ADMINISTRATIVE LEGACIES OF THE PERSIAN WORLD-STATE EMPIRE: IMPLICATIONS FOR MODERN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Part 1

By Farazmand, Ali | Public Administration Quarterly, Fall 2002 | Go to article overview

ADMINISTRATIVE LEGACIES OF THE PERSIAN WORLD-STATE EMPIRE: IMPLICATIONS FOR MODERN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Part 1


Farazmand, Ali, Public Administration Quarterly


ABSTRACT

Knowledge about governance and administration is cumulative with strong roots in ancient civilizations. Many of these roots have firm grounding in the ancient Persian Empire whose theory and practice of governance and administration have made immense contributions to world civilizations, their governments, and public administration. By conquering virtually the entire known world of antiquity in a single generation, the Persians changed the world's political and administrative history forever. Their legacies are both widespread and profound. This article discusses some of these legacies whose impacts and implications transcended far-away cultures and administrative systems and are preserved in various forms in the modern systems of public administration and governance around the world. Although the prePersian, six thousand years of administrative history of Iran is briefly touched as a background, the main focus of this article is on the Achaemenid World-State Empire (559-330 B.C.). By addressing the theory and practice of public administration and governance of the Persian Empire, the article outlines a number of implications for modern public administration. The article does not address the mighty Persian and Sasanian empires of Persia which, along with Rome, divided and ruled the ancient world for the next millennium.

INTRODUCTION

Persia or Iran, also the Land of Aryans, is home to one of the oldest civilizations in human history. As a bridgeland between the East and the West, Iran saved western civilizations from destruction by some of the most barbarous forces of the East and nurtured rich and powerful traditions of public administration and governance that have impacted significantly almost all empires and nation states that followed for over two millennia. The Persian legacies can be traced not only in the entire Middle and Near East over which Iranians ruled for over a millennium but also in the western countries which adopted over time directly and indirectly Persian administrative system principles passed on to them by Romans and medieval Islamic civilizations dominated by Persian advance achievements in culture, science, and administrative system. With a global reputation of being "excellent administrators," Persians have in the past made significant contributions to the global theory and practice of governance, public administration, and organization theory.

Beginning around 8,000 years ago, Iranian bureaucracy and public administration grew first in the city-state of Susa, one the oldest sites of ancient civilization contemporary to Sumer and then as the major institution of governance under the successive mighty empires of Elam, Media, Achaemenids, Persia, and Sasanids (6,000 B.C.-651 A.D.). When the Sasanid Persian Empire fell to the Islamic, beduin Arab forces in 651, it had already achieved the highest level of state and administrative traditions (Brown, 1995; Ghirshman, 1954; Cook, 1983). Its advanced cultural, state, and administrative heritage was passed on to the Islamic Caliphate who adopted the Persian state and administration almost totally in governing the new empire led by the beduin Arabs. This heritage is alive even today despite the centuries of foreign invasion and influence on Iran for Iranians have always found ways to restore and continue their past traditions and national character of independence.

The bureaucracy of the Persian Empire was a formidable institution of administration and governance, both efficient and effective. The organizational and administrative principles developed under the Persian Achaemenid Empire had significant influence on the Roman administation and were adopted almost totally by the Islamic, the Ottoman, and the following Iranian Safavid Empires. The influence of these principles can even be traced in almost every contemporary government in the Middle/Near East as the Persian Achaemenid legacy has affected the entire region. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

ADMINISTRATIVE LEGACIES OF THE PERSIAN WORLD-STATE EMPIRE: IMPLICATIONS FOR MODERN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, Part 1
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.