Rhyne King

Visiting Assistant Professor 2021-22

Rhyne King is a Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. He received his BA in Classical Languages from Duke University in 2014 and his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 2021. His research focuses on the social, economic, and political history of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which stretched from the eastern Mediterranean to South and Central Asia from 550-330 BCE. Rhyne maintains secondary research interests in the later history of pre-Islamic Iran and in comparative empire-studies.

Rhyne’s time at ISAW will be devoted to developing his first book, titled The House of the Satrap and the Making of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, 522-330 BCE. This manuscript analyzes the mechanisms of Achaemenid imperialism through the study of a single institution: the house of the satrap. Satraps functioned as kings in miniature throughout the Empire and operated at the interface between state and subject. By foregrounding the satrapal house, this project emphasizes the roles of other actors—families, subordinates, slaves—connected to the satrap in maintaining imperial social and economic networks. Through the study of administrative documentation, legal records, and historiography across six languages, The House of the Satrap demonstrates how the Achaemenid imperial project simultaneously encouraged cooperation and fostered inequality.

Key Publications:

Payne, Richard E., and Rhyne King, eds. 2020. The Limits of Empire in Ancient Afghanistan: Rule and Resistance in the Hindu Kush, circa 600 BCE – 600 CE. Classica et Orientalia 24. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

King, Rhyne. 2020. “Local Powerbrokers in Iranian and Post-Iranian Bactria (ca. 300-800 CE): Aristocrats, Dependents, and Imperial Regimes.” In The Limits of Empire in Ancient Afghanistan: 245-270.

King, Rhyne. 2019. “Taxing Achaemenid Arachosia: Evidence from Persepolis.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 78/2: 185-199.