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Ancient Persian Culture
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persian Culture

Ancient Persian culture flourished between the reign of Cyrus II (The Great, r. c. 550-530 BCE), founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, and the fall of the Sassanian Empire in 651 CE. Even so, the foundations of Persian culture were already...
Persian Literature
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Persian Literature

Persian literature differs from the common definition of “literature” in that it is not confined to lyrical compositions, to poetry or imaginative prose, because the central elements of these appear, to greater or lesser degrees...
Ancient Persian Art and Architecture
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persian Art and Architecture

Persian art and architecture in the present day is associated with the nation of Iran and usually designated as beginning with the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) but has an even longer history with its origins dating back to before the...
Cyrus the Great
Definition by Daan Nijssen

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus II (d. 530 BCE), also known as Cyrus the Great, was the fourth king of Anshan and the first king of the Achaemenid Empire. Cyrus led several military campaigns against the most powerful kingdoms of the time, including Media, Lydia...
Achaemenid Empire
Definition by Peter Davidson

Achaemenid Empire

East of the Zagros Mountains, a high plateau stretches off towards India. While Egypt was rising up against the Hyksos, a wave of pastoral tribes from north of the Caspian Sea was drifting down into this area and across into India. By the...
Zorvanism
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Zorvanism

Zorvanism (also given as Zuvanism, Zurvanism) was a sect of the Persian religion Zoroastrianism which emerged in the late Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) and flourished during the Sassanian Empire (224-651 CE). It is often referenced as...
Ancient Persian Government
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persian Government

The government of ancient Persia was based on a highly efficient bureaucracy which combined the concepts of the centralization of power with the decentralization of administration. The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) founded by Cyrus the...
Faravahar
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Faravahar

The faravahar is the best-known symbol from ancient Persia of the winged sun disk with a seated male figure in the center. It is thought to represent Ahura Mazda, the god of Zoroastrianism, but has also been interpreted to signify other concepts...
Zarathustra
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Zarathustra

Zarathustra (also given as Zoroaster, Zartosht, Zarathustra Spitama, l. c. 1500-1000 BCE) was the Persian priest-turned-prophet who founded the religion of Zoroastrianism (also given as Mazdayasna “devotion to Mazda”), the first...
Kosrau I
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Kosrau I

Kosrau I (r. 531-579 CE) was the greatest king of the Sassanian Empire (224-651 CE) in virtually every aspect of his reign. He reformed the military, the Persian government, expanded his territories, engaged in large-scale building projects...