Episode 40: Heiresses to the Empire

Cylinder Seal of Irdabama’s steward, Rashda. Depicting a royal woman and her servants in Neo-Elamite style (Brosius, 2006).

There were many Duksish (royal women) in Darius’ household, and there would be many more in future generations of the Achaemenid family, but three women in particular standout above the rest. Most famously we know of Atossa, daughter of Cyrus and mother of Xerxes, from our Greek sources. Thanks to the documents of the Persepolis Fortification Archive we also know about the remarkable wealth and influence of Artystone and Irdabama as Persian women in the early 5th century BCE.
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