With Persians: The Age Of The Great Kings, Cardiff University professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones takes a different approach to chronicling the rise of the Persian empire: telling the story from a Persian standpoint, rather than piecing it together purely from a Western point of view or leaning heavily on the findings of ancient Greek historians such as Herodotus.
Beginning 900 years ago with the origins of Persians in Central Asia, Llewellyn-Jones looks at archaeological Achaemenid discoveries recently unearthed in Iran, as well as other ancient inscriptions and artefacts. The Achaemenids’ mighty empire, we learn, included many pivotal developments: they were the first to use coins for currency, circa 650 BC, while pirradazish (‘express runner’), a vast route for relaying messages with men and horses stationed at intervals, is described as a “Persian version of high-speed broadband.”
But for all these civilizational advances, as Cyrus The Great, Darius or Xerxes watched over their vast multicultural empire from Persepolis, there were vicious family feuds, backstabbing and power struggles coming at them from every angle. It was only a matter of time until Alexander The Great reached the walls of Persepolis, paying an uninvited and brutal visit. This book is as close as one can get to stepping back into the Persian Empire without the aid of a Tardis.
Persians: The Age Of The Great Kings, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (Wildfire)
Price: £25. Info: here
words DAVID NOBAKHT
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