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The aim of the “Textual Sources” section is to compile written texts on all mediums (stone, clay, wood, papyrus, parchment, metal) discovered in all the provinces of the empire in different languages and scripts (Aramaic, Babylonian, Elamite, Lycian, hieroglyphic and demotic Egyptian, etc.). Greek literary texts that have been published for some time and can easily be found on other sites have been omitted.
The texts can be serial corpuses comprising anything from hundreds or thousands of items (Elamite archives from Persepolis, Babylonian archives, archives from the village of Ain Manawir) to merely dozens (Aramaic documents from Egypt and Bactria), or isolated but essential documents (the Behistun multi-lingual inscription, inscriptions found on Darius’s statue at Susa, etc.) Initially, four major sets of texts will be available on line: the Greek and/or multilingual epigraphic sources from Asia Minor; the demotic archives of Ain Manawir; the Babylonian archives; the Persepolis archives. The latter two corpuses will be added to regularly. There is also a project to upload Aramaic documents on line.
Each document is presented in transcription (Greek epigraphic texts) or in transliteration (cuneiform and demotic texts), generally accompanied by a translation or else a contextual summary and a bibliography. All the documents have been indexed, making them accessible via search engines as well.
Pierre Briant (Collège de France) / February 2014