On the Structural Aspects of Persian Elites in Achaemenid Persia

In: Iran and the Caucasus
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  • 1 Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran

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This article, focused on the Persian Gobryas, the head of Patischorian tribe and a member of the mysterious circle bringing Darius I (the Great) to the throne called the “Seven” by Herodotus, aims to argue that the concept of seven families was originally derived from the tribal structure of the Achaemenid society rather than from traditions found in classical writers. Mainly based on the administrative Elamite texts from Persepolis, the paper attempts to add contextual and practical detail to the classical narrative about the status of the “Seven” in the Achaemenid imperial system. This data leads us to the Fahliyān region in southwestern Persia as the house of the Patischorians and shows how Gobryas and his house were involved in the political, economic and administrative structures of the Persian Achaemenid Empire especially during the reign of Darius. The case also provides a valuable context for the study of various aspects of social organization particularly the land tenure.

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