Mr. Jonathan Jones author of article “” is a man of ignorance and obviously biased of historical facts and documentations. It is evident he does not know anything about history. His subject as far as I know is art and for some reason he fancies Greeks and praises them. Mr. J. Jones does not have any knowledge of ancient Persia and does not know how much Persians have contributed towards world civilisation.
Here I have dealt with facts and reality avoiding historical exaggeration and fiction which one can easily discern in the books written by the military victors. Even a renowned historian such as Herodotus who contributed a considerable amount of information with regards to ancient Persian and Greek history has injected his personal imagination into his accounts.
Let’s talk about Alexander the great Greek hero. When Alexander and his army entered Persepolis, they started looting plundering and raping the capital. Alexander moved to Desz-Nephesht, a small city near Estakher. Desh-Nephest was not only the centre where the Persian empire’s gold and silver were kept, but there were also 120,000 books. Some were religious but the remaining were historical, scientific, philosophical, astrological and etc. The religious books were saved partly because just before Alexander’s army reached the city, the “Mog-pet” or head priest managed to transfer and save some of the religious books.
On Alexander’s specific order, medical, philosophical and scientific books were selected and after being translated into Greek, the originals were burned so that future generations would think that the books were originally written in the Greek language. Alexander also ordered the burning of all historical books and chronicles and specially the military record of events.
There were two reasons for this action. First, he knew that a nation which does not know it’s real history is itself lost in the pages of history. His second reason was that in the centuries to come, historian would only have access to the writings of Greek historian and would see events from a victor’s eye. After Alexander, Arabs and Mongols followed the same policy of burning books and specifically destroying historical chronicles and records.
Greek historians when mentioning the Persians, called them barbarians, who had no culture and were very soft people. Meanwhile Persians used saddles when riding horses; some of them even wore gloves. All the male population of Persia wore trousers and they ate their food from plates and used tables and chairs. In less than 12 years, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had known which lasted 1,500 years, on the other hand we see Alexander the Great who established an empire which lasted only six years.
According to Chinese travellers’ logs, in Sassanid Persia, gold, silver, copper, cut glass, silk and carpet and cloth were produced and exported. Clothing was very important to Persians as covering their body in full was a must, even wearing shoes was a religious rule. Achaemenid Persians were keen on navigation and ship building, however, Ashkanians and Sassanians were not interested in ship building and sea adventures.
At it’s Zenith the Persian empire ruled over 30 countries which paid tribute to it. The broadest extent of the Persian Empire was from The Persian Gulf to The Red Sea, and from The Black Sea to the Oxian Sea (Oral), and to the west as far as the interior sea (Mediterranean Sea). The following countries and city-states were part of the Persian Empire:
Egypt, Libya, Cyrenaica, Syria, Asia Minor (Pahlagonia, Phryagia, Cappadocia, Lydia, Lycia, Cilicia, Pamphylia). Scythia (North west of black sea) Scythia (east of Bactria), Peonia (Northern Greece) Thrace (Macedonia and land south of Scythia) Armenia, Iberia (Georiga) Assyria Shusan (Shusha) Babylonia Media Caspi (Khezer Pepole Located in Gilan and Aran) Pars Macia (land in south of Baluchestan near the entrance of the Persian gulf) Thyrcania (south of the Caspian) Corasamia (ancient Khorasan and Kharazm) Sogdinia (Soghdia north of Bactria ) Parthia Caparni tribe located north of Arabia (harat province) Bactria (Bakhtar) (south of Candaria) Carmania (Kerman) Ethiopia (a term applied to Greeks of south and people living in south of Zarangineh). Eretria parts of India Paricania (Land east of Kerman) and Annapaten (Near today’s Sudan) Cyprus and many Greek island were at one time or another part of the Persian Empire.
From the time when the Medes were still living under tents established themselves as a nation until the time when from one end of the Empire to the other thousands of splendid castles, temples and cities were built. Persia was the initiator, pioneer in religion, warfare, government, human rights, art, morals and benevolence. Whilst people elsewhere in the world were scarifying humans, and serving and worshipping man-made wooden or stone statues of Gods, Persians were thought to believe in God almighty. Elements of nature such as the sun and water were respected as life-givers, but were not worshipped as Gods.
Cyrus Raft was born in Tehran 1943 and studied in Iran and England he is a semi Historian.