By Michael Axworthy
Iran is a land of contradictions.
It is an Islamic republic, yet one within which basically 1.4 percentage of the inhabitants attend Friday prayers. Iran's non secular tradition encompasses the main censorious and dogmatic Shi'a Muslim clerics on this planet, but its poetry insistently dwells at the joys of existence: wine, attractiveness, intercourse. Iranian ladies are topic to 1 of the main restrictive costume codes within the Islamic international, yet make up approximately 60 percentage of the scholar inhabitants of the nation's universities.
In A heritage of Iran, acclaimed historian Michael Axworthy chronicles the wealthy heritage of this complicated kingdom from the Achaemenid Empire of 6th century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In enticing prose, this revised version explains the army, political, non secular, and cultural forces that experience formed one of many oldest carrying on with civilizations on the earth, bringing us up glossy occasions.
Concluding with an review of the sizeable adjustments the country has passed through because the revolution in 1979, together with a detailed examine Iran's ongoing makes an attempt to develop into a nuclear strength, A heritage of Iran deals basic readers a vital advisor to realizing this risky kingdom, that is once more on the heart of the world's cognizance.
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Extra info for A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind (Revised & Updated Edition)
I am not a friend to the man who is a lie-follower [. ] As a horseman I am a good horseman. As a bowman I am a good bowman both afoot and on horseback . 17 The latter part of this text, though telescoped here from the original, echoes the famous formula from Herodotus and other Greek writers, that Persian youths were brought up to ride a horse, shoot a bow, and tell the truth. Darius was pressing every button to stimulate the approval of his subjects. Even if one doubts the story of Darius’s accession, the evidence from Bisitun and his other inscriptions of his self-justification, and the use of religion by both sides in the intensive fighting that followed the death of Cambyses, nonetheless stands.
An excerpt reads: Sennacherib, the great king . . king of the world, king of Assyria, king of the four quarters . . qxp_Layout 1 3/7/16 9:36 AM Page 13 Origins 13 mountain, has entrusted an unrivaled kinship to me . . has made powerful my weapons . . he has brought the black-headed people in submission at my feet; and mighty kings feared my warfare. . In the course of my campaign, Beth-Dagon, Joppa, Banaibarka, Asuru, cities of Sidka, who had not speedily bowed in submission at my feet, I besieged, I conquered, I carried off their spoils.
Or perhaps they descended from some other Balkan people influenced by the arrival of IndoEuropean Greeks. qxp_Layout 1 3/7/16 9:36 AM Page 27 Origins 27 of Philip and Alexander—but even at that late stage the Macedonians made a strong distinction between themselves and the Greek hangers-on who accompanied Alexander’s eastern adventure. In the fifth century bc, Macedonians were normally, like other non-Greeks, excluded from the Olympic games. But the Persians seem to have referred to them as “Greeks with hats” (they were known for their wide-brimmed hats), and Herodotus too seems to have accepted them as of Greek origin.