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This volume brings together the views of biblical scholars, Achaemenid historians and classicists in relation to the problems of reconstructing the history of the Persian empire. It addresses the ways in which scholars of each of these disciplines have struggled with the complexity and limitations of the ancient sources. Some of the essays in this volume discuss issues surrounding the identification of authorial biases and evaluate what - if anything – remains as possible ‘historical’ evidence, while others examine the scholarly consensus on the question of Persian policy on the religion and laws of its subjects. What unites the essays in this volume is the commitment of their authors to recognise the difficulties with the sources and to constantly engage in new appraisals of them in dialogue with scholars in their own fields, but also in dialogue with scholars in related fields.