April 9, 2017

The End of Empire in Anatolia: Sardis and Gordion in the Late Achaemenid and Early Hellenistic Periods

Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre
University of Colorado

Thursday, April 13, 2017
12:00 PM
LaSalle Banks room
Oriental Institute

The city of Sardis in western Anatolia held both symbolic and logistical significance in the Achaemenid empire and for the Greeks. It was a city that embodied and reified Achaemenid presence and ideology at the western edge of the empire. Gordion, like Sardis, had had an illustrious and mythically significant past that could be reused in various ways, but by the time the Achaemenid armies arrived in central Anatolia in the mid-sixth centurv, Gordion had already lost its position as an international "player." With the collapse of the Achaemenid emeire Gordion shrank to a town so small it has been described as a village. Then, when Alexander sliced the Gordian Knot, he effectively ended the importance of the city with one stroke. This presentation explores the different nature of the two sites' development at and after the end of the Achaemenid emeire.