Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 February 2023



  • C. J. Tuplin


(rarely Persism, though see Strabo 14. 657: the ‘med-’ root is a linguistic fossil from the era of *Cyrus(1)'s conquest of *Lydia) is a term whose application is normally confined to states or individuals (Gongylus (Xen.Hell. 3. 1. 6 with Thuc. 1. 128. 6), *Pausanias(1), *Themistocles) that voluntarily collaborated with Persia in connection with invasions of mainland Greece; see Persian Wars. Exceptions (Hdt. 4. 144; Paus. 9. 6. 3; Thuc. 3. 34; Satyrus. in Diog. Laert. 2. 12; Plut.Ages 23; Philostr.VS580; Procop.Bell. 8. 9, 16) cover similar situations at different periods. The context is always concrete; the word describes neither e.g. puppet-tyrants in Greek Anatolia nor generalized ‘pro-Persian’ feelings. Sources rarely state motives for Medism: one modern explanation, lure of the Persian lifestyle, is debatable, if more is meant than simple envy of Persian wealth (cf. *CritiasDK 88 B 31 on Thessalians in 480 bce).


  • Near East
  • Reception

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription