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The Persian Empire

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  27 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Beginning in the sixth century BCE, Persian kings ruled a vast, culturally diverse empire that stretched from northern Libya to central Asia. The regime and its rich multicultural traditions prospered for 250 years until its invasion, and eventual defeat, by Alexander the Great's army in 331 BCE. Yet until the British Museum's exhibition in the summer of 2005, the Persian ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 20th 2005 by University of Chicago Press (first published November 21st 2004)
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Three and a half stars. A visually beautiful though very specialized introduction to the art, architecture and history of the earliest Persian dynasty (c.550-330 BCE). Starting with Cyrus the Great, the Achaemenid (pronounced A-kee-men-id) emperors conquered and ruled a vast stretch of territory stretching from the Hindu Kush to Anatolia and the Nile valley.

Allen deftly traces the origins of Persian artistic, archaeological and even governmental traditions back to other cultures in the regions,
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Lavishly illustrated, this new synthesis of history, archeology, art history, theology and economics attempts to untangle the Persian Empire from its own puffery and the views of its enemies to sort out how it actually functioned--ruling a vast and diverse sweep of peoples and land. A favorite of mine are the synthetic art works (Persian Emperors in Egyptian cartouches, Mongolian saddle blankets, Mughal manuscripts), more work on Alexander's assumption of power in Babylon and the desperate summo ...more
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