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eBook From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire epub

by Pierre Briant

eBook From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire epub
  • ISBN: 1575060310
  • Author: Pierre Briant
  • Genre: Other
  • Subcategory: Humanities
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns; 1 edition (June 30, 2002)
  • Pages: 1216 pages
  • ePUB size: 1758 kb
  • FB2 size 1206 kb
  • Formats mobi lit lrf doc


From Cyrus to Alexander book.

From Cyrus to Alexander book. From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire. Aug 14, 2007 Farzad rated it it was amazing.

Briant, Pierre, 1996, Histoire de l'empire perse de Cyrus à Alexandre,Volume I. .Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library.

Download with Google. Audience scene from the sarcophagus of Alexander v o n G r a e v e 1987: 137 15. Audience scene on a seal impression from Dascylium M u s c h e 1989 16. From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian empire. The tomb of Darius at Naqs-i Rustam Porada 1963: fig.

Pierre Briant, Chaire Histoire et civilisation du monde achémenide et de l'empire d'Alexandre, Collège de France, is a specialist in the history of the Near East during the era of the Persian Empire and the conquests of Alexander. He is the author of numerous books

Pierre Briant, Chaire Histoire et civilisation du monde achémenide et de l'empire d'Alexandre, Collège de France, is a specialist in the history of the Near East during the era of the Persian Empire and the conquests of Alexander. He is the author of numerous books. He lives and works in New York City.

This book is not for the faint of heart. Briant not only provides a very thorough political narrative of the Persian Empire but also covers social, military, religious, and economic matters. It is over 1000 pages, counting notes, and is very comprehensive in its scope. The translation from the original French is also very solid.

Pierre Briant has sought to overcome this long-ingrained Greco-centric view of the Persian empire through a very detailed & deeply analytical history which integrates all existing knowledge on the first full-scale Empire in Southwest Asia. Writing originally in French in mid-90s, Briant approaches this history with 1) an analytical approach to the political narrative which seeks to lay bare the ideological elements ingrained in the Greek texts and 2) a sweeping overview of the mical organization of the vast Empire built on evidence verified on local levels.

Pierre Briant (born September 30, 1940 in Angers) is a French Iranologist, Professor of History and Civilisation of the Achaemenid World and the Empire of Alexander the Great at the Collège de France (1999 onwards), Doctor Honoris Causa at the Univer.

He studied History at the University of Poitiers (1960–1965), and reached his doctorat d'État in 1972.

Around 550 B.C.E. the Persian people—who were previously practically unknown in the annals of history—emerged from their base in southern Iran (Fars) and engaged in a monumental adventure that, under the leadership of Cyrus the Great and his successors, culminated in the creation of an immense Empire that stretched from central Asia to Upper Egypt, from the Indus to the Danube. The Persian (or Achaemenid, named for its reigning dynasty) Empire assimilated an astonishing diversity of lands, peoples, languages, and cultures. This conquest of Near Eastern lands completely altered the history of the world: for the first time, a monolithic State as vast as the future Roman Empire arose, expanded, and matured in the course of more than two centuries (530–330) and endured until the death of Alexander the Great (323), who from a geopolitical perspective was “the last of the Achaemenids.” Even today, the remains of the Empire-the terraces, palaces, reliefs, paintings, and enameled bricks of Pasargadae, Persepolis, and Susa; the impressive royal tombs of Naqsh-i Rustam; the monumental statue of Darius the Great-serve to remind visitors of the power and unprecedented luxury of the Great Kings and their loyal courtiers (the “Faithful Ones”).

Though long eclipsed and overshadowed by the towering prestige of the “ancient Orient” and “eternal Greece,” Achaemenid history has emerged into fresh light during the last two decades. Freed from the tattered rags of “Oriental decadence” and “Asiatic stagnation,” research has also benefited from a continually growing number of discoveries that have provided important new evidence-including texts, as well as archaeological, numismatic, and iconographic artifacts.

The evidence that this book assembles is voluminous and diverse: the citations of ancient documents and of the archaeological evidence permit the reader to follow the author in his role as a historian who, across space and time, attempts to understand how such an Empire emerged, developed, and faded. Though firmly grounded in the evidence, the author’s discussions do not avoid persistent questions and regularly engages divergent interpretations and alternative hypotheses. This book is without precedent or equivalent, and also offers an exhaustive bibliography and thorough indexes.

The French publication of this magisterial work in 1996 was acclaimed in newspapers and literary journals. Now Histoire de l’Empire Perse: De Cyrus a Alexandre is translated in its entirety in a revised edition, with the author himself reviewing the translation, correcting the original edition, and adding new documentation.

Pierre Briant, Chaire Histoire et civilisation du monde achémenide et de l’empire d’Alexandre, Collège de France, is a specialist in the history of the Near East during the era of the Persian Empire and the conquests of Alexander. He is the author of numerous books.

Peter T. Daniels, the translator, is an independent scholar, editor, and translator who studied at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. He lives and works in New York City.

Comments: (7)
Zyangup
Arguably, western historical tradition started with Herodotus trying to tell the story of the vast Persian Empire to the East of the Greek city states. Since then, western history of Persia has always been written from a Greek perspective, which was biased with a strong propagandist agenda.

Pierre Briant has sought to overcome this long-ingrained Greco-centric view of the Persian empire through a very detailed & deeply analytical history which integrates all existing knowledge on the first full-scale Empire in Southwest Asia. Writing originally in French in mid-90s, Briant approaches this history with 1) an analytical approach to the political narrative which seeks to lay bare the ideological elements ingrained in the Greek texts and 2) a sweeping overview of the politico-socio-economical organization of the vast Empire built on evidence verified on local levels. What emerges clearly was the Persian Empire as a viable politico-economical super-structure that layered on top of deep-rooted local traditions. The Empire infrastructure sustained for the 200 years that the classical Greek culture flourished, and that this infrastructure was inherited-- though not sustained-- by Alexander and his companions through conquest.

This is a heavy tome as Briant tried to overcome a very deep-rooted academic historiographical tradition, so at times the writing can be tedious. Also, this book does not seek to cover Zoroastrianism at all (beyond describing the royal Achaemenid ideology which the author neither identifies nor disscoiates with Zoroastrianmism). However, the freshness in perspectives, plus the very well-rendered, top quality translation, makes the book a truly 'value-for-money' purchase in my view.
Cia
This is probably the most thorough treatment of Achaemenid Persia to date. It is excellent and also includes the very best single bibliography on the subject.

I recommend this to any student of ancient history. For the price it is a steal, a work of this size from one of the major academic presses would easily be 5 times as much.

Written by one of the leading scholars, arguable THE leading scholar on Persia, it is well written, well planned and the information is carefully presented.
Keramar
You will find no better book on Achaemenid Persia than Briant's.
Barinirm
What would have happened,if we did not know much about The Roman Empire ?
That is unfortunatly what Greek culture has prevented the world ,to know about the persian Empire !
While, The cultural contribution The Greeks have offered the world, is undeniable....
yet, 2500 years ago, they were just small city states,who as far as global imporatnce, were too small and insignificant........yet, thier advantage in recording history has influenced the currant intelectual circles,far more than thier true comparetive historical value .....
Persian History , has been consistantly marginalized by the western historians....perhaps with a little mixture of twenteith century racism.
The issue is not that " The Winners of wars " will get to write histroy.....
The real issue is that " woners of means of documetation ,and writing " ," will get to change history ".
This Book, is just a start to balance the western vision of History........
Amerikan_Volga
This book is discussing pre-Islamic era of Iran. This book is discussing founder of Iran Zamin Cyrus the Great who found daynasty of Hakhamanishian. This dynasty came to an end by invasion of Alexandra.
SARAND
This book is a translation of Pierre Briant's masterpiece which he published in French in 1996. Those that have read Tom Holland's Persian Fire will certainly recognize where he has drawn some of his inspiration from. The substance of his first two chapters comes directly from Pierre Briant and summarizes a good chunk of his book into a format which is more accessible for the so-called "general reader". Together with Heleen Sansici-Weerdenburg, Amelie Kuhrt and a few others, Pierre Briant has spent at least part of his professional life in researching the Persian Empire to discover what it really was, as opposed to what Greek propaganda portrayed it to be.

One of the main qualities of this scholarly book is therefore to fill a gap and to present the Persian Empire through a critical analysis of all of the available sources, not only the Classical Greek ones. Such an analysis shows to what extent Greek sources from Herodotus down to the historians of Alexander have, either through ignorance and misunderstanding or more often deliberately, largely distorted our perceptions of the Persian Empire.

The classical distinction between "Barbarians" and Greeks, with the modern implication that the latter were "civilized", is just but one example. If anything, at the time of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, it was the Persians and a number of people that they had conquered over the previous century who were sophisticated and civilized (think of the Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians, to mention but three obvious examples). The second idea that the author hotly disputes is that the Persian Empire was "decadent" or "in decline" as the result of the Greek victories in the Fifth century. The author also shows to what extent this owes to Greek propaganda and is purely and simply incorrect. A third contention is about the glorious Greek victories over the Persian King, victories which "saved Europe" from the Persian invaders, as the commercial blurb promoting bestsellers tend to go (Tom Holland's Persian Fire is subtitled "The First World Empire and the Battle for the West", for instance).

As P. Briant shows in his magisterial book, and seen from the Persian Superpower's perspective, the reality was less grandiose. The Greeks of Europe, Eretria, Athens and Sparta in particular, had backed the Ionian Revolt of the Great King's subjects. After having put down the rebellion, the logical next step for the Empire was to punish and chastise those that had supported the rebels. Even after the victories against the Empire, the King of Kings could claim "mission accomplished" to a large extent: Eretria and Athens, the two main supporters of the Ionian Greek cities had been destroyed.

True, the years that would follow BCE 479 and the Greek victories of Mycale and Platea would see Persia suffer other defeats, but there were also victories. The revolt of Egypt, which lasted 10 years (464-454) and is probably one of the main reasons why Persia did not try to invade Greece again, ended with disaster for Athens whose expeditionary corps and fleet were destroyed. The Empire finally prevailed and re-conquered Egypt, once again. Later on, it was very much in the position of the arbiter when Athens and Sparta started to tear at each other during the Long War. It is largely thanks to Persian gold that Sparta prevailed against Athens and then was forced to compromise and relent when it campaigned against Persia in Asia Minor.

Then there is the war of conquest waged by Alexander (and prepared by his father) against Persia. This was very much presented as a "war of revenge" in order to draw in all the Greeks to the side of the Macedonians, although the effort was moderately successful. Thousands of Greeks fought as mercenaries for the Persians, and many of Alexander's Greek allies were either quasi-hostages or were the members of the pro-Macedonian factions in their respective cities.

Another important feature of this book is to show to what extent the image of the last Kings of Kings Darius III, has faded and been distorted by that of Alexander. The Persian King had recently come to the throne through yet another coup, eliminating the competition in the process as it so often happened with the Achaemenids. Accordingly, his power was very likely shaky. However, he was certainly not the rather poor and totally outclassed opponent that he is made out to be, neither was he a coward, despite leaving the fled the field both at Issos and at Arbeles/Gaugamela.

Finally, the last merit of this book, and this what made the author write it initially, is to show how much of the Persian Empire's institutions and culture survived and were picked up by Alexander and his Macedonian Successors. This had little to do with "multiculturalism" or any kind of ideology. Rather, it was expedient and necessary because of the relatively small numbers of Greco-Macedonians available, even after encouraging colonisation to draw the relatively poor Macedonians and Greeks to the "good life" in the very much more sophisticated and rich Persian Empire.

Given its contents and the level of scholarship involved, this is certainly a five star book. Be aware, however, that, as the other reviewer on Amazon.co.uk puts it so aptly, this is for those "who want to study in depth". Unless you are seriously motivated, you might find this book rather overwhelming.
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