A Historical Commentary on the "Persika" of Ctesias of Cnidus


ACLS Fellowship Program


Foreign Languages and History (joint position)


The Greek historian Ctesias (Ktesias) served as a doctor to the Persian king Artaxerxes II (r. 404-358) and wrote an extensive history (in twenty-three books) of the Persian Empire, the “Persika,” to his time. Only fragments of this work survive, scattered in various ancient authors and in a severely truncated epitome by the Byzantine scholar Photius (ninth century CE). This work is an important but problematic source for Persian history. This project is an English translation of the work, which is currently unavailable, as well as a historical commentary that emphasizes Ctesias' place both in the Greek and the Near Eastern historiographic traditions.