Lecture Series

Empire and Violence from the Achaemenid-Persian Perspective

Robert Rollinger

University of Innsbruck / University of Wrocław

Tuesday, 7 November 2023


Universität Innsbruck,  SOWI HS 1, Universitätsstraße 15

No registration required! This is a hybrid event, for the online link click here.

Empire and Violence from the Achaemenid-Persian Perspective

The lecture deals with acts of violence within the Achaemenid-Persian empire by developing a larger perspective on the topic. First, it addresses the general question of the relationship between violence and state formation on the one hand and violence and empire on the other hand. Second, it concentrates on the phenomenon by focussing on the Achaemenid-Persian empire and the specific forms of violence that we encounter in our sources. Thereby, it will become evident that the topic of “violence” does not only bear a dimension of “fact”, i.e. what happened and which crime had been committed by whom and in which form, but also a dimension of “social construction” and, speaking in modern terms, propaganda, i.e. who is to be blamed or sometimes even praised for whatever kind of atrocities which had taken place. Especially in the last case “reality” and “invention” start to get blurred and are not always easy to separate.

Dominik Markl (Department of Biblical Studies and Historical Theology)

Silvia Balatti (Kiel University, Ancient History Department)

Dominik Markl (Department of Biblical Studies and Historical Theology) and Juliane Prade-Weiss (LMU Munich, Department of Comparative Literature) on behalf of “Discourses of Mass Violence in Comparative Perspective”


Robert Rollinger is Professor of Ancient History and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck. He is the chair of the Research Commission “Transformation of empire in ancient Afro-Eurasia” at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and of the NAWA Project “From the Achaemenids to the Romans: Contextualizing empire and its longue-durée developments” (University of Wrocław). His main research areas are the history of the Ancient Near East and the Achaemenid Empire, contacts between the Aegean World and the Ancient Near East, ancient historiography, and the comparative history of empires.

University of Innsbruck
Institute of Biblical Studies and Historical Theology
Karl-Rahner-Platz 1
6020 Innsbruck

+43 512 507-3641

Monday–Thursday: 10.30–12.00 and 13.30–15.00 
Friday: 10.30–12.00 

No registration required!
This is a hybrid event, for the online link click here.


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