Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria Ariana (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in the Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Persepolis by A. Shapur Shahbazi

Don’t rush to the bookstore next door to find “The Authoritative Guide to Persepolis” by A. Shapur Shahbazi (ISBN 978-964-91960-5-6), you won’t find it.

I actually purchased my English copy at one of the many stalls at Persepolis where it is available in Farsi, French, German and Italian as well. Yet this book is a true gem for whoever wants to study this wonderful site beyond the picture books generally proposed to the tourists.

Iranian born A. Shapur Shahbazi received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of London and founded the Institute of Achaemenid Research at Persepolis in 1974. He taught at several universities worldwide but he also participated in many excavations at the site of Persepolis. In short, he is an authority intimately familiar with every corner and every detail of all the buildings on this wonderful location.

For those visitors who want to look beyond the mere palaces and reliefs as commented upon by their guides, this book truly helps to put everything in its right place. Each palace and each building is treated separately and attention is given to every detail. The book is generously filled with many excellent pictures but also with plenty of useful drawings and maps.  A. Shapur Shahbazi provides full translations of the many cuneiform inscriptions in Elamite, Old Persian and Babylonian, highlighting the differences in text where applicable. Extremely handy are his extensive lists of all the kings, servants, soldiers and gift-bearers that are carved on the many walls and door-jambs throughout Persepolis, complete with facts and figures.

At the end of the book, there is a number of interesting Appendixes: Stone, Methods and Tools; Measures and Numbers at Persepolis; and Restoration of the Column in “The Gate of All Lands”.

In short, it is a true companion for whoever wants a better and more in-depth understanding of the site of Persepolis.

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