Ancient Near East

Persian

Famous for their monumental architecture, Persian kings established numerous centers in their vast empire such as Susa and Persepolis (today, in Iran).

6th century B.C.E.

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Ancient Persia, an introduction
Ancient Persia, an introduction

Despite what their sworn enemies the Greeks would have you believe, the Persians ruled a tolerant multi-ethnic empire.

The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia
The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia

What was the first bill of human rights? This seal encouraged freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire.

Persepolis: The Audience Hall of Darius and Xerxes
Persepolis: The Audience Hall of Darius and Xerxes

The soaring audience hall of the Achaemenid Persian kings was an imposing space, designed to impress.

Capital of a column from the audience hall of the palace of Darius I, Susa
Capital of a column from the audience hall of the palace of Darius I, Susa

This massive capital is very different from those of Greece, and suggests the frightening power of the Persian Empire.

Selected Contributors | Persian