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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What is the historic validity of "Nothing is real; everything is permitted" as the Assassins' motto?

"Nothing is true; everything is permitted" - I find this phrase, popularized by the game Assassins' Creed, quite confusing even as historic fiction. Historically, the Hassansins (a.k.a the ...
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Are there equivalents of the Seven Archangels of Zoroastrianism in Vedic Religion?

As I explore the possible relationship between archangels in Judaism and Proto-Indo-European religion here, here is a related more specific question. Zoroastrianism and Early Vedic religion are very ...
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29 votes
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When did horseback riding start? Are Doosheh cave petroglyphs authentic and correctly dated?

I am trying to reconcile 3 answers I have got so far. Perhaps there are more. My main question is about when horseback riding started. In Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK), the information panel in the ...
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When and why did the given name Dariusz get popular in Poland?

I recently realized that Dariusz is a) a reasonably popular given name in Poland, and b) sounds a lot like the modern Iranian name Daryush, which is derived from the name of Darius, one of the most ...
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What are the main primary sources for the life and times of Shah Ismail I?

The Encyclopaedia Iranica seems mostly to base its account on Khvandamir, Hasan Beg Rumlu and to a lesser extent Khonji. Which of these (or any other primary source) has the most extensive treatment ...
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Was Haman (who is mentioned the Book of Esther) a historical person?

according to wikipedia Haman is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, who according to the Hebrew Bible was a grand vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, commonly identified as ...
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When were Yazdegerd III and Peroz III born?

Yazdegerd the Third was the last ruling Sasanian King of Kings of Iran, overthrown by the Muslim invaders. Peroz III was his son who never succeeded in regaining the throne. I used to read that ...
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Was the Achaemenid Empire richer than the Sasanian Empire?

A while ago I read a passage regarding the economy of different Persian empires. The passage was implying that the Achaemenid Persian empire (a.k.a first Iranian empire) was in total ``far richer"...
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Where does Herodotus discuss judging the wisdom of decisions by the evidence at hand vs. the consequences?

Physicist/statistician Edwin T. Jaynes, in a broad overview of the history of ideas about reasoning amidst uncertainty (precursors to Bayesian inference), attributes an early articulation of an ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...