The Priest and the Great King investigates the impact of Achaemenid rule on the political power of local priesthoods during the 6th–4th centuries BC. Scholars typically assume that, as long as tribute was sent to Susa, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, subject peoples remained autonomous. Fried’s work challenges this assumption. She examines the inscriptions, coins, temple archives, and literary texts from Babylon, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Judah and concludes that there was no local autonomy. The High Priest had no real power; there was no theocracy. The only people with power in the Empire were Persians and their appointees.