Knowledge of ancient Persia is often gleaned from the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans—two civilizations that viewed the Persians as enemies. This one-of-a-kind reference provides unbiased coverage of the cultural history of the Persian Empire, examining the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, Kushan, and Sasanian dynasties and tracing the development and maturation of Iranian societies during a period of nearly 1,500 years. As one of the most comprehensive studies on the topic, this historical overview explores the region’s rich past while providing insight into the cultures and civilizations the Persians came to rule and influence.
Using primary sources written and inscribed by the ancient Persians themselves, the encyclopedia studies the pre-Islamic civilizations of Iran in the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Incorporating contributions from scholars who discuss the rise and fall of various Persian dynasties, the work offers some 180 entries that cover such topics as religion, royal nobility, the caste system, and political assassinations. The content offers perspectives from a variety of disciplines—from anthropology to archaeology, geography, and art history, among other areas.
- 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