Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia

Article excerpt

The Persian Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia. By Mehrdad Kia. Empires of the World. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2016. 2 vols. Acid free $198 (ISBN 978-161069-390-5). E-book available (978-61069-391-2).

This encyclopedia is the first English language reference source to focus exclusively on ancient Iran during the period of its great empires before the arrival of Islam from 700 BCE to 651 CE. The major empires were the Medes, the Achaemenids, the Seleucids, the Arsacids (Parthians), and the Sasanians. Ancient Iran covered a geographic area that varied over time. At its greatest expanse the Achaemenid Empire (559-330 BCE) ruled territory continuous from Thrace in southeastern Europe to the Indus River in India. Almost as large was the Seleucid Empire (305-125 BCE) which was not Iranian or Persian but Macedonian, founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals after his death. With the expansion of the empires through military conquests and the administrative control of vast geographic areas, Kia emphasizes that languages, ethnicities, religions, and cultures of the Persian empires were very diverse and that Persia itself was actually a southern province of Greater Iran.

This work provides 241 essays ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages on important places, events, ideas, cultures, people, and state organizations and institutions. The essays are written for high school and college students and also general readers who may not have knowledge of the period. As a research tool the essays are clearly written and provide good descriptions and historical narrative. Each essay is followed by cross references to other entries and a list of sources for further reading. These sources include primary source collections such as Persian documents and histories written by Greek and Roman authors. Secondary sources range from histories and archaeological studies from the 18th century to recent years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.