Matthew Waters (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
The close link between the king and the divine has deep roots in Near Eastern royal ideologies, and the Persian kings during the Achaemenid period (c. 550-330 BCE) followed this tradition. Exactly how close was the link? Recent studies suggest a blurred line between the two especially during at least some parts of the Neo-Assyrian period. However one chooses to answer that question for the Achaemenids, the king is to be considered a fulcrum. The glorification of the King considers his multiple roles within the Achaemenid ideological scheme, as manifest in both textual and iconographic evidence. The Achaemenids were masters of adoption and adaptation of previous structures in the fashioning a compelling royal ideology, one that incorporated several Persian and Iranian elements and one that also embedded some ambiguity. This presentation considers some of the ambiguity within Achaemenid royal ideology, and its reception, with regard to the glorification of the king and the intersection with the divine.