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Ancient Persian Culture
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persian Culture

Ancient Persian culture flourished between the reign of Cyrus II (The Great, r. c. 550-530 BCE), founder of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, and the fall of the Sassanian Empire in 651 CE. Even so, the foundations of Persian culture were already...
Ancient Persian Art and Architecture
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Persian Art and Architecture

Persian art and architecture in the present day is associated with the nation of Iran and usually designated as beginning with the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) but has an even longer history with its origins dating back to before the...
Sasanian Empire
Definitionby Alonso Constenla Cervantes

Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian Empire (224-651 CE, also given as Sassanian, Sasanid or Sassanid) was the last pre-Islamic Persian empire, established in 224 CE by Ardeshir I, son of Papak, descendant of Sasan. The Empire lasted until 651 CE when it was overthrown...
Persian Literature
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Persian Literature

Persian literature differs from the common definition of “literature” in that it is not confined to lyrical compositions, to poetry or imaginative prose, because the central elements of these appear, to greater or lesser degrees, in all the...
Elam
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Elam

Elam was a region in the Near East corresponding to the modern-day provinces of Ilam and Khuzestan in southern Iran (though it also included part of modern-day southern Iraq) whose civilization spanned thousands of years from c. 3200 - c...
Faravahar
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Faravahar

The faravahar is the best-known symbol from ancient Persia of the winged sun disk with a seated male figure in the center. It is thought to represent Ahura Mazda, the god of Zoroastrianism, but has also been interpreted to signify other concepts...
Anahita
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Anahita

Anahita is the ancient Persian goddess of fertility, water, health and healing, and wisdom. Owing to her association with life-giving properties, she also came to be connected with ancient Persian warfare as soldiers would pray to her for...
Ancient Armenia
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Ancient Armenia

Ancient Armenia, located in the south Caucasus area of Eurasia, was settled in the Neolithic era but its first recorded state proper was the kingdom of Urartu from the 9th century BCE. Incorporated into the Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great...
Fire Temple
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Fire Temple

Fire Temples are places of worship in the Zoroastrian religion. They were known as ataskada (“house of fire”) by the Persians but are best known today by their Greek name pyratheia (fire temple). They are thought to have originated from the...
Shahnameh
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Shahnameh

The Shahnameh (“Book of Kings”, composed 977-1010 CE) is a medieval epic written by the poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi (l. c. 940-1020 CE) in order to preserve the myths, legends, history, language, and culture of ancient Persia. It is the longest...