For international relations (IR) scholars, the story behind the figure of Udjahorresnet might seem as an obscure phase in international history. Yet the pre-Roman period is educative for testing constitutive IR concepts such as the balance of power theory, international system, or soft power, which are still widely assumed to have become relevant only in the post-Roman context rather than in the ancient civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean preceding the Greco-Roman experience. This article proposes that insights from IR theory can offer ancient historians and Egyptologists theoretical tools by linking empirical facts to patterns rather than just unique events via conceptual analysis. Udjahorresnet as diplomatic figure is an important primary source to understand the transition of power from native Egyptian hands to the Achaemenid rule, and thus it provides a case study where micro and macro levels of analyses find fertile ground in a cross- disciplinary framework.
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