Iran

During the Second World War, Britain, the US and the Soviet Union worked together in oil-rich Iran. But cooperation was to degenerate into suspicion and hostility.

The protests that broke out across Iran towards the end of 2017 were not triggered by one event. Their cause was mounting unrest at zulm: an all-encompassing term for the injustice, iniquity and oppression that has permeated Iranian society for more than a century. 

Iran, despite its conquest by the armies of Islam, retained its own Persian language and much of its culture. Khodadad Rezakhani examines the process by which a Zoroastrian empire became part of the Islamic world.  

The monumental city of Persepolis was the pride of the Persian empire until its destruction by fire. Richard Stoneman revisits its builders, Darius and Xerxes, and their role in its construction.

J.A. Boyle describes how, in 1258, the Mongol Khans from Persia captured the Caliphate of Bagdad and international contacts followed with the European powers.

J.J. Saunders describes how a Persian servant of the Mongol Khans wrote the first truly global history.

George Woodcock outlines how, by about 515 B.C., architects, sculptors, goldsmiths and silversmiths were assembled from all quarters of the Persian Empire to build a new capital, Parsa, which the Greeks called Persepolis.

George Woodcock describes how, towards the end of the seventh century BC, the Persians first began to establish themselves as a rising power in the Middle East.

John Andrew Boyle describes how, in the early thirteenth century, the Mongol hordes devastated Turkestan and Persia, where the grandson of Genghis Khan founded a dynasty.

The early life of the “Father of History” was dominated by the clash between East and West—Persia and Greece. Russell Meiggs finds that his story of the Great War is part tragic drama, part folk-tale and part travel-book, but is informed throughout by the desire to verify and by rational curiosity.