50! Ask Me Anything

Glazed brick mosaic from Darius’ Palace at Susa via Wikimedia

Thank you all so much! The AMA Episode was a great success and I look forward to the next 50 episodes of the History of Persia. This episode has everything: the ancient world in color, beard fashion, video games, book reviews, time travel, and of course me trying to piece together something to say about provinces we don’t actually know much about. Links below in order of appearance:
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Great Courses: The Persian Empire by John W. Lee

Literature and History Podcast

History of Iran Podcast
Khodad Rezakhani @sasanianshah

Top 10ish History Podcasts (in no particular order):

  1. The History of Byzantium – The narrative history of the Eastern Roman/Byzantine Empire beginning c.476 CE.
  2. The Oldest Stories – The history and mythology of the Bronze Age Near East, including Mesopotamia, the Hittites, and Mittani.
  3. The Hellenistic Age Podcast – A combination narrative and cultural history of the Hellenistic World from Alexander to Caesar.
  4. The History of English – The history of the English language, tracing linguistic history from Indo-European to modern English
  5. The Timur Podcast – A biographical history of the great 14th century conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlane.
  6. History in the Bible – A well researched critical history of the stories told in the Bible and its many variants and accouterments
  7. The Vacation Bible School Podcast – Reading and discussing the Bible in order for an audience of any background.
  8. Behind the Bastards – Robert Evan’s and an array of guests discuss the absolute worst people in history, past and present.
  9. The Pirate History Podcast – A history of the Golden Age of English Piracy beginning with Sir Francis Drake.
  10. History of Aoteroa New Zealand – A history of two of Earth’s most unique island from the beginning of human in habitation.
  11. Words For Granted – A great linguistic history show following the history of individual words in each episode.

History of Modern Iran Podcast

The Heroic Legend of Arslan on Amazon
on Hulu
on crunchyroll

Creation by Gore Vidal
Audible Audio Book

The Ancient World Podcast

Audacity audio editor

Holiday Special 2019 – on Achaemenid food and feasting

Apadana Treasury Relief to showcase different beards

Persepolis in Color – Don’t forget to follow Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones!

Books on the Sassanids and Parthians:
The War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians, and the Rise of Islam by Peter Crawford
Sasanian Persia: The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Touraj Daryaee
Reign of Arrows: The Rise of the Parthian Empire in the Hellenistic Middle East by Nikolaus Leo Overtoom
ReOrienting the Sasanians: East Iran in Late Antiquity by Khodad Rezakhani
Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire: The Sasanian Confederacy and the Arab Conquest of Iran by Parvaneh Pourshariati

Interview with Michael Bonner

Patreon Bonus 13: Why is Persia Under-Emphasized
Original AskHistorians Question

300 Review

In The Words of Zarathustra

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Purim: Holiday Special 2021

Queen Esther by Edward Long, 1878

It’s that somewhat random time of year again, where I set aside a bit of time to celebrate a holiday that intersects with our narrative. This year that means Purim, the Jewish celebration of the Book of Esther. Esther tells the story of a Jewish woman turned Achaemenid queen in the court of Ahasuerus (maybe Xerxes, maybe an Artaxerxes, probably a bit of both). Esther and her cousin Mordecai have to foil the genocidal plans of the King’s vizier Haman to save their people, and the result is today’s festivities.
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Arcadia – Support Renewable Energy Energy

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In The Words of Zarathustra

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Episode 49: Breaking Through

Late in the summer of 480 BCE, the Persian invasion force under King Xerxes came to blows with the Greek Allies for the first time. The famous twin battles at Thermopylae and Artemisium played out surrounded by a series of smaller sacks and skirmishes. After three days of fighting, the Greek attempt to block the Persians in narrow passes failed and the Persian army pushed south, conquering Phocis, Boeotia, and ultimately: Attica and Athens. By the end of September 480, Xerxes nominally controlled all of Greece north of the Peloponnese.
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In The Words of Zarathustra

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Casting Through Ancient Greece

Episode 48: What is your profession?

Promotional image from 300 featuring Gerard Butler’s Leonidas moments before he is killed by the Persians.

Before launching into the actual warfare between the Persian Empire and Greek city states, it’s worth examining how the Greeks prepared for war. Athens prepared by building a navy, everyone prepared by planning to deploy their armies, and we’ll explore the whole history of the famous “300” Spartans.
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History of Africa Podcast
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Casting Through Ancient Greece

Spartan History Podcast

Episode 47: Preparing The Way

From 484-481 BCE, Xerxes directed his subjects to prepare for war in Greece. This didn’t just mean assembling soldiers and ships, but also preparing the infrastructure of the western empire to receive one of the largest armies ever assembled. 200,000 soldiers from across the Persian empire converged on the Hellespont in the spring of 480 and began the march to Hellas.
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Casting Through Ancient Greece
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Catalog of Nations from Herodotus

Episode 45: Xerxes Porphyrogennetos

The Tomb of Darius (top left), the upper register of Darius’ tomb (bottom left), and a possible relief of Xerxes (right) via Wikimedia Commons

In 486 BCE, Darius the Great died and passed the Persian Empire on to his son, Xerxes. With plans to invade Greece in development, and Egypt in open revolt, the Achaemenid house had to pause and deal with the succession. Darius became the first king entombed at Naqsh e Rostam while Xerxes competed with his elder half-brother for power.
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Episode 44: Also Sprach Zarathustra

This is the second part of the two-part discussion on the life and times of Zoroaster. This time, I discuss the Zoroastrian conception of reality and how it is portrayed in the Gathas as well as the legacy of Zarathustra in Zoroastrianism, Iran, and Europe.
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Zoroastrianism: An Introduction by Jenny Rose

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Episode 43: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Zoroaster as depicted in a 19th-century sketch from a Parsi Community in India via Wikimedia Commons

By audience demand, we’re headed back in time. Before wrapping up the reign of Darius, it’s time to look back to the bronze age and talk about Zarathustra Spitama, the prophet more often known in the west as Zoroaster. This is the first of a two part series on the life and teachings of Zoroaster, as presented in the Gathas – 5 hymns to Ahura Mazda believed to be composed by Zoroaster himself.
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Episode 42: Darius the Shopkeeper

Bas reliefs on the Apadana stairs at Persepolis show various peoples of the Achaemenid Empire carrying tribute to the Great King via Wikimedia Commons

Darius the Great is one of Persia’s most infamous kings for many reasons. An illegitimate heir who reunified the empire. The king of the first war with Greece. Conqueror of territory at the far reaches of Persian control. He was many things. He was also a reformer and an administrator who oversaw the implementation of new systems of taxation, record keeping, and political organization. Those reforms formed the basis of Persian governance for centuries to come, and may be his longest lasting legacy.
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Conquerors Podcast
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Episode 41: The Greatest

Head of an Achaemenid nobleman or prince via Wikimedia Commons

To round out our series on Darius’ royal family, it’s only fair to talk about the men of the family. After all, like it or not, the narrative will follow them going forward. Grandpa Arsames, the fascinating Hystaspes, and all of Darius’ brothers, sons, and cousins get their own time in the spotlight. Then, it’s time to prepare for the competition to become the Greatest.
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Henrietta and Eleanor

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