Early Persian Empires

Early Persian Empires : Power Structures in Achaemenid and Sasanid Iran

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The focus of this book is on two major Persian empires, the Achaemenid and the Sasanid. These imperial regions and their lasting traditions have dictated our current understanding of historical developments in Iran. Today, historians who write about these empires have focused on the political history of the ancient power holders. Almost completely absent from existing accounts are the ways in which political structures were reproduced through the actions of `ordinary' people. In this way, Early Persian Empires deconstructs the mainstream nationalist-influenced discourse. It looks at how the Achaemenid and Sasanid empires are represented in contemporary Iran. What place does this heritage have in Iranian culture today? And how are their material remains mobilised for political ends? The authors engage with these periods by moving beyond colonialism and nationalism, re-reading and deconstructing the two empires as historical examples of dictatorial systems.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 25mm | 441g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745335535
  • 9780745335537

About Leila Papoli Yazdi

Leila Papoli Yazdi is a Guest Professor at Freie Universitat, Berlin and an assistant professor in Neyshabour University, Iran. She has directed field projects in Iran, Pakistan and Kuwait. Her recent studies have been on gender performativity, historical propaganda, violence and archaeology. Maryam Dezhamkhooy is Post-Doctoral Fellow at Universitat Heidelberg, Germany and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology, Iran. Her recent publications are on gender and political interpretations of the historical era of Iran.
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Table of contents


1. Governments, Archaeologists, and the Lasting Remains of Ancient Empires

2. 'Take Your Feet Off Me!' Achaemenids as the Initiators of the Process

3. Get Off Your Horse!

4. Lasting Remains of the Ancient Empires

5. The Final Episode: The Deconstruction of a History, or Could We Live in Another Way?

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