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38

Much like Arabic, Persian script (الفبای فارسی‎) is difficult to write, with characters 'changing' depending on context. Think of a text consisting of many, many ligatures. And like in China and Japan the most beautiful calligraphy was held in high esteem. Reproducing this in print is an enormous challenge, today. For much of the early history of print, ...


34

On the Immortals specifically, we do not have enough information from ancient sources to get a clear picture of what the Greeks thought of this elite Persian infantry unit. Further, the available evidence suggests that the Greeks were far more concerned about the size and wealth of the Persian empire than about one particular component of their army, ...


32

The nature of the silk road meant that it had to pass through commercial centres. "The Silk Road was largely fragmented and very few merchants travelled the whole route. Goods were passed from one merchant to another until it reached the final buyers" source So deviation over the steppes wasn't really possible as it was not the intermediaries goal to ...


28

A slightly different translation reads as follows: The Persian bows were also large, so that such of their arrows as were taken were useful to the Cretans, and they continued using their enemies’ arrows; and they practiced shooting them upward, sending them a long way. They found a lot of gut in the villages, and lead, which they could put to use for ...


26

Alexander, for the most part, left things unchanged in the lands he conquered. He didn't impose Greek customs, respected (or perhaps ignored) local religions and cultures and allowed a certain degree of self government that, for several of the territories of the former Achaemenid empire, was quite a refreshing change. Not everyone under his rule accepted him,...


22

We have no way to be sure, but probably not. The way I'm reading the question is, did the illusion of immortality cause any fear in the Greeks? Well, no source attests to the existence of the Immortals except for Herodotus. Opinions are split on his reliability, but it is believed that Herodotus did not personally speak Persian. In Paligaro's view, ...


22

According to Herodotus, there was no conquest in the sense. The Phoenician cities including Tyre had belonged to the Neo-Babylonian empire and recognized the suzerainty of the Persians willingly when Cyrus conquered Babylon in 539 BCE. Specifically, in Histories 3.19 Herodotus says (in a different context, when talking about Cambyses, a later Persian ruler) ...


19

No. The Persian name is a derivation or descendant of the legendary Kay Khosrow. Looking at the list of name bearers Khosrow reveals that the name is in much longer use than 532 CE. Variants of the name کیخسرو‎ Husrav, Xusro, Khusro, Khosrau, Khusrau, Chusrau, Khosro, Khosru, Khosrow or Khusraw. In Greek it is sometimes rendered C(h)osroes or Osroes. Arabic ...


15

Just take a look at any political map, let it be Classical period, or early Medieval times. When travelling to China you need water, supplies of food, fodder, etc. Also it's safer to spend a night in a city or some kind of inn instead of open steppe spaces. Then what Joe mentioned, between the cities you've got roads, which again - are safer. South of Black ...


15

Ballistae and other ancient pieces of "artillery" are siege engines. Their primary purpose is to provide fire support within the context of laying siege to a town or fortress; the heavy bolts could lay waste to wooden fortifications (especially the kind of light mobile protection against archers). Siege weapons are heavy, very slow to move, and have a low ...


14

From this website http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/clothing-ii , in a section concerning historical clothing it goes into length on several styles of headgear. This style falls under the designation 'tiara'. In any event, the tiara had a top like a hood, often lined inside with luxurious animal fur. Ordinarily it was worn flat, either pressed down ...


14

Persian is used synonymously with Iranian, but it is not a helpful generalization. He was actually Khwarazmian. Khwarazem was a distinct region in Central Asia, south of the Aral Sea, with its own language. It was one of the most distant places that the Umayyads conquered. Because of the distance, the Arab ethnarchy was no so rigid, but instead they ...


13

If you look at Xerxes' route, the answer is obvious: Source: Map showing the Greek world during the Greco-Persian Wars (ca. 500–479 BC). Xerxes' army moved North from Sardis, seeking alliances with or conquering Ionian cities. There was extremely little of interest for Xerxes after Abydos (the crossing point, according to Herodotus). Going all the way to ...


13

War Elephants in the west were a military fad that started with Alexander the Great's encounter with them at the battle of Gaugamella. They became popular for a while, but their ineffectiveness for Hannibal at Zama 113 years later spelled the beginning of the end for the fad. The extinction of the Syran and North African species iced it. By the beginning of ...


13

Short Answer There is no clear primary source evidence for either why the Hecatomnid dynasty (c. 395 - 334 BC) siblings married each other or why it was 'permitted' (by which I take it to mean why the citizens didn't drum the siblings out of town), but the former question is discussed in some detail by E. D. Carney in Women and Dunasteia in Caria. While ...


12

OK. I know that I said in the comments that the short answer to the question is "yes". In fact, the short answer should more accurately be "probably". That's because this question is an example of a particular bête noire of mine. It falls within the weird and wacky, "what-if ...?" world of counter-factual history. (I think I've mentioned elsewhere on a ...


12

In hindsight, the Ancient Greek heavy infantry were vastly superior to the Persian armies. It was precisely their battles - Marathon, Thermopylae, Plataea - that demonstrated this. Before those battles, no one knew that the Greeks had a superweapon in the form of the Hoplite Phalanx in their hands. The Greeks were busy fighting each other. As great as the ...


11

Edit: I think I have to revise quite a bit. One thing is that the Peloponnesian Wars went through various stages which themselves got different titles (Ionian, Corinthian, etc). As a result the poster on Yahoo Answers may be quite right. In the Ionian War, which crushed Athens, the Persians provided the gold for the Spartan Fleet. In the Corinthian War, ...


11

In 1944-45, the late forensic anthropologist John Lawrence Angel studied Ancient Greek skeletal remains. His results were 162 cm for men and 153 cm for women. He only had a rather small sample size at the time, though. Right after his death, excavation began on the cemetery of the Magna Graecia colony-city of Metapontum. The Metaontum necropolis was ...


11

As the commenters have stated, there are several reasons "Persia" isn't one empire, but a succession of empires controlling the same area, more or less in the period. Rome under the Republic and Empire was a single continuous government. The various Persian governments tended to get knocked around in head to head competition with Mediterranean powers. ...


11

Lighter, Faster Cavalry. The heavier the cavalry, the harder it is to maintain speed and perform sharp maneuvers. At the battle of Turin, Constantine used light cavalry with iron-tipped clubs to attack the flanks of Cataphracts. Ancient cavalry rode horses without Stirrups, meaning clubs or weapons with blunt force behind them stood a fair chance of knocking ...


10

Gaykhatu Khan's paper money was visually similar to the contemporary Chinese notes. It was an oblong certificate, block printed on possibly papyrus or bark paper. The Islamic creed of Shahada was printed at the top, followed by Gaykhatu's name, as Irinjin Turji, in Arabic. The denomination was printed at the centre of the note, and encircled. Beneath this ...


10

Questions about the historical accuracy of holy texts can get dicey, so I'll try to treat this like any other question. First, I'm not an Islamic scholar, so I'm not going to try and work out whether the translation is "lowest land" or "nearest land", but just note there seems to be some contention about exactly what is meant in the ...


8

The Silk Way was not a single road, but rather a net of roads. And the ways Amudarja/Uzboj (Amudarja went to Caspian Sea till 16 Century, for example) - Caspian Sea - Volga - Don - Azov sea - Black sea - Konstantinople (variant: Aral-Caspian Sea by foot) was in use -especially for long periods when Amudarja was switched to the Caspian Sea and some stable ...


8

I conjecture that there is one more reason. The historians you mention belong to the "Western European/North American" culture. It is a direct descendant of the Roman empire (in the cultural sense). Perhaps if you read Persian historians you obtain a different picture. And I am sure that if you read Chinese historians, you will learn a very different ...


8

It is unlikely that the Achaemenid Empire depended solely on cornel-wood. That empire started out without direct control over those areas now known as natural distribution of that species. If ancient and current areas of distribution are even largely identical that means they build their empire just fine without cornel-wood or imported it. But take a ...


8

Question: Why didn't the Persians create good infantry units? The defeat at Marathon, Platea, march of the 10,000, and the hold up at Thermopylae would really suggest the need for some heavy infantry that can fight on a par with the Greek Phalanx. How much of your infantry really needs to be very mobile? The battle of Gaugamela also displayed the ability ...


7

It was a combination of both. Alexander the Great encouraged the spread of Greek culture as noted by Plutarch in his work On the Fortunes of Alexander: But if you examine the results of Alexander's instruction, you will see that he educated the Hyrcanians to respect the marriage bond, and taught the Arachosians to till the soil, and persuaded the ...


7

Today I stumbled across Machiavelli's answer to this question (at least with reference to the Persian Empire) in chapter 4 of The Prince, where he writes, Considering the difficulties which men have had to hold to a newly acquired state, some might wonder how, seeing that Alexander the Great became the master of Asia in a few years, and died whilst it ...


7

It is not true. The name Iran is old enough and comes from Ayran which means the land of Aryans but Reza Shah suspected westerners' motives in using the name Persia instead of Iran and tried to change the name to Iran again. Reza Shah had extreme nationalist ideas, and the Nazi regime cheated him and abused these feelings in the second world war. Westerners ...


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