P E RS E P OLIS IN TH E W E ST E RN IMAGINATION Tobin Hartnell – TAASA Review September 2010


This article was originally found in the September 2010 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 19, Issue 3, Page 12).

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W hen Darius I took the throne in 522 BCE, he planned a new city to symbolise the ideals of the Achaemenid Empire.

Unlike Cyrus (559 – 530 BCE) in nearby Pasargadae who emphasised his Ancient Near Eastern heritage with traditional images of winged genii and half-man, half-animal priests, Darius wanted to create an environment that was quintessentially Persian.

Yet Darius’ Persia (modern Fars or Pars Province, southern Iran) was still tribal and it was only one generation since Cyrus had built the oldest known recognisably Persian monumental architecture...