyclopædia Iranica, vol. I- . London. Also available online at

——. (ed.) 1983a. The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 3: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, part 1. Cambridge. Also available online at

——. (ed.) 1983b. The Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 3: The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanid Periods, part 2. Cambridge. Also available online at

Zournatzi, A. 2003. 'The Apadana coin hoards, Darius I and the West.' American Journal of Numismatics 15: 1-28.


Cite this entry:

Zournatzi, A. 'Overview', with contributions by G. G. Aperghis. In Mapping Ancient Cultural Encounters: Greeks in Iran ca. 550 BC - ca. AD 650. Online edition, preliminary draft release, 2016. Available at