Friday, December 27, 2013

Alexander the Not So Great: Through Persian Eyes

He destroyed the great capital of Persepolis and the temples and emblems of the ancient Zoroastrian religion. So, unlike Westerners who tend to see Alexander as a great conqueror and military genius, Iranians do not see him as so great.

In an fascinating article for BBC News Magazine, Iranian historian, Ali Ansari, professor in modern history and director of The Institute of Iranian Studies at The University of St Andrews, Scotland, suggests that Alexander came to regret the destruction he wrought in Persia. He believes that had Alexander lived, "he may have restored and repaired more" than he did during his life.

You can also listen to Professor Ansari on BBC4 Radio 4 in an an excellent  3-part series "exploring world history from a Persian perspective."  Each episode is about 30 minutes and offers some great history through Persian eyes. In part 1, Professor Ansari discusses Zoroastrianism.

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