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The Achaemenid Persian Empire, at its greatest territorial extent under Darius I (r.522–486 BCE), held sway over territory stretching from the Indus River Valley to southeastern Europe and from the western Himalayas to northeast Africa. In this book, Matt Waters gives a detailed historical overview of the Achaemenid period while considering the manifold interpretive problems historians face in constructing and understanding its history. This book offers a Persian perspective even when relying on Greek textual sources and archaeological evidence. Waters situates the story of the Achaemenid Persians in the context of their predecessors in the mid-first millennium BCE and through their successors after the Macedonian conquest, constructing a compelling narrative of how the empire retained its vitality for more than two hundred years (c.550–330 BCE) and left a massive imprint on Middle Eastern as well as Greek and European history.
This book explores the formation of the first Persian Empire under the Achaemenid Persians. It brings together a multi-disciplinary view of ancient Iran in the first millennium BC and concentrates on the art, archaeology, history and religion of a vast geographical area far beyond the present borders of modern Iran in the period beginning just before the formation of the Persian empire in the middle of the 6th century up to its collapse following conquest by Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC. Eminent scholars offer a critical approach to some of the traditional interpretations and guide the reader towards a better understanding of the formation of the Persian empire. This is the first volume in the four-volume Idea of Iran series. Charting over 1000 years of history, The Idea of Iran series offers a significant new appraisal of one the most fascinating, but also (at least in the West) relatively little known, of the great civilizations of antiquity. Comprising four substantial volumes, which have emerged from a series of seminars held under the joint auspices of the London Middle East Institute and the British Museum, and supported by the Soudavar Memorial Foundation, the series explores the empires which have shaped the culture of Iran. Beginning with the Achaemenid dynasty of Cyrus the Great, which founded Persian imperial rule in the middle of the sixth century BCE, the series goes on to examine, amongst other key topics, the society, religion, and government of ancient Iran under the Parthians, Sasanians and the Arab rulers of the early Islamic period. The Idea of Iran will be mandatory reading for all serious scholars and students of ancient and early medieval Iranian history.
This well-balanced reference on ancient Persia demonstrates the region's contributions to the growth and development of human civilization from the 7th century BCE through the fall of the Persian Sasanian Empire in 651CE. • Provides coverage of major events in ancient Persian history from the formation of the Median empire in the 7th century BCE to 65 CE • Includes photographs of various historical and archeological sites dating back to various periods of ancient Persian history
Of the great ancient civilizations, that of Persia is the least known and the most enigmatic. This book explores the formation of the first Persian Empire under the Achaemenid Persians. It brings together a multi-disciplinary view of ancient Iran in the first millennium BC and concentrates on the art, archaeology, history and religion of a geographical area far beyond the present borders of modern Iran in the period beginning just before the formation of the Persian empire in the middle of the 6th century up to its collapse following conquest by Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC. Eminent scholars here give a critical approach to some of the traditional interpretations and discuss topics which help the reader towards a better understanding of the formation of the Persian empire. This is the first volume in the Idea of Iran series which will be a four-volume collection encompassing the history of that country.
"The present book discusses the eastern part of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which was founded around the middle of the sixth century B C by Cyrus the Great. Within twenty years the empire stretched from the Aegaean coast in the west, to the Kabul valley in the east. How did the Persians manage to conquer such a vast area within such a short time? And how did they manage to preserve their empire for two hundred years before being defeated by the military genius of Alexander of Macedon?" "The answer to the above questions is sought in the chaotic years that preceded the rise of the Achaemenids. On the basis of geographical and general historical information, the Persian Achaemenid texts and reliefs, classical sources and archaeological material, this study draws attention to the nomads from the Central Asian steppes and deserts who throughout history have played a major role in the developments that took place on the Iranian Plateau and beyond."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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