The pages that follow plunge straightway into the subject of Persian history, and presuppose some knowledge on the reader's part. It will be here convenient to offer some prefatory notes and to prepare the ground.
The book is intended to lay the foundation of a correct view of ancient Persian history, which has been hitherto approached from a biassed standpoint. Accordingly it has to include a general review of authorities, ancient and modern. The important modern authorities, whose judgments are criticised in the following pages, will be glanced at here.
Of these, in English, Gibbon, Malcolm, and Rawlinson occupy the front rank.
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