Lecture by prof. Krzysztof Nawotka in PAIA

On February 23, 2023, a lecture by Prof. Krzysztof Nawotka (University of Wrocław), member of the PAIA Academic Board, under the title: “Iranian princesses in the Age of Successors: gender, ethnicity, social position” took place at the headquarters of the Polish Archaeological Institute in Athens. The lecture was very popular and in the discussion after the prelection took part members and friends of PIAA, among others, PhD student Marcin Romaniuk, Dr. Małgorzata Kajzer, Dr. Edyta Marzec and Dr. Jorgos Kardaras.

photo: Beata Kukiel-Vraila

See abstract of the lecture below:

Iranian princesses in the Age of Successors: gender, ethnicity, social position

Alexander the Great married three Iranian princesses and arranged mass marriages between 92 of his companions and noble Iranian ladies made at a ceremony in Susa in 323 BCE. The prevailing view of the marginal role played by the brides of Susa in the age of Successors and their fast repudiation by their Greek and Macedonian husbands needs to be rejected. Because of the polygamous nature of Macedonian elite marriage in the late-4th c. BCE, the Macedonian generals did not have to divorce their Iranian wives in order to marry daughters of other Macedonian grandees. Life stories of Amastris and Apama are examples of the most splendid career of any female in the age of the Successors: one became a queen in her own rights, the other co-founder of the greatest Hellenistic dynasty, both seem to have managed their estates and make independent large-scale business decisions. They surely drew on patterns of behavior more typical of the aristocratic Iranian milieu than of late-classical Greece or Macedonia. Their careers show that the process of cultural transfer was multidirectional with the Iranian princesses coining, making gifts to Greek gods, founding Greek and Macedonian cities, becoming the first Hellenistic queens, at the same time not abandoning their cultural background.