Questions tagged [persia]

The land and people in southwestern Asia from the ancient Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC) to the modern nation state of Iran, prior to 1935

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2answers
7k views

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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648 views

Were Kayanian and Pishdadian actually a thing?

The epic of Shahnameh discusses various kings before Alexander conquered Persia which don't match with the names associated with Achaemenid kings. Some sources refer to this mythical empires as ...
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Is there a breakdown for transported goods on different routes in the Persian corridor in WWII?

In August 1941, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom together occupied Iran. One motivation for that invasion was the establishment of a supply line to the Soviet Union through Iran, the so-called ...
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1answer
175 views

Why wasn't Persepolis on Darius' royal road?

I am curious about the routing of the Royal Road. It bypasses Ecbatana by some distance, which seems odd, and ends in Susa, even odder. It would seem that at least some of the empire's business was ...
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Why did Persia adopt the movable-type printing so late?

According to Iranica, the first books in Persian characters were published in Leiden in 1639, almost 200 years after Gutenberg's invention, and in Asia it was used even before that. Given that Persia ...
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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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352 views

What happened to the Parthians?

I've always been very much interested in the origin of these people and the way they served Iran. However, the origin and fate of these people has always been a mystery for me and despite reading ...
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115 views

How many deaths resulted from the Wars of the Diadochi? [closed]

Alexander the Great invaded the Achaemenid Empire in 334 BC, successfully conquering it and dying in 323 BC. After his death, his Empire fell apart starting a series of wars called the Wars of the ...
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Was there and if so what was a northern silk road route from Khazaria to China?

From the reading I had done in various sources through the years, I understood that possible silk road routes from Khazaria to China were: Northern: Atil - Tashkent - Dunhuang - Chang'an Central: ...
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1answer
335 views

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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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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Did Persian Qanat water system influence Turpan Karez water system?

Based on Wikipedia, the Persian Qanat water system was started in cr. 1000 BC. The Turpan water system, located in modern north-west China, has a similar idea and later it was used on the Silk path ...
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3answers
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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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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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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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Are there any references of Muhammad's letter to Khosrow II, outside of Islamic historiography?

In Islamic tradition and history it is said that Muhammad sent a letter to Khosrow II, a Sasanid king who was titled king of the kings, inviting him to Islam. As history is an interactional phenomenon,...
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What is the etymology of the word "Mehrgarh", one of the earliest Neolithic site in South Asia?

Mehrgarh is a Neolithic site near the Bolan Pass in Pakistan. I am wondering if the Neolithic site has simply been dubbed "Mehrgarh" or was it the actual name of the Neolithic culture ...
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1answer
511 views

Who bought Persian rugs from 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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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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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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217 views

What was Artaxerxes I ascension year? [closed]

I'm sorry I cannot add references as 99% of the knowledge I have on the subject is picked off online. Going through my search engine it appears that the ascension year for Artaxerxes I is commonly ...
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What were the typical types of ships used in the Persian Navy in the 1730's and 1740's?

What were the typical types of ships used in the Persian Navy in the 1730's and 1740's? Is the make-up of the fleet known (i.e., how many ships of what class, etc)? The revival of Persia's power in ...
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406 views

Where were Hindus and Sattagydia in the late Achaemenid Empire?

I found two maps that show territorial composition of Achaemenid Empire around 500 BC: While there are other significant differences between them (because of historical sources scarcity), the most ...
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1answer
421 views

What was the population of the Parthian Empire around (AD) 1 CE? [closed]

What was the population of the Parthian Empire (and its vassals) around (AD) 1 CE? I've found several estimates ranging from 8 to 30 million. However, I desire a more narrow estimate (±5 million). I ...
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Why did the first Safavid Shia become Shia?

I'm currently reading the history of Safavid Iran (by Roger Savory) which was a Shia ruling. The eponym of Safavid is Safi-ad-din Ardabili that was a Sunni. We can be sure that his grandson Khvajeh ...
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Why did Babylonians/Persians use the ascension year method?

[12] Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner....
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Was the Persian conquest of Tyre particularly easy, uneventful, or do we lack sources?

I'm reading the history of Tyre on Wikipedia, and noticing how some sieges were very difficult and get great details, giving the impression that Tyre was a really difficult to conquer city, whereas ...
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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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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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When did Cyrus II release the captives of Babylon?

The text below are bits I want to discuss that are taken from the Cyrus Cylinder - dated 539 - 530 BCE. "I am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king ...
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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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Was Al-Tusi's observatory (1262) the first specific-purpose-driven international research institution (like CERN)?

In the biography of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (1201-1273), among other sources, we learn that: The observatory at Maragheh (Persia) became operational in 1262. The Persians were assisted by Chinese ...
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Why were the Hecatomnid rulers of Caria permitted to marry their siblings?

Hecatomnus of Caria had three sons and two daughters. The elder two sons married a daughter each, and all five children would rule, successively, the state which their father founded. Why was this ...
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298 views

Could there have been wars between the Aztecs and the Persians? [closed]

In the Book of the Kings of Ferdowsi there is a king named Zahak or Azhidahak. I would probably equate it with what we know today as Aztecs. Some also claim that Atlan (from Atlantis) is another name ...
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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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216 views

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
101 views

Did the Buyids emerge as allies of the Abbasid Caliphate?

The Buyid dynasty were Shia sympathizers. However, I might have read somewhere that the Buyids came to power as allies of the Abbasids. This would have been as an anti Tabaristan or anti Ziyarid ...
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Do Pashtuns belong to Greek heritage? [closed]

From some of local Pashtuns people, I have heard that they belong to Greek Origin. There explanation was, When Alexander conquered Persia (Achaemenid Empire). he left some of the soldiers here. But I ...
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Did the Safavid rulers require all subjects to convert to Shi'a Islam?

On one hand I've read that Shi'a Islam was the only religion allowed in the Safavid empire. On the other hand, the empire contained parts of Armenia and Georgia, but Armenians and Georgians are ...
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3answers
809 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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1answer
292 views

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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1answer
797 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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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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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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1answer
192 views

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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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
171 views

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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1answer
349 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. ...