A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind (Revised & Updated by Michael Axworthy

By Michael Axworthy

Iran is a land of contradictions.

It is an Islamic republic, yet one within which in simple terms 1.4 percentage of the inhabitants attend Friday prayers. Iran's non secular tradition encompasses the main censorious and dogmatic Shi'a Muslim clerics on the planet, but its poetry insistently dwells at the joys of lifestyles: wine, attractiveness, intercourse. Iranian ladies are topic to 1 of the main restrictive gown codes within the Islamic global, yet make up approximately 60 percentage of the coed inhabitants of the nation's universities.

In A background of Iran, acclaimed historian Michael Axworthy chronicles the wealthy heritage of this advanced state from the Achaemenid Empire of 6th century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In attractive prose, this revised version explains the army, political, non secular, and cultural forces that experience formed one of many oldest carrying on with civilizations on this planet, bringing us up sleek occasions.

Concluding with an overview of the substantial adjustments the kingdom has passed through because the revolution in 1979, together with an in depth examine Iran's ongoing makes an attempt to turn into a nuclear energy, A heritage of Iran deals normal readers an important advisor to figuring out this unstable kingdom, that is once more on the middle of the world's recognition.

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Row upon row of figures representing subjects from all over the empire are shown queuing up to present themselves, frozen forever in stone relief. The purpose of the huge palace complex at Persepolis is not entirely clear. It may be that it was intended as a place for celebrations and ceremonies at the time of the spring equinox, the Persian New Year (Noruz—celebrated on and after March 21 each year, today as then). The rows of tribute-bearers depicted in the sculpture suggest that it may have been the place for annual demonstrations of homage and loyalty from the provinces.

Alexander continued where his father had left off. He consolidated his authority in Greece, quickly crushing a rebellion in Thebes, and then, in 334 bc, crossed into Asia Minor. He defeated a Persian army at the Granicus River (near the Dardanelles), conquered the towns of the Ionian coast—including the Persian regional base at Sardis—and then marched east. The following year he defeated Darius at the Battle of Issus (on the Mediterranean coast near the modern border between Syria and Turkey), leading the decisive attack personally at the head of his companion cavalry (hetairoi).

King of the world, king of Assyria, king of the four quarters . . qxp_Layout 1 3/7/16 9:36 AM Page 13 Origins 13 mountain, has entrusted an unrivaled kinship to me . . has made powerful my weapons . . he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet; and mighty kings feared my warfare. . In the course of my campaign, Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banaibarka, Asuru, cities of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoils.

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