History of Early Iran

History of Early Iran

History of Early Iran

History of Early Iran

Excerpt

Histories of Iran regularly begin with Cyrus the Persian and generally conclude with Alexander the Great. At present there is no single work which describes in a comprehensive fashion the history of the Iranian plateau before Cyrus attained mastery. This is the more regrettable since the history of a section of the plateau, Elam, cannot be neglected by any serious student of the ancient Near East. The present study endeavors to present the facts about early Elamite and Iranian history in a manner which will be at the same time useful to the scholar and intelligible to the layman.

Some years ago the writer became interested in the origin and history of the Iranian Medes. After a brief period of research it became obvious that the empire of the Medes fitted into a wider historical perspective than hitherto assumed, and that Median as well as Persian origins could not be disassociated from the history of the Iranian plateau before Iranians appeared on the scene. The attempt to unravel the mystery of that broader history led naturally to an examination of the languages which were first, to our knowledge, spoken in that land. Since the Old Persian kings had composed their inscriptions in three . . .

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