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44 votes
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Why did Persia adopt the movable-type printing so late?

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 ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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34 votes
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Did the Persian Immortals instill fear in their Greek adversaries?

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 ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
30 votes
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When did horseback riding start? Are Doosheh cave petroglyphs authentic and correctly dated?

There seems to be something going on of the quite unreliable kind. The generally accepted 'history' and dates of horse domestication and riding practices are quite at odds with the dates for cave ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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28 votes
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In Antiquity, were Persian arrows considered superior to their Greek counterparts?

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’...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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22 votes

Did the Persian Immortals instill fear in their Greek adversaries?

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 ...
Semaphore's user avatar
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22 votes
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Is the Persian name or title Khosrow related to the name Caesar?

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 ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
22 votes
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Was the Persian conquest of Tyre particularly easy, uneventful, or do we lack sources?

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 ...
0range's user avatar
  • 2,716
21 votes
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Where does Herodotus discuss judging the wisdom of decisions by the evidence at hand vs. the consequences?

Macaulay, 1890 the counsel which has been taken is no less good, though it has been defeated by fortune; while he who took counsel badly at first, if good fortune should go with him has lighted on a ...
17 votes

Why did the father of algebra speak Arabic instead of Persian?

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 ...
John Dee's user avatar
  • 3,348
15 votes

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

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 ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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15 votes
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Where was the Battle of Antioch (613 CE) fought?

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 ...
Schwern's user avatar
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14 votes
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What is Darius III wearing on his head?

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 ...
justCal's user avatar
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14 votes
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Why didn't the Persians create good infantry units?

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 ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.5k
14 votes

Was Haman (who is mentioned the Book of Esther) a historical person?

Historians are pretty sure that the story contained in the Book of Esther is a work of fiction, and likely was always intended to be. So Haman, like most everyone else in the story, appears to be ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 119k
13 votes
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Why were the Hecatomnid rulers of Caria permitted to marry their siblings?

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 ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes
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How were heavily armored Cataphracts killed?

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 ...
Mynott95's user avatar
  • 187
11 votes
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Did the Persian Empire really finance both sides of the Peloponnesian war?

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 ...
Marakai's user avatar
  • 2,466
11 votes

Why wasn't Persepolis on Darius' royal road?

Persepolis was on the Royal Road, but this section was not described by one of the main literary sources, Herodotus. The map on the Wikipedia page for the Royal Road specifically states that it is ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
10 votes

Why did the father of algebra speak Arabic instead of Persian?

Arabic was the primary literary language in the Muslim world at the time. Partly it's because the early caliphate (the center of power) was Arab, but another reason was that Arabic was the only ...
user69715's user avatar
  • 7,100
9 votes

Why does Alexander the Great call Greeks free men while Persians slaves?

In his comment, Semaphore alludes to propaganda and this is indeed how Alexander's speech (see Arrian) should primarily be viewed. He is tapping into the Greek 'traditions' of resisting foreign ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
8 votes

How was Alexander the Great able to rule so much territory?

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 ...
kuzzooroo's user avatar
  • 467
8 votes
Accepted

Was the Persian army dependent on cornel wood?

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 ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
8 votes

When did horseback riding start? Are Doosheh cave petroglyphs authentic and correctly dated?

Farsi wikipedia gives a number of different ages for those paintings (please note that my Farsi is not particularly good and English is just my second language, so the translation is probably ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
7 votes

Is the Persian name or title Khosrow related to the name Caesar?

As others have said, the names and titles of Caesar/Kaiser and of Khusrau/Khosrow/Chosroes/Kisra are unrelated. But there is a famous historical example of someone claiming to be related to both ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
7 votes

What happened to the Parthians?

Re. your first question, the somewhat traditional account seems to be that the Achaemenids indeed had a province/satrapy called Parthia (e.g. mentioned here and here). But the people who would later ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
6 votes

Who bought Persian rugs from the silk road?

Carpets are a status symbol. They are very costly to manufacture and their purpose (keeping the floor warm) can be easily achieved by much cheaper materials, such as wood or (in nomadic societies) ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,089
6 votes

Were Kayanian and Pishdadian actually a thing?

The Shahnamah of Firdowsi is an epic historial poem, and thus basically a work of historical fiction covering thousands of years of Persian history, semi history, legend, and myth. As I remember, it ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Why couldn't Heraclius and Yazdegerd coordinate?

The wikipedia page of Battle of Yarmouk you cite, had impressions on this. Vahan was instructed by Heraclius not to engage in battle until all avenues of diplomacy had been explored.[58] This was ...
Rohit's user avatar
  • 3,780
5 votes
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Male Persian names in the Sasanian Empire

This list provides many options for Persian names. For most of the names it does not state whether they were used pre- or post-Islamic but with a bit of searching for the names themselves it's ...
Otto Abnormalverbraucher's user avatar

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