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43

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, ...


29

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,...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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) ...


21

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 prize by chance, but none the less for that his counsel was bad. Godley, 1920 A well-laid plan is always to my mind most profitable; even if it is thwarted later,...


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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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. ...


12

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 showing "the section of the Royal Road noted by Herodotus", so it is incomplete. The Royal Road was, in fact, far more extensive than what Herodotus ...


9

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 domination and of the superiority of Greeks over barbarians (non-Greeks). Slavery is not really the issue here; rather, it is about subjugation. The peoples the ...


8

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 language in which the Quran was supposed to be read—unlike in Christianity where the Latin version of the Bible was also considered a valid Bible. Therefore, ...


7

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 Caesar and Khosrow. The Caliph Yazid III (701-744) recited a poem about his exalted ancestry: I am the son of Chosroes, my ancestor was Marwan, Caesar was my ...


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