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Questions tagged [persia]

The land and people in southwestern Asia from the ancient Sassanian empire to the modern nation state of Iran, prior to 1935

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Were the ancient Greeks very poor compared to the ancient Persians?

Today, one way modern scholars determine civilization is by it's material prosperity and consumption levels. To be prosperous is for the man of today a good thing and we consider poverty in a nation ...
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127 views

What are some of ancient maps created from a single perspective?

Years ago I read that other civilizations had maps like that of the Herodotus, naming lands or peoples according to cardinal directions but without referring to them as continent or ethnicity. But ...
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Is the Persian name or title Khosrow related to the name Caesar?

From what I understand Khosrow I, being the leader of the Persian Empire of 532 CE, had the title/name. What is the origin of the name Khosrow? According to Google Translate, "khosrow" in Persian ...
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Why does Alexander the Great call Greeks free men while Persians slaves?

So there seems to be this theme of Greeks being "free men" with Alexander the Great saying "we are free men, and they are slaves" My understanding was that this mean the Greek lived in democratic/ ...
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What happened to Gordian III in the Battle of Misiche?

I read in the Wikipedia that: "Roman sources do not mention this battle (Battle of Misiche) and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha (Qalat es Salihiyah) in northern Mesopotamia."...
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What did cataphract units wear under the armour?

As I understand it, scale armour, such as the Sassanid Iranian cataphract units wore, required some sort of padding under it. In Europe, a gambeson was used for this purpose, and also served as the ...
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What kind of material were tents made of when traveling through desert regions in times of the Sasanid Empire [closed]

I am writing a short story about two men traveling through the Lut desert from Herat (back in the time called Harēv) to the city of Kerman (Back in the time called Veh-Ardashir - not to be confused ...
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161 views

Male Persian names in the Sasanian Empire

I am writing a short story about two non-noble men traveling through the Lut desert from Herat (back in the time called Harēv) to the city of Kerman (Back in the time called Veh-Ardashir - not to be ...
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1answer
183 views

Did Sultan Mehmet IV defeat a Persian champion in single combat?

From Jason Goodwin's popular history of the Ottoman Empire, Lords of the Horizons: At the siege of Baghdad in 1683, when the Persians demanded the contest be decided by single combat, they put up ...
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Why didn't the Persians create good infantry units?

The defeat at Marathon, Plataea, march of the 10.000, and the hold up at Thermopylae really suggest the need for some heavy infantry that can fight on par with the Greek Phalanx. Like how much of ...
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2answers
438 views

Where was the Battle of Antioch (613 CE) fought?

The Byzantines were severely defeated in this battle by their Sassanid counterparts. But where did this battle take place i.e. what was the precise location of this battle? According to Wikipedia, ...
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Who built the shrine of Hilal ibn Ali in Kashan, Iran?

The shrine of Hilal ibn Ali is an incredible piece of architecture but yet I cannot find any info online about who built it and when!
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Why did the father of algebra speak Arabic instead of Persian?

I'm reading about algebra and the man most associated with its creation or popularisation, Muhammad al-Khwarizmi. We know that algebra comes from the Arabic "al-jabr", but what I don't understand is ...
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240 views

When was Sura in the Roman Empire?

I am curious about this statement: Sura was under Roman control in the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE) and Ptolemy (c. 100-170 CE) but was conquered by the Sasanian king Shapur I in 253 CE. ...
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Did the Persian Immortals instill fear in their Greek adversaries?

The Persian Immortals were an elite combat unit during the First Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire. They were known for being at ten thousand strong at all times for which they ...
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403 views

Was the Persian army dependent on cornel wood?

In the following book I found the passing statement that cornel wood was used by the Persian cavalry for their javelins: Nelson, Richard. Armies of the Greek and Persian Wars 500 to 350 BC, 2015. p30. ...
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In Antiquity, were Persian arrows considered superior to their Greek counterparts?

In Xenophon's Anabasis I ran into the following part: The Persian bows are also large, and consequently the Cretans could make good use of all the arrows that fell into their hands; in fact, ...
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Did Reza Shah Pehlavi know about Turkish offer to restore Ahmad Shah Qajar?

Ahmad Shah Qajar, Shah of Persia was deposed in a military coup by Colonel Reza Khan in 1921 and was subsequently exiled. While he was in exile, Kemal Ataturk summoned the Persian ambassador ...
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Did Zoroastrianism influence some Ancient Greek Philosophers?

Ancient Greek Philosophy, was never monolithic, that is to say, the diversity of thought represented in the Greek Philosophers is well documented and well chronicled. However, did the Persian ...
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4answers
643 views

Was Greece the only thing stopping a Persian invasion of Europe?

During the Greco-Persian war, it is of course well documented that the Greeks managed to hold off the Persians in numerous conflicts including the Battle of Thermopylae (not strictly a victory, I know,...
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How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

I've always wondered how an infantry soldier, without a pike (which cavalry wouldn't charge into normally), deliver a fatal blow to a Cataphract? What I know is that Cataphracts were used as heavy ...
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Why couldn't Heraclius and Yazdegerd coordinate?

When Muslims had almost reached Aleppo in 635, Heraclius and Yazdegerd (III) sought an alliance and Heraclius married off his [grand?] daughter to Yazdegerd and they both were set to mount a ...
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140 views

Accuracy of Ancient Dates of Persian/Middle East Based on Astronomy

What astronomical events have helped determine the accuracy of historical dates of Middle Eastern (specifically Persian) events? Some examples of Middle Eastern/Persian events could be the year a king ...
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180 views

Persian rugs in the silk road

I have to do a project on the silk road. One of the things traded would have been Persian rugs. But who would have imported these rugs, where and why was there a demand for these rugs?
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What is Darius III wearing on his head?

In the famous Alexander Mosaic found in Pompeii, Darius is wearing some form of head covering, it appears to just be cloth wrapped around his head. What is the hat called? I can't find any information ...
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Can we say that the first empire that divided its territory into provinces was the Neo-Assyrian Empire?

It is well known that the Persian Empire was divided into 20 smaller territories governed by satraps, and even Persian territories conquered by Alexander The Great kept their satraps. However, the Neo-...
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956 views

Did the Persian Empire really finance both sides of the Peloponnesian war?

I thought that the Persian empire was an enemy of these states and I've read somewhere that the Spartans indeed won the Peloponnesian war with the help of the Persian empire but in an answer here it's ...
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118 views

Did the exile of the Platonic academy facilitate the foundation of the House of Wisdom?

According to Wikipedia: ...The last Scholarch of the Academy was Damascius (d. 540). According to Agathias, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of Sassanid king Khosrau I in ...
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1answer
161 views

What pharaoh did Cambyses defeat in the invasion of Egypt?

According to currently accepted history, the Persian king, Cambyses conquered Egypt in 525 BC. According to Herodotus, the pharaoh of Egypt at the time was "Psammetichos", whom modern historians ...
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Alexander the Great and Religion

Did Alexander impose his Greek polytheism on the Persians he conquered or did the Hellenization happen naturally over the course of time and Greek soldiers and traders living among them? Or was it ...
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1answer
209 views

When was Susa first mentioned in written documents?

"Susa was a principal city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires (capital of the Elamites) and was originally known to the Elamites as 'Susan’ or 'Susun’. The Greek name for the city was Sousa ...
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Why do more historians state Rome was a superpower, than Persia? [closed]

Persian Empire was older and larger (I am not sure about this) than the Roman Empire. However, when it comes to the title of Superpower, many historians say Rome was the world first true superpower. ...
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What did Cyrus the great look like?

Some people think that ancient Iranians (unlike Iranians today) were white and had green/blue eyes and blonde hair. I am myself an Iranian and I do not look white; I do not have blue/green eyes and ...
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What did the paper money of the Ilkhanate look like?

In the 1200s the Mongols conquered Persia (and a few other places). The portion of the empire in Persia was known as the Ilkhanate, ruled over by the ilkhan. Influenced by Chinese paper money, the ...
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871 views

What are the ancient origins of the Medicine Ball?

Seeing this question about the oldest known exercise equipment, I remembered a scene from I, Claudius when Tiberius is working out with a medicine ball, so I thought that might be a good candidate. I ...
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317 views

What broad changes to “world thought” happened in the 6th and 5th centuries BC? [closed]

The 6th and 5th centuries BC saw the appearance of a remarkable number of philosophers and thinkers all over Eurasia whose influence continues to this day: Socrates (470 - 399 BC), "father of Western ...
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273 views

How old was Bagoas when he met Alexander the Great?

And what was the ethnicity of Bagoas? As I know, there were many different people's and tribes, that populates Achaemenian Empire. And also there was extended slave trade with foreign nations.
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Is there any information about Soshandukht or her father?

This is mentioned on Wiki's page about the Sassanid dynasty Yazdegerd I's successor was his son Bahram V (421–438), one of the most well-known Sassanid kings and the hero of many myths. Bahram V's ...
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1answer
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What was the average height in Classical Greece?

This is a follow-up for Average height of Ancient Roman Men and Women? : I'm curious what was the average height and build of men & women citizens of Greek states (Athens, Sparta, etc) in 7th-...
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How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

Alexander the Great conquered so much territory so quickly that I'm always surprised he was able to maintain control of it as his army pushed further east. What kept territories from reverting to ...
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2answers
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Why did Alexander the Great succeed in overthrowing the Persian Empire?

What was the reason that Alexander the Great succeeded in overthrowing the Persian empire? Is it possible that the key reason was that the people of Persia decided not to defend against Alexander so ...
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1answer
2k views

Why did Xerxes choose Hellespont over Bosphorus?

The total length of the Bosphorus bridge is 1560 m [1]. The total length of the proposed bridge over Hellespont is 2196 m [2]. Even if there's a point on the Hellespont where the distance between the ...
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3answers
2k views

Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?

In 1980 E.P.Thompson published an interesting paper called *Barbarian Invaders and Roman Collaborators *. Among other subjects he consdiers there the leakage from Rome to its enemies of technical ...
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2answers
3k views

What role did War elephants play in the battle of Thermopylae?

In the battle of Thermopylae between the Persians and the United Greek Forces, what role did the mighty war elephant play? The Persians threw Immortals and archers at the United Greeks on the narrow ...
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1answer
439 views

Is there any possible way to count provinces of the Achaemenid Empire to be 127?

I know the historical basis for the Book of Esther isn't exactly "there," but for the sake of argument, if someone wanted to believe it and stand by the first verse that says: Now it came to pass ...
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205 views

What does “the anointed of the Lord” mean?

While reading the Cyrus the Great in the Wikipedia, I found the mentioned sentence in this paragraph: Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered.[13] It is said ...
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148 views

Were there rules about the number of retainers for the Achaemenid Empire?

In Rome, magistrates (and later the emperors too) each had a fixed number of lictors, according to the rank of the office they held. Is a similar regulation of the number of retainers according to ...
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6answers
2k views

Why didn't the silk road run north of the Black Sea?

I have read many times that the only way for Europeans to get to China, or vice versa, was through Anatolia and Persia. This gave Istanbul an advantage in throttling trade, as well as Mesopotamia and ...