One of the world's most ancient and enduring civilizations, Iran has long played a central role in human events and continues to do so today. This book traces the spread of Iranian culture among diverse populations ranging from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and along the Silk Roads as far as China, from prehistoric times up to the present day. From paradise gardens and Persian carpets to the mystical poetry of Rumi and Hafez, Iran's contributions have earned it a place among history's greatest and most influential civilizations. Encompassing the fields of religion, literature and the arts, politics, and higher learning, this book provides a holistic history of this important culture.
Professor of Religion; Director, Centre for Iranian Studies, Concordia University
Editors' Preface ; Preface ; Chapter 1 A Convergence of Land and Language (3500-550 BCE) ; Chapter 2 Iran and the Greeks (550-247 BCE) ; Chapter 3 Parthians, Sasanians, and Sogdians (247 BCE-651 CE) ; Chapter 4 The Iranization of Islam (651-1027) ; Chapter 5 The Turks: Empire-Builders and Champions of Persian Culture (1027-1722) ; Chapter 6 Under Europe's Shadow (1722-1925) ; Chapter 7 Modernization and Dictatorship: The Pahlavi Years (1925-79) ; Chapter 8 The Islamic Republic of Iran (1979-present) ; Chronology ; Notes ; Further Reading ; Websites ; Acknowledgments ; Index