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The Persians: Lost Civilizations

During the first and second millennia BCE a swathe of nomadic peoples migrated outward from Central Asia into the Eurasian periphery. One group of these people would find themselves encamped in an unpromising arid region just south of the Caspian Sea. From these modest and uncertain beginnings, they would go on to form one of the most powerful empires in history: the Persian Empire. In this book, Geoffrey and Brenda Parker tell the captivating story of this ancient civilization and its enduring legacy to the world.

The authors examine the unique features of Persian life and trace their influence throughout the centuries. They examine the environmental difficulties the early Persians encountered and how, in overcoming them, they were able to develop a unique culture that would culminate in the massive, first empire, the Achaemenid Empire. Extending their influence into the maritime west, they fought the Greeks for mastery of the eastern Mediterranean—one of the most significant geopolitical contests of the ancient world. And the authors paint vivid portraits of Persian cities and their spectacular achievements: intricate and far-reaching roadways, an astonishing irrigation system that created desert paradises, and, above all, an extraordinary reflection of the diverse peoples that inhabited them.

Informed and original, this is a history of an incomparable culture whose influence can still be seen, millennia later, in modern-day Iran and the wider Middle East.

This title is featured in connection with the exhibition Persia: Ancient Iran and the Classical World on view April 6, 2022 to August 8, 2022 at the Getty Villa.

- Geoffrey Parker and Brenda Parker
- 224 pages
- 5.5 inches W x 8.5 inches L
- Hardcover
- Reaktion Books
- 2016
- Ancient History
- Item #: 978-1780236506