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Dr. Matt Waters publishes new book on ancient Persia

February 17, 2014

WatersAncientPersiaEAU CLAIRE — Dr. Matt Waters, professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has recently authored a new book, "Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BCE," published by Cambridge University Press.

In this overview of Achaemenid Persia, Waters showcases a culture that left its mark in the folds of Greek, Middle Eastern and European history. The detailed narrative draws material from ancient Near Eastern and Greek texts as well as archaeological findings, while maintaining a Persian perspective.

"Most studies of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) are written for specialists, cover the entire range of Persian history or have been subsumed to the history of Classical Greece," Waters said. "There has been a need for a detailed, introductory text focusing solely on the Achaemenid period, one of the most frequently referenced Near/Middle Eastern civilizations before the advent of Islam. It was a formative period for both Middle Eastern and European history."

Waters has been interested in ancient history since he was an undergraduate student and since then has delved much more deeply into the subject.

"I've been interested in ancient history for a long time, especially understanding how we got from there to here," Waters said. "My undergraduate studies focused on a traditional, Classical-oriented view of Mediterranean history. It was clear that there was much more out there, and I became very interested in the history of the civilizations of the Middle East — especially the interchange between various cultures therein — and how critical this period was for understanding east-west relations and the study of empire, among other things."

Waters has been honored with fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and the UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities.

Waters' new book will be featured during a book-signing event in March as a part of UW-Eau Claire's Priory Speaker Series. Additional information about the event will be shared as details are finalized.

For more information about "Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BCE," contact Dr. Matt Waters at 715-836-5163 or




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