THE ANCIENT PERSIA (IRAN)

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THE ANCIENT PERSIA (IRAN)

Postby PAARSE » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:39 am

Achaemenian Dynasty 550 BC - 334 BC
559 - 530 BC
Cyrus the Great was the first Achaemenian Emperor. He founded Persia by uniting the two original Iranian Tribes- the Medes and the Persians. Although he was known to be a great conqueror, who at one point controlled one of the greatest Empires ever seen, he is best remembered for his unprecedented tolerance and magnanimous attitude towards those he defeated.

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The tomb of Cyrus the Great

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Cyrus' Charter of the Rights of Nations (British Museum)
A replica of this decree is displayed in the UN.

I am Cyrus, King of the World. When I entered Babylon I did not allow anyone to terrorize the land. I kept in view the needs of its people and all its sanctuaries to promote their well being. I put an end to their misfortune. The great God has delivered all lands into my hand, the lands that I have made to dwell in peaceful habitation.

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:51 am

522 - 486 BC
The reign of Darius the Great marked the zenith of the Persian Empire. Upholding the tradition established by Cyrus, Darius valued the rights of all people under his rule. The following inscription appears on his tomb:
By the favor of the great god I believe in justice and abhor inequity. It is not my desire that the weak man should have wrong done to him by the mighty...
Darius' goal was to be a great law-giver and organizer. He structured the empire under the satrapy system (similar to national and local governments). He built many roads, ports, banking houses (the word "check" comes from old Persian), elaborate underground irrigation systems and a canal to link the Nile to the Red Sea (an early precursor of the Suez Canal).

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Darius-seated

In the 19th century, archeologists in Egypt discovered an inscription by Darius commemorating the completion of the Canal: I am a Persian. I commanded to dig this canal from a river by name of Nile which flows in Egypt... After this canal was dug, ships went from Egypt through this canal to Persia, thus as was my desire.
Darius revolutionized mankind's economic activities by introducing one of the earliest (certainly the first on such a massive scale) forms of common coinage in history, the darik. This initiative, along with the standardization of weights and measures and the codification of commercial laws, stimulated world trade and elevated the Persian Empire's economy to new levels of prosperity.


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Darius tomb

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:00 am

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PERSEPOLIS(or PAARSE or Takhte-Jamshid), the capital of the Persian Empire.
539 BC
Reflecting the wealth and the mugreeting card lticultural dimension of the Persian Empire, Darius initiated the building of the Persepolis Palace. For its construction, artisans and materials were gathered from different corners of the empire. Another project undertaken by Darius was the royal road, the world's longest, extending 1,500 miles (see map). Due to an extensive network of relays, postmen could travel the road in six to nine days, whereas normal travel time was three months. The motto of the Persian postal service became memorable: stoped by neither snow, rain heat or gloom of night. The US postal service also adopted this motto and the famous Pony Express mail delivery resembled the original Persian design. The origins of polo date back to this time. Persian nobility played an early form of polo for both sport and combat training.

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A battered guardian of persepolis

490 - 479 BC
In their wars with Persia, the Greek city-states were never a threat to the Persian heartland. What Persia did not achieve through war, it obtained through diplomacy. After the wars ended, Persian kings successfully played the Athenians and Spartans against each other for 150 years. Persia's financial and naval assistance was instrumental in Sparta's victory over Athens in the Great Peloponnesian War. Afterwards, Persia began supporting the Athenians. The Persian influence over the two Greek city-states was such that the Persian King Artaxerxes II was asked to mediate between them, leading to the King's Peace of 387 BC.
550 - 334 BC
The Persian Empire became the dominant world power for over two centuries. It made possible the first significant and continuous contact between East and West. It was the world's first religiously tolerant empire and consisted of a multitude of different languages, races, religions and cultures. Prior to the rise of the Roman Empire, it set a precedent for the importance of the rule of law, a powerful centralized army and an efficient and systematic state administration. However, the greatest legacy of the Persian Empire was that it demonstrated for the first time how diverse peoples can culturally flourish and economically prosper under one central government.
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Postby PAARSE » Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:37 am

Map of the ancient Persia

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:58 am

The Homa griffin


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Homa (in Persian هما) is a griffin-like mythological creature and symbol in Persian art. The history of the creature's depiction dates back to the Achaemenid Persians, most notably at the palace of Persepolis where many sculptures of Homa were constructed, e.g. at the top of columns. In Iranian legends, Homa would fly and then land on the head or shoulder of a king-elect upon death of a king, although this is sometimes attributed to the other Persian mythological bird Huma.

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Postby babara » Mon Dec 25, 2006 10:01 am

Thanks for historical information and pictures. :wink:
It is useful really!!

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Postby PAARSE » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:08 am

Temple of ANAHITA


On the road traveling from Tehran toward the city of Kermanshah, one passes through the valley of Asad-abad. In small town of Kangavar, ruins of a majestic historic site start to appear right by the roadside.

The site is known as the Temple of Anahita, built by Achaemenian Emperor Ardeshir II (Artaxerxes II), 404 BC to 359 BC.


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This temple is built in honor of "Ardevisur Anahita," the female guardian angel of waters. It is known as "Temple of Anahita"
Shapes and carvings of the columns in temple are similar to those found in Persepolis and palace of Darius in Susa.

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Postby Oriani » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:00 pm

Wow!!! I can see that every country or land has its own piece of beauty!!! :P

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Postby Anahita » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:52 pm

PAARSE, mate, you've done a great job indeed, thanks so much for these interesting information and beautiful photo's. The ancient empire of Persia has a great history which could be seen truly through these lines.

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Postby PAARSE » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:54 am

PERSEPOLIS

The magnificent palace complex at Persepolis was founded by Darius the Great around 518 B.C., although more than a century passed before it was finally completed. Conceived to be the seat of government for the Achaemenian kings and a center for receptions and ceremonial festivities, the wealth of the Persian empire was evident in all aspects of its construction. The splendor of Persepolis, however, was short-lived; the palaces were looted and burned by Alexander the Great in 331-330 B.C.


The Apadana


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By far the largest and most magnificent building is the Apadana, begun by Darius and finished by Xerxes, that was used mainly for great receptions by the kings. Thirteen of its seventy-two columns still stand on the enormous platform to which two monumental stairways, on the north and on the east, give access. They are adorned with rows of beautifully executed reliefs showing scenes from the New Year's festival and processions of representatives of twenty-three subject nations of the Achaemenid Empire, with court notables and Persians and Medes, followed by soldiers and guards, their horses, and royal chariots. Delegates in their native attire, some completely Persian in style, carry gifts as token of their loyalty and as tribute to the king. These gifts include silver and gold vessels and vases, weapons, woven fabrics, jewelry, and animals from the delegates' own countries. Although the overall arrangement of scenes seems repetitive, there are marked differences in the designs of garments, headdresses, hair styles, and beards that give each delegation its own distinctive character and make its origin unmistakable. Another means by which the design achieves diversity is by separating various groups or activities with stylized trees or by using these trees alone to form ornamental bands. There is also an intentional usage of patterns and rhythms that, by repeating figures and groups, conveys a grandiose ornamental impression.

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Remain of columns
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Postby Oriani » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:33 pm

Those columns look like the Greek ones!!! Nice!! Exotic!

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Jan 01, 2007 4:52 am

The Gate of All Nations


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To the north of the Apadana stands the impressive Gate of Xerxes, from which a broad stairway descends. Xerxes, who built this structure, named it "The Gate of All Countries, " for all visitors had to pass through this, the only entrance to the terrace, on their way to the Throne Hall to pay homage to the king. The building consisted of one spacious room whose roof was supported by four stone columns with bell-shaped bases. Parallel to the inner walls of this room ran a stone bench, interrupted at the doorways. The exterior walls of the structure, made of thick mud brick, were decorated with numerous niches. Each of the three walls, on the east, west, and south, had a very large stone doorway. A pair of colossal bulls guarded the western entrance; two assyrianized man-bulls stood at the eastern doorway. Engraved above each of the four colossi is a trilingual inscription attesting to Xerxes having built and completed the gate. The doorway on the south, opening toward the Apadana, is the widest of the three. Pivoting devices found on the inner corners of all the doors indicate that they must have had two-leaved doors, which were probably made of wood and covered with sheets of ornamented metal.

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Jan 01, 2007 4:59 am

The Throne Hall

Next to the Apadana, the second largest building of the Persepolis Terrace is the Throne Hall (also called the "Hundred-Column Hall"), which was started by Xerxes and completed by his son Artaxerxes I (end of the fifth century B.C.). Its eight stone doorways are decorated on the south and north with reliefs of throne scenes and on the east and west with scenes depicting the king in combat with monsters. In addition, the northern portico of the building is flanked by two colossal stone bulls. In the beginning of Xerxes' reign the Throne Hall was used mainly for receptions for representatives of all the subject nations of the empire. Later, when the Treasury proved to be too small, the Throne Hall also served as a storehouse and, above all, as a place to display more adequately objects, both tribute and booty, from the royal treasury. Concerning this, Schmidt wrote of the striking parallel in a modern example of a combined throne hall and palace museum where the Shah of Iran stores and exhibits the royal treasures in rooms and galleries adjoining his throne hall in the Gulistan Palace at Teheran.

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Postby PAARSE » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:32 am

PASARGAD


I am Cyrus.
King of the world. When I entered Babylon... I did not allow anyone to terrorise the land... I kept in view the needs of Babylon and all its sanctuaries to promote their well-being... I put an end to their misfortune.


From The First Charter of the Rights of Nations

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The city of Pasargadae is located 70 kilometers north of Takht-e Jamshid on the plain of Morghab. Here there are some remains of the first capital of Achaemenids, which can truly be called the cradle of Irans documented history. The name of the city has been derived from that of a Persian tribe, meaning The Camp of the Persians. Unlike Takht-e Jamshid Pasargadae is not located on a terrace. It is composed of several separate and sporadic palaces in a vast park. Although the capital was later transferred to Takht-e Jamshid the ceremonies of coronation were held at Pasargadae so it never failed to be an important center. From the cultural viewpoint, too, Pasargadae is very significant. Cyrus the Great made the greatest and most powerful kingdom all over the world of the Persian nomads in the shortest conceivable period of time. He was also the founder of a new and splendid style in the art of architecture, which evolved in Takht-e Jamshid and became known as Achaemenid style. All the palaces of Pasargadae have been situated in the beautiful lush gardens. The most important remains found at Pasargadae are :

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Tomb of Cyrus
The name of Pasargadae is always associated with that of the tomb of Cyrus. This construction is located at the beginning of the Pasargadae complex. It is constructed of huge, white limestone blocks, without any window, resting on a rectangular, stepped plinth, with six receding stages. It has only one entrance door. In spite of its simplicity the tomb suggests the power and authority of the founder of Achaemenid dynasty.

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The Gatehouse
There is a construction, located one-kilometer northeast of the tomb of Cyrus, which is supposed to be the entrance of Pasargadae. The hall of this palace has eight soft and polished stone columns. The entire floor of this building is covered with two layers of white stone.

The Bridge
The remains of a bridge across a stream have been found 150 meters west of the gatehouse. Two stone walls had been built on both sides and there were nine stone columns on the bed of the stream. Apparently the bridge was a connective route between the gatehouse and the audience hall.

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The Audience hall
There is a palace with huge columns, 100 meters to the left of the bridge. The palace was used to receive the agents and nobles of different countries who came to see Cyurs the Great. The central hall of the palace had eight columns of which only one has wonderfully remained on its place since 2500 years ago. Four doorways to the central hall were ornamented with relief.

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Cyrus Private Palace
This palace is located 300 meters away from the audience hall. The design of the palace is like the letter H and its central hall is ornamented with 30 columns. The eastern iwan of the hall also has 40 columns. There is an inscription in cuneiform on a wall of the iwan written in three languages the translation of which is : I am Cyrus, the Achaemenid king . The western iwan also had 24 columns. The walls of the palace and iwans were ornamented with a lot of relief, which are not left. It is supposed that this palace was the private palace of Cyrus the Great. The other remains found at Pasargadae are the Solomons prison, Arg and chapel.

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Postby PAARSE » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:10 am

Naqsh-e Rustam

Naqsh-e Rustam (in Persian: نقش رستم Næqš-e Rostæm) is an archaeological site located about 3 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars (Pars) province (Persis), Iran. This place is called Næqš-e Rostæm "Picture of Rostam" because of the Sassanid carvings below the tombs, which were thought to represent the Persian mythical hero Rostam.

Naqsh-e Rustam, contains seven tombs which belongs to Achaemenian kings. One of those at Naqsh-e Rustam is expressly declared in its inscriptions to be the tomb of Darius I. The three other tombs, besides that of Darius I, are believed to be those of Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II. The two completed graves behind Persepolis probably belong to Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III. The unfinished one might be that of ~, who reigned at the longest two years, but is more likely that of Darius III, last of the Achaemenian line, who was overthrown by Alexander the Great.

In addition to tombs, there are also seven gigantic rock carvings in Naqsh-e Rustam, below the tombs, belonging to the Sassanid kings.


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Shapur-e 1
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triumph of Shapur I over the Roman Emperor Valerian, and Philip the Arabian
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Postby PAARSE » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:11 am

Etymology


In former ages, the names Āryānā and Persis were used to describe the region which is today known as the Iranian plateau. The earliest Iranian reference to the word (airya/arya/aryana etc), however, predates the Iranian prophet Zoroaster (est. anywhere between 1200 to 1800 BCE, according to Greek sources, as early as 6000 BCE[7][8] and is attested in non-Gathic Avestan; it appears as airya, meaning noble/spiritual/elevated; as airya dainhava (Yt.8.36, 52) meaning the land of the Aryans; and as airyana vaejah, the original land of the Aryans."[6]


During the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), the Persian people called their provincial homeland Pārsa, the Old Persian name for Cyrus the Great's kingdom, which belonged to the Persian tribe of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranians and which is retained in the term "Pars" or "Fars" (from which the adjective "Farsi" is derived). It is part of the heartland of Iran and is identified in historical maps, such as Eratosthenes's, and in modern maps.

However, the country as a whole was called Aryanam. The word Ariya, meaning "noble", "spiritual", and "elevated", is attested in the Inscriptions of Darius the Great and his son, Xerxes I. It is used both as a linguistic and an ethnic designation. Darius refers to these meanings in the Behistun inscription (DBiv.89), which is written in a language referred to as airyan, or more commonly as Old Persian. Both Darius and Xerxes state in inscriptions at Naqsh-i Rustam (DNa.14), Susa (DSe.13), and Persepolis (XPh.13):


Stonecarving from Persepolis showing Darius I the Great of Persia (521-486 BC).
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Adam Pārsa, Pārsahyā puça; Ariya, Ariya ciça... I am Persian, son of a Persian; an Aryan, from an Aryan lineage.


In Parthian times (248 BCE – 224 CE), Aryanam was modified to Aryan. In the early Sassanid Period (224–651 CE), it had already evolved to Middle Persian Ērān or Ērān Shahr which finally resulted in New Persian Iran or Iran Shahr.[9]

At the time of the Achaemenian empire, the Greeks called the country Persis, the Greek name for Pars (Fars), the central region where the empire was founded; this passed into Latin and became Persia, the name widely used in Western countries which causes confusion as Persia is actually Pars (Fars) province.[10][6][11]

In the twentieth century, a dispute arose over whether Iran or Persia is the correct name for the country. On 21 March 1935, the ruler of the country, Reza Shah Pahlavi, issued a decree asking foreign delegates to use the term Iran in formal correspondence in accordance with the fact that "Persia" was a term used for a country called "Iran" in Persian.

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Postby babara » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:51 am

I want to go historical places or place you are showing here I think It is interesting and I want to take a photo myself also. I'm sure It will have to be funny. :D :D

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Postby Oriani » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:38 pm

Yes and as I said before, every country has its own beauty and exotic wonders!

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Postby babara » Thu Jan 11, 2007 4:11 am

Oriani wrote:Yes and as I said before, every country has its own beauty and exotic wonders!


You are right!
It is interesting.

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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:48 am

Next Post, please
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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:58 am

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle (in Persian: قلعه فلاک الافلاک‎), in ancient times was known as Dežbār as well as Shāpūr-Khwāst, is one of the most impressive castles in Iran. It is situated on the top of a large hill with the same name within the city of Khorramabad, the regional capital of Lorestan province. This gigantic structure was built during the Sassanid era (226–651).

The Khoramabad River runs past the eastern and south-western side of the Falak-ol-Aflak hill providing the fortress with an element of natural protection. Today, the western and northern sides of the hill are bordered by the residential districts of Khorramabad.


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History
Falak ol-Aflak castle is amongst the most important structures built during the Sassanid era. It has been known by a number of names since it was built over 1800 years ago. Recorded names have referred to it as Shapur-Khast or Sabr-Khast fortress, Dezbaz, Khoramabad castle, and ultimately the Falak ol-Aflak Castle.

During the Pahlavi Dynasty it was used as a prison

Architectural Layout
The foundations of the actual castle measure approximately 300 meters by 400 meters. The height of the entire structure, including the hill, reaches to 40 meters above the surrounding area.

The castle itself covers an area of 5,300 square meters. It is 2,860 meters in perimeter and its tallest wall is 22.5 meters high. This space is divided into four large halls, and their associated rooms and coridors. The rooms all surround two courtyards with the following measurements: the first courtyard measures 31x22.50m and the second 29x21 meters. When originally built the castle used to have 12 towers, but only 8 remain standing today.

The building's entrace is situated towards the north, within the body of the northwestern tower.

The water well of the fortress lies in the area behind the first courtyard. Reaching a depth of 40 meters, the majority of the well's shaft is carved into the rock in order to reach the source of the Golestan spring. The well remains usable to this day.

The materials used in the construction of the fortress are mud-bricks, mud-fired bricks, stone, wood, and mortar.




Surrounding structures
Archeological studies have identified the existence of a two layered rampart with twelve towers around the present day construction. This surrounding rampart mainly stretched westward. From the twelve original towers, only two remain and these are situated northwest and southwest of the existing fortress.



Dehumidifier
Falak ol-Aflak Castle appears to have been built with a dehumidifier system which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.[citation needed]


Previously, the experts believed these dehumidifier canals with a height of more than 1 meter covering all the area beneath the castle were hide-outs for the residents. But in reality, due to being aware of the changing climate in the region and the underground waters, the Sassanid engineers have equipped the castle with a dehumidifier.


Falak ol-Aflak castle is made with different materials like stone and wood that are so vulnerable to humidity. That’s why the castle was built on the highest point of the city of Khoram-abad, so that the wind could penetrate the building and dry its foundations.

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