Religion and religious policies of the Achaemenians

Ancient historian Katharina Knäpper analyzes religious habits of early Achaemenians

© Herbert Utz

The religious habits of the early Achaemenians are a commonplace of scholarly research. The key question of most studies seems to be whether or not the Achaemenians were Zoroastrians. The overwhelming diversity of the given answers leads to the conclusion that this question might be wrong. The present book aims at comparing Avestan and Achaemenian religious structures, habits and practices without using the phenomena as complementory sources for each other on an analytical level. Thus it seems possible to describe the Achaemenian religion in a more precise way beyond misdirecting terminology and to reclassify it within Iranian religious history.

Literature: Knäpper, Katharina, Religion und Religionspolitik der frühen Achaimeniden in ihrem Verhältnis zum Avesta (Quellen und Forschungen zur Antiken Welt, vol. 57), Munich: Herbert Utz 2011.