In memoriam Amélie Kuhrt (1944-2023)

I have just received the distressing news of the death of Amélie Kuhrt, one of the foremost historians of the Achaemenid Empire and the ancient Near East more generally. Along with Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg she was the driving force behind the Achaemenid History Workshops in the 1980s that helped to create a new paradigm in Achaemenid studies. Her two-volume history of the ancient Near East, published in 1995, was remarkable for its inclusion of Egypt and its overall level of detail. I would not have survive grad school without it. And her 2007 book, The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period (also two volumes) is a landmark achievement and perhaps the single most useful publication for anyone studying the Achaemenids. I cite it in almost everything I publish; in fact, I am opening it now for an essay I have just begun to write. She wrote tremendously good articles, too–not very many, but they all have aged better than Vanna White.

On a personal note, we communicated some by email a number of years ago; in fact, she helped me to publish one of my first articles. She was very kind to me, and I am grateful for her kindness and support. I only regret that I never got to meet her in person.