Lindsay Allen The Persian Empire

ISBN 13: 9780226014470

The Persian Empire

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9780226014470: The Persian Empire

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 perspective of this landmark event in world history will have been largely neglected. In one of the few accounts available, The Persian Empire provides a comprehensive and accessible portrayal of one of the world's first land-based dynastic kingdom.

In her cultural and political history of the development of this power, Lindsay Allen-whose posts in the Ancient Near East departments of the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art make her one of the leading authorities on Persia-surveys written sources, art objects, warfare, politics, archaeological sites, and daily life during Persian rule. She traces the evolution of the monarchy, showing how it fostered unprecedented international communication and cultural exchange, and describes how the Persian expedition into Greece in the early fifth century BCE became a defining moment that established a European identity apart from an Asian one. Throughout, lavish illustrations bring to life the traditions of this ancient Middle Eastern civilization and finally place Alexander's invasion within a Persian context. As the subject experiences renewed interest, The Persian Empire promises to be the definitive work on one of the most powerful dynasties in ancient history.

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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. While the triumph of Alexander is well known, the kingdom that he conquered is less so. The Persian Empire is one of the few accounts available, a comprehensive historical survey that as an accompaniment to an exhibition at the British Museum provides an accessible portrayal of the world's first land-based dynastic kingdom.
In her cultural and political history of the development of this dynasty, Lindsay Allen—-classicist and scholar of ancient Iran—surveys written sources, art objects, warfare, politics, and archaeological sites, supplementing the historical framework with descriptions of daily life during Persian rule. She traces the evolution of the monarchy, showing how it fostered unprecedented international communication and cultural exchange, and describes how the Persian expedition into Greece in the early fifth century BCE became a defining moment that established a European identity unique from an Asian one. Examining the rediscovery of the royal capitals at Persepolis and Susa, Allen illuminates the legacy of Persian imperial traditions. Throughout, lavish illustrations bring to life the traditions of this ancient Middle Eastern civilization and finally place Alexander's invasion within a Persian context. As the subject experiences renewed interest, The Persian Empire promises to be the definitive work on one of the most powerful dynasties in ancient history.

About the Author:

Lindsay Allen is a research fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.

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Allen, Lindsay
Published by The University of Chicago Pres (2005)
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