Good Public Relations: What Ancient Persian Propaganda Tells Us about the ‘Nehemiah Memoir’

Inscriptions ranging from the first Persian king, Cyrus, through Artaxerxes reveal elements in common in both Babylonian and Egyptian texts. Stretching from Egypt to the Indus River, the Persian Empire was the largest empire yet seen in the ancient Near East. Typically, the Hebrew Bible depicts ancient Near Eastern empires as divine instruments of punishment.[…]

The Battle of Issus: Alexander’s Rematch with Darius

Darius took personal command of his army for this encounter and led them to a resounding defeat. Introduction The Battle of Issus (also Issos) occurred in southern Anatolia, on November 5, 333 BC between the Hellenic League led by Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Empire, led by Darius III, in the second great battle[…]

Battle of the Granicus: Alexander the Great’s Opening Move on Persia

It was here, against all odds, that Alexander defeated the forces of the Persian satraps of Asia Minor. Introduction The Battle of the Granicus River in May 334 BC was the first of three major battles fought between Alexander the Great and the Persian Empire. Fought in northwestern Asia Minor, near the site of Troy,[…]

The Ancient Macedonian Conquest of Persia

The conquest of Persia was not preordained and those living within its vast empire could never foresee its fall. Introduction In the year 356 BC, the Persian Empire still stood strong and seemed as if it would last another hundred years. However, on the 20th of July a sign was sent that brought the men of[…]

The Strength and Structure of the Ancient Persian Army

The Persian Army became a multi-cultural force consisting of a fusion of soldiers from Persia or the Medes, as well as various warriors from all subject nations. By Michelle Chua Introduction No ruler can expand his territory without an army. The massive Persian army, reported by Greek historian, Herotodus, to be about 2,641,610 warriors strong[1] during the invasion of[…]

A Brief History of the Persian Gulf

During the years 550 to 330 B.C.E., the name “Pars Sea” was widely written in the compiled texts when referring to the whole part of the Persian Gulf. Introduction The Persian Gulf is located in Southwest Asia. It is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. Historically and commonly known as the Persian Gulf, this[…]

The Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BCE

Alexander the Great pushed east into Mesopotamia with the intention of bringing Darius to battle. Introduction After securing the eastern Mediterranean seaboard and Egypt, Alexander the Great pushed east into Mesopotamia with the intention of bringing Darius to battle. After crossing the Euphrates River unopposed, he marched his army eastward along the foothills of the[…]

Athens and Persia: The Peace of Callias, 5th Century BCE

Even if a treaty by this name was never drawn up, it is true that there was an end to the hostilities between Athens and Persia in the mid-5th century BCE. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Peace of Callias (aka Kallias) refers to a possible peace treaty made in the mid-5th century BCE between Athens and Persia following the Persian Wars. The[…]

Cambyses II of Persia and the Battle of Pelusium: A Victory Won by Cats

The battle was won through a very unusual strategy on Cambyses II’s part: the use of animals as hostages and, especially, cats. Introduction The ancient Egyptians had a great reverence for life in all its forms. Life had been given by the gods and reverence for it extended beyond human beings to all living things.[…]

Alexander the Great’s Defeat of Darius at the Battle of the Granicus River, 334 BCE

The attack had been six years in the making, and still, the Persians were not fully prepared. War between the Persians and Macedonians had become inevitable when Persia had supported the Perinthians’ resistance against Macedonian aggression in 340. When the Macedonian king Philip II had secured his rear in the battle of Chaeronea (338), he wanted to launch a campaign east of[…]

Artemisia of Halicarnassus and Persian King Xerxes

A masterful militarily astute and diplomatically strategic queen. Halicarnassus was a Graeco-Carian city that belonged to the empire of the Persian Achaemenids. The Persian authorities liked their cities to be ruled by one man, and not by an uncontrollable oligarchy or democracy, and preferred Lygdamis as king of Halicarnassus. When he died, he was succeeded by his daughter Artemisia,[…]

A Thousand Years of the Persian Book

Persian gained prominence as a literary language and a lingua franca—a common cultural language—about a thousand years ago. Introduction In the past millennium, a rich and varied written and spoken heritage has developed in the Persian language, elevating the visibility of Persian civilization among world intellectual traditions. That tradition is particularly strong in the fields[…]

Science and Technology in Ancient and Medieval Persia (Iran)

Throughout history, Iran was always a cradle of science, contributing to medicine, mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. Introduction Iran has made considerable advances in science and technology through education and training, despite international sanctions in almost all aspects of research during the past 30 years. In recent years, the growth in Iran’s scientific output is reported[…]

The Mongol Conquest and Rule of Iran, 1219-1370

The Mongol invasion of Iran began in 1219, after two diplomatic missions to Khwarezm sent by Genghis Khan had been massacred. The Mongol Invasion, 1219-1221 The Khwarazmian dynasty only lasted for a few decades, until the arrival of the Mongols. Genghis Khan had unified the Mongols, and under him the Mongol Empire quickly expanded in[…]

Revenge for Athens: Alexander the Great and the Burning of Persepolis

After looting its treasures, Alexander burned the great palace and surrounding city to the ground, as Xerxes had done to Athens. In the year 330 BCE Alexander the Great conquered the Persian capital city of Persepolis, and after looting its treasures, burned the great palace and surrounding city to the ground. Persepolis had been known in antiquity as Parsa (`The City of[…]

‘The Marduk Prophecy’: A Traveling Statue in Ancient Assyria

The author would have constructed the narrative to place the events in the past in order to allow for a ‘prophetic vision’. Introduction The Marduk Prophecy is an Assyrian document dating to between 713-612 BCE found in a building known as The House of the Exorcist adjacent to a temple in the city of Ashur. It relates the travels of the statue of[…]

Zarathustra: The Rise of Zoroastrianism in Ancient Persia

Zoroaster is the name by which this prophet is known in the west (Greek Zoroastres), which is an adaptation of Zarathustra, the original name found in the Persian scriptures. Introduction Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra) was an important religious figure in ancient Persia (present-day Iran and surrounding areas), whose teachings became the foundation of a[…]

Susa, Political Center of Ancient Elam

Susa began as a small village in the Neolithic Age around 7000 BCE. Introduction Susa was one of the oldest cities in the world and part of the site is still inhabited as Shush, Khuzestan Province, Iran. Excavations have uncovered evidence of continual habitation dating back to 4200 BCE but that early community grew from an even older[…]

New Trilingual Inscription Discovered Near Tomb of Persian King Darius

A trilingual inscription has been discovered on the hillside around the tomb of Darius in Naqshe-Rustam. Two Iranian researchers, M. Doorodi from Shiraz and S. Delshad from Berlin, have announced that a hitherto undocumented trilingual inscription has been discovered on the hillside around the tomb of Darius in Naqshe-Rustam. The discovery of the inscription, which[…]

The Style and Regional Differences of Seljuk Persian Minarets

Seljuk art and architecture is a fusion of Persian, Islamic, and Central Asian (Turkic) elements. By Dr. Fatema AlSulaitiExpert in Islamic Archaeology Under the Seljuk rule, Persia gained a period of economic and cultural prosperity. The innovative techniques of the Seljuk period and style in architecture and the arts had a strong influence on later[…]

The Canon of Avicenna: Rabies in Medieval Persian Literature

A discussion of Avicenna’s 11th-century points of view on rabies and compare them with modern medical knowledge. By Dr. Behnam Dalfardi, et.al.Department of Internal MedicineShiraz University of Medical Sciences Introduction Rabies is an acute, progressive, and fatal anthropozoonotic infection of the central nervous system caused by viruses from the genus Lyssavirus and the family Rhabdoviridae[…]

The Hidayat: ‘Kabus’ (Night-Mare) in Medieval Persian Medicine and Research

Among the first three manuscripts written in Persian, Akhawayni’s Hidayat al-muta’allemin fi al-tibb was the most significant work compiled in the 10th century. By Dr. Samad EJ Golzari, et.al.Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research CenterTabriz University of Medical Sciences Abstract Among the first three manuscripts written in Persian, Akhawayni’s Hidayat al-muta’allemin fi al-tibb was the most significant work compiled in[…]

Persepolis: Ancient Ceremonial Capital of the Achaemenid Empire

The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BCE. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. Name The English word Persepolis is derived from Greek Persépolis (Περσέπολις), a compound of Pérsēs (Πέρσης) and pólis (πόλις), meaning “the Persian city” or “the city of the Persians”. To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Pārsa, which is also the word for the region[…]

Darius the Great: Organizing the Achaemenid Empire

Darius was the ruler of a multicultural empire, and he was willing to accept the gods of other ethnic groups. Darius I (Old Persian Dârayavauš) was king of ancient Persia, whose reign lasted from 522 to 486. He seized power after killing king Gaumâta, fought a civil war (described in the Behistun inscription), and was[…]

The Ancient Religion of Zoroastrianism

An overview of Zoroastrianism, a religion that influenced Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A precursor for Christianity? The Zoroastrian faith is one of the world’s oldest religions, one that could date back as far as 1200 B.C. Zoroaster, a prophet who lived in modern-day Iran, is viewed as the founder of Zoroastrianism. We’re not sure when Zoroaster lived,[…]