Interview 01: Dr. Michael Bonner

Sassanid plate with a hunting scene from the tale of Bahram Gur and Azadeh

This time I have something a little different. In place of a regular narrative episode this week, I have my recent interview with Dr. Michael Bonner, author of the new book: The Last Empire of Iran. This jumps far ahead of our current point in the narrative story, all the way to the Sassanid Persian Empire of the 4th-8th centuries CE.

Dr. Bonner and I discussed the origins, sources, conflicts, and fall of Iran’s last pre-Islamic dynasty.
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The Last Empire of Iran by Michael Bonner

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Episode 25: Behistun

The Behistun Inscription with four of the five Persian columns and a bit of Elamite visible. via Wikimedia Commons under GNU Free Documentation License

It’s finally time to talk about the famous Behistun Inscription, commissioned by Darius to commemorate his victories over “Gaumata” and the rebel kings he faced from 522 – 518 BCE. It is part propaganda, part epic, part origin story, and part religious creed, declaring Darius’ position over his hard-won empire. I go through the inscription step by step and give some of the history of the site beyond Darius.
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