THE WORLD OF ACHAEMENID PERSIA: History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East
A sustained and comprehensive overview of the field of Achaemenid studies by leading scholars and experts.
Dr John Curtis OBE and Dr St. John Simpson.
I.B. Tauris in partnership with Iran Heritage Foundation.
About the Book
We are delighted to announce the publication of The World of Achaemenid Persia: History, Art and Society in Iran and the Ancient Near East, edited by Dr John Curtis OBE and Dr St. John Simpson. Interest and fascination in Achaemenid Persia has burgeoned in recent years, thus necessitating a new appraisal of the glorious civilization founded by Cyrus the Great and continued by his successors. The World of Achaemenid Persia fills the gap by offering a sustained and comprehensive overview of the field of Achaemenid studies by leading scholars and experts.
This volume, the first of the new IHF publication series in association with IB Tauris, contains proceedings from an international conference of over fifty speakers held in conjunction with the highly praised seminal exhibition on Achaemenid Persia, Forgotten Empire: The world of Ancient Persia. Curated by Dr Curtis OBE and Dr Nigel Tallis, the exhibition was on view at the British Museum in 2005–06. The show emphasised the ancient Persian Empire as the largest and wealthiest state in the Ancient Near East between 550 and 330 BCE, ruling a territory that stretched from North Africa to the Indus Valley and from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea from its main seat of power in southwest Iran. Through the significant holdings of the British Museum and important loans from the National Museum in Tehran and the Musée du Louvre in Paris,Forgotten Empire reminded visitors of the extraordinary patronage of arts and architecture and the sophisticated civilisation comprising the legacy of kings such as Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. Notably, it challenged the image of a ruthless and despotic people presented by classical texts by offering a balance to that point of view through the use of Persian sources and material culture. The essays included in The World of Achaemenid Persia complement the vision of the exhibition, discussing all aspects of Achaemenid history and archaeology between 550 and 330 BCE, including Achaemenid religion, administration, material culture, ethnicity, gender and the survival of Achaemenid traditions.
The publication of the book is an event in itself, a watershed not only because it introduces a better appreciation and understanding of the rich and complex cultural heritage established by Cyrus, but also because of the lasting significance of the Achaemenid kings and the impact that their remarkable civilisation has had on greater Persian and Middle Eastern history.
IHF proudly celebrated this event and the memory of the successful 2005 exhibition through a book launch reception in the Rahim Irvani Ancient Iran Gallery at the British Museum, held on 13 April 2010 to coincide with the week-long eighth International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE). The Foundation’s chairman, Mr Vahid Alaghband, welcomed guests and introduced an esteemed member of IHF’s Advisory Board, Lord Norman Lamont. Lord Lamont spoke eloquently about the importance of understanding Iran’s history and culture in order to encourage bridges of understanding and appreciation across British and Persian cultures. He then introduced Dr Curtis, who thanked IHF for its support and talked about the new book and its importance to scholarship and to the legacy of Iranian culture.
£41.50, Hardback, 648 pages.
For more information about The World of Achaemenid Persia and how to obtain your own copy, please click here or visit IB Tauris’ website atwww.ibtauris.com.