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Detail of a Manicheanism scene.

Manichaeism: The Ancient Religion that Rivaled Christianity

Manichaeism is a multi-faceted religion that was founded by Iranian prophet Mani. After a revelation with the angel Eltaum, Mani prepared for 12 years to proclaim himself to the people. Manichaeism...
The Ionians were Greeks who revolted against the Achaemenid Empire in Asia Minor. Source: Fernando Cortés / Adobe Stock.

The Ionian Revolt - Prelude to the Graeco-Persian Wars

The Ionian Revolt was a series of revolts that broke out in Asia Minor at the beginning of the 5th century BC. At that time, the whole of Asia Minor was under the rule of the Achaemenid Empire. The...
Ruins of ancient Persepolis, Iran, with the columns of the Apadana Hall on the right. Source: pawopa3336 / Adobe Stock.

Apadana – The Everlasting Hall of the Achaemenids

Throughout countless centuries, across all kinds of different epochs, the great hypostyle hall of Apadana has been an impressive source of wonder and inspiration for all manner of folk. This once...
The Seljuks invaded Central Asia and Southeast Russia in the 11th century.

The Seljuks: Nomads Who Built an Empire and Took On Byzantine Power

The Seljuk Empire was a medieval empire that existed between the 11th and 12th centuries. They are most famous for their invasions and battles against the Byzantine Empire and later their role in the...
Xerxes

Xerxes The Great: The Powerful Persian King Whose Death Destroyed an Empire

Xerxes I, also known as Xerxes the Great, was a 5th century Achaemenid king of the Persian empire. He is best known for leading the massive invasion of Greece, marked by the battles of Thermopylae,...
Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal has sometimes been described as the ‘first library’ in the world, or the ‘oldest surviving royal library in the world’. The library was discovered by archaeologists...
Old mosque of Kaole.

Are the Old Tombs of Kaole, Tanzania, Really Able To Heal?

Situated on the beautiful east coast of Africa, Tanzania is a fascinating country with a rich culture and no shortage of historic sites on its Indian Ocean coast. Kaole, an abandoned town and...
Portion of Ibn Sīna’s Canon of Medicine folded into medieval text

Irish Translation of Ibn Sīna Medical Text Discovered in Medieval Book Binding

A recent discovery is demonstrating the influence of Islamic medicine on European physicians. A fragment from a book dating from the 1400s has revealed the influence of a Muslim Persian polymath on...
Persian Women dancing. From a wall painting at "Hasht Behesht Palace" (Palace of 8 heavens), Isfahan, Iran.

My Mother’s Persian Stories: Rose and Marigold

The custom of telling bedtime stories is ancient. Over the ages, they have passed from one generation to another through oral tradition. Each generation has embellished them in new ways by adding or...
New Persian dynasty ruler, Ismail declares himself "Shah" by entering Tabriz; his troops in front of Arg of Tabriz, painter Chingiz Mehbaliyev.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part II - Persian Dynasties and a New Breed of Rulers Arise

[Read Part I Here] Following the conquest of Persia by the Arabs, the region lost its significance as the center of an empire, it was now a mere province in the larger Islamic Empire. The decline of...
The Tomb of Humayun

The Tomb of Humayun: The Garden Tomb that Inspired the Taj Mahal

The first garden-tomb that was constructed in India was the spectacular Tomb of Humayun devoted to the second Mughal Emperor. So magnificent was the monument, that it came to inspire major...
Naqsh-e Rustam

Naqsh-e Rustam: Ancient Tombs of Powerful Persian Kings

Naqsh-e Rustam is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring ancient sites of the Achaemenid Empire, consisting of the colossal tombs of Persian kings dating back to the first millennium BC. It...
The Kritios Boy.

Kritios Boy: Damaged by the Persians, Buried for 2,400 Years, Resurrected for the World to See

The Kritios Boy is an Early Classical Greek sculpture with an eventful history. He began his life in the world-renowned Acropolis of Athens 2,500 years ago, was damaged during a Persian onslaught in...
Artist’s representation of the Hittite city of Hattusa in Anatolia.

The Anatolian Histories Part 1: Emerging Empires and Lands Changing Hands

What comes to the mind when one says Anatolia? Does the phrase “land of the rising sun” (as the ancient Greeks called it) appear? Or, because it technically belongs to the Middle East, do you think...
A skeleton with an arrow in or at the chest has been discovered in a burial from the 11th-12th century AD during rescue excavations at the Antiquity Odeon in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv

Medieval Tomb Including a Skeleton and an Arrow Unearthed in Plovdiv

A team of archaeologists working at the Odeon site in Bulgaria’s second largest city Plovdiv, have announced the discovery of a mediaeval tomb that includes human remains and an arrow. Tomb Includes...
Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.

An Empire in Death: The Extensive Remains of Persepolis

Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran...

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