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The Age of The Great Kings

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones



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01 April 2022
THE PERSIANS is a definitive new history of the Persian Empire, the world's first superpower.

The Great Kings of Persia ruled over the largest Empire of antiquity, stretching from Libya to the Steppes of Asia, and from Ethiopia to Pakistan. At the heart of the Empire was the fabled palace-city of Persepolis where the Achaemenid monarchs held court in unparalleled grandeur. From here, Cyrus the Great, Darius, Xerxes, and their heirs passed laws, raised armies, and governed their multicultural Empire of enormous diversity.

The Achaemenids, however, were one of the great dysfunctional families of history. Brothers fought brothers for power, wives and concubines plotted to promote their sons to the throne, and eunuchs and courtiers vied for influence and prestige.

Our understanding of the Persian Empire has traditionally come from the histories of Greek writers such as Herodotus - and as such, over many centuries, our perspective has been skewed by ancient political and cultural agendas. Professor Llewellyn-Jones, however, calls upon original Achaemenid sources, including inscriptions, art, and recent archaeological discoveries in Iran, to create an authentic 'Persian Version' of this remarkable first great empire of antiquity - the Age of the Great Kings.
Imprint:   Headline
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9781472277299
ISBN 10:   1472277295
Pages:   448
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Born in Cefn Cribwr, Wales, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University and Director of the Ancient Iran Program for the British Institute of Persian Studies. He has previously taught at Edinburgh University, where he was Professor of Ancient Iranian and Greek History. He has spent extensive time in Iran, and is a specialist in the histories and cultures of Persia, the Near East, and Greece. He has also appeared on the BBC, Channel 4, in The Times and other media outlets. His previous books include King and Court in Ancient Persia, Ctesias' History of Persia, The Culture of Animals in Antiquity, and Designs on the Past: How Hollywood Created the Ancient World.

Reviews for Persians: The Age of The Great Kings

Superb, authoritative, and compelling, a fresh history of the Persian Great Kings that combines exuberant storytelling with outstanding scholarship that is both entertaining and bracing revisionist, filled with a cast of ruthless conquerors, queens, eunuchs and concubines that brings the Persian world blazingly to life through Persian instead of the usual Greek sources. The result is a tour de force. * Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY * A masterful account and evocation of the history and culture of the first true world empire * Aidan M Dodson, Hon Professor of Egyptology, University of Bristol * Always lively, often challenging, this is a very welcome exploration of one of the greatest empires and cultures of the ancient world. Highly recommended * Adrian Goldsworthy, author of PHILIP AND ALEXANDER * This is an engaging, pacy account of the Persian Empire which is based on a rich range of sources. Going right up to the use of Cyrus the Great in modern Iran, the 'Persian Version' on which Professor Lloyd-Jones focuses has has much to tell us about how different cultures create history and use it to tell their stories * Helen King, Professor Emerita, Classical Studies, The Open University * For too long the world of Achaemenid Persia has been viewed through the eyes of often hostile foreigners. In this compelling investigation Llewellyn-Jones draws on a wealth of evidence - from imposing cliff-cut inscriptions to tiny seal-rings - to reveal the Persian Version of its empire's stirring history, far removed from the traditional stereotype. Spotlighting not just the royal dynasty but a wealth of other characters (including ambitious courtiers, a wily Egyptian administrator, a Greek slave-girl enmeshed in Persia's great power game) he brings to vivid life a sophisticated, highly complex, tightly run society with an acute sense of its place within the cosmos, where devotion to the Truth could coexist with cruelty and violence, and imperialism with cultural and religious tolerance. Clear, convincing, and meticulously researched, Persians, The Age of the Great Kings is not just a timely reassessment of the world's first superpower - it's a wonderfully accessible page-turner to boot * David Stuttard, author of A HISTORY OF ANCIENT GREECE IN FIFTY LIVES / GREEK MYTHOLOGY: A TRAVELLER'S GUIDE FROM MOUNT OLYMPUS TO TROY *

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