Persepolis and Ancient Persia

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October 7th 2012
Published: October 7th 2012
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Ancient Persepolis - the heart of ancient Persia - today’s Iran. Towering columns, massive gateways, monumental staircases and exquisite reliefs. Its almost impossible to imagine these ruins in their former splendor. And to imagine the proud empire that held the Greeks at bay for so very long. It started in the 7th century BC with Persepolis being constructed in the early 500 BCs. At its height, the Persian Empire stretched from India to Europe’s Danube River. It had the first postal system in the world with paved roads stretching from one end to the other to speed the mail on its way. The famed King Cyrus perhaps established the humane and inclusive policies that brought those conquered by the Persian Empire into the empire not as conquered, but as integral parts of the fabric that was Persian culture. Equally famed are Kings Darius and Xerxes, despite the fact that their reigns were near the end of Persia’s glory - Darius’ loss of the famed battle at Marathon in Greece and Xerxes loss at Salamis in Greece opened the way to the inevitable fall of empire at the hands of Alexander the Great around 331 BC. So powerful is the Persian Empire in the psyche of the people of Iran, time and again the people I met politely but firmly, explained that they are to this very Persian!

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