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.
Clive Foss introduces the Kharijites, a radical sect from the first century of Islam based in southern Iraq and Iran, who adopted an extreme interpretation of the Koran, ruthless tactics and opposed hereditary political leadership. After causing centuries of problems to the caliphate, they survive in a quietist form in East Africa and Oman.
Juan Cole looks at the pacifist, prophetic and millenarian 'world religion' whose leader emerged from the social and political unrest of 19th-century Iran and whose followers have since been persecuted by shah and ayatollah alike.