Ancient Persia in Western history : Hellenism and the by Sasan Samiei

By Sasan Samiei

The Achaemenid Empire, based through Cyrus the nice within the sixth century, was once at its peak the biggest empire the area had but noticeable, stretching throughout Asia, the center East and North Africa. simply because this primary Persian Empire fought a chain of wars opposed to the traditional Greek city-states, it has usually been solid against the Hellenistic cultures of the interval. old Persia in Western background is a measured rejoinder to the dominant narrative that considers the Graeco-Persian Wars to be basically the 1st around of an oft-repeated conflict among the despotic 'East' and the commonly enlightened 'West'. Sasan Samiei analyses the historiography which has skewed our knowing of this important period - contrasting the paintings of Edward Gibbon and Goethe, which honored Classicism and Hellenistic heritage, with later writers corresponding to John Linton Myres. eventually, Samiei explores the cross-cultural encounters which constituted the Achaemenid interval itself, and repositions it as necessary to the historical past of Europe, Asia and the center East.

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The overriding purpose of this chapter is to contrast Childe’s treatment of the matrix of ‘race’, ‘people’, and ‘culture’ with the one pursued by Myres. The debate concerning ‘race’ and ‘culture’ is only one of the two main themes of this book. The other, and more substantial theme, is Hellenism; or, to be precise, Hellenisms. Whereas in the nineteenthcentury debate, an aesthetic form of Hellenism was the context within which the sciences of anthropology and philology functioned, during the first 40 years of the twentieth century, these roles were reversed.

What makes Murray and Myres ‘tick’, philosophically speaking, cannot, of course, be ignored. In the second part of this analysis (Chapter 6), I try to pinpoint what kinds of thinking had gone into producing these two kinds of Hellenisms by pursuing a number of philosophical exegeses. As a result, it is ascertained that ‘aesthetic’ Hellenism resides within the compass of the philosophy of beauty, with ideas concerning ‘truth’, ‘perfection’ and ‘wonder’ (thauma) dominating. This mode of Hellenism engages far too uncritically with the literary legacies of the ancients.

Reflective history in that it also adopts a general perspective, but without focussing on a single aspect abstracted from national life to the exclusion of the rest. 121 But how is this ‘spirit’ determined? 122 In addition, the ability to feel, to think and to be able to control impulses by possessing an ‘ideal knowledge of reality’ do go a long way in determining the ‘essence of spirit’, which is ‘self-consciousness’. The spirit is essentially individual, but in the field of world history, we are not concerned with particulars and need not confine ourselves to individual instances or attempt to trace everything back to them.

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