V. 53 N. 2 (2015)

The multilingual urban environment of Achaemenid Sardis

Flavia Pompeo
Università di Roma "Sapienza"

Pubblicato 2016-05-06

Parole chiave

  • Achaemenid Sardis,
  • Aramaic,
  • Greek,
  • Lydian,
  • linguistic repertoire


Achaemenid Sardis provides a challenging area of research regarding multilingualism in the past. Indeed, Sardis was one of the most important satrapal capitals of the Persian Empire both from a political and commercial point of view, playing a key diplomatic role in Greek-Persian relations. Different ethnic groups lived in, or often passed through the city: Lydians, Greeks, Persians and, possibly, Carians and Aramaicspeaking peoples. Despite this multilingual situation, the epigraphic records found at Sardis, or which relate to the city in some way, are scarce, especially when compared to other areas of Asia Minor. The aim of our research – the preliminary results of which are presented here – is to describe the linguistic repertoire of Achaemenid Sardis and the role played by non-epichoric languages. A multi-modal approach will be adopted and particular attention will be paid to the extra-linguistic (historical, social and cultural) context.