A cutting-edge analysis of 2,500 years of Persian visual, architectural, and material cultures of power and their role in connecting the world.
With the rise of the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE), Persian institutions of kingship became the model for legitimacy, authority, and prestige across three continents. Despite enormous upheavals, Iranian visual and political cultures connected an ever-wider swath of Afro-Eurasia over the next two millennia, exerting influence at key historical junctures. This book provides the first critical exploration of the role Persian cultures played in articulating the myriad ways power was expressed across Afro-Eurasia between the sixth century BCE and the nineteenth century CE.
Exploring topics such as royal cosmologies, fashion, banqueting, manuscript cultures, sacred landscapes, and inscriptions, the volume’s essays analyze the intellectual and political exchanges of art, architecture, ritual, and luxury material within and beyond the Persian world. They show how Perso-Iranian cultures offered neighbors and competitors raw material with which to formulate their own imperial aspirations. Unique among studies of Persia and Iran, this volume explores issues of change, renovation, and interconnectivity in these cultures over the longue durée.
Matthew P. Canepa is Professor and Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Presidential Chair in Art History and Archaeology of Ancient Iran at the University of California, Irvine.
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