Recorded: April 13, 2022
Event: The Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series
Citation: Rollinger, Robert. "Whither the Achaemenid Empire? Towards a New Connected History of Afro-Eurasia in Antiquity." Pourdavoud Center: The Biennial Ehsan Yarshater Lecture Series (April 13, 2022).
by Robert Rollinger (University of Innsbruck)
Lecture 2: Whither the Achaemenid Empire? Towards a New Connected History of Afro-Eurasia in Antiquity
In this lecture, the history of the Achaemenid Empire as a powerful engine of transregional connectivity, affecting all of Afro-Eurasia, is explored. Of import is not only the Empire’s capacity to boost dynamic developments, which may be qualified as an early example of globalization, but also its ability to sustain cultural individuation processes and tolerate autonomous political formations.
About the Speaker
Robert Rollinger is Professor of Ancient History and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, where he has held since 2005 the Chair for “Cultural Interactions between the ancient Near East and the Mediterranean” in the Department of Ancient History and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.
Dr. Rollinger’s scholarly interests are wide-ranging and encompass the cultural expanse between the Aegean world and the ancient Near East, with a special focus on ancient historiography, the comparative history of empires, and the Achaemenid Empire.
In addition to his tenure at the University of Innsbruck, he has held a number of prestigious chairs and fellowships worldwide: from 2010 to 2015, he was the Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Helsinki in the Department of World Cultures, heading the research project “Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East”; in 2020, he was a Getty Scholar at the Getty Villa; since 2020, he has been the NAWA Chair at the University of Wrocław, Poland, where he heads the international project “From the Achaemenid to the Roman Rule.”
Dr. Rollinger is also known for his numerous publications and important editorial work: he has been (co-)editing among others the prestigious series: Oriens et Occidens (Franz Steiner Verlag); Classica et Orientalia (Harrassowitz); Studies in Universal and Cultural History (Springer); Philippika (Harrassowitz); (The Proceedings of the) Melammu Symposia (Austrian Academy of Sciences); and Empires Through the Ages in Global Perspective (de Gruyter). More recently, he published together with Bruno Jacobs the Blackwell Companion to the Achaemenid Empire (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021), which shall serve as the new work of reference in the field.
His recent publications include: Imperien und Reiche in der Weltgeschichte: Epochenübergreifende und globalhistorische Vergleiche (coedited; Harrassowitz, 2014); Mesopotamia in the Ancient World: Impact, Continuities, Parallels (coedited; Ugarit-Verlag, 2015); Alexander und die großen Ströme: Die Flussüberquerungen im Lichte altorientalischer Pioniertechniken (Harrassowitz, 2013); Short-term Empires in World History (coedited; Springer, 2020); A Companion to the Achaemenid Persian Empire, 2 volumes (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) (coedited; Wiley-Blackwell, 2021); Empires to be Remembered (Studies in Universal and Cultural History) (coedited; Springer, 2022); Decline, Erosion and Implosion of Empires (Studies in Universal and Cultural History) (coedited; Springer, forthcoming).
He is a member of numerous academic organizations and research groups, among them: the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW); the German Archaeological Institute (DAI); and the Academia Europaea.