The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History

Iranian history has long been a source of fascination for European and American observers. The country’s ancient past preoccupied nineteenth-century historians and archaeologists as they attempted to construct a unified understanding of the ancient world. Iran’s medieval history has likewise preoccupied scholars who have long recognized the Iranian plateau as a cultural crossroad of the […]

Iranian history has long been a source of fascination for European and American observers. The country’s ancient past preoccupied nineteenth-century historians and archaeologists as they attempted to construct a unified understanding of the ancient world. Iran’s medieval history has likewise preoccupied scholars who have long recognized the Iranian plateau as a cultural crossroad of the world’s great civilizations. In more recent times, Iran has continued to demand the attention of observers when, for example, the revolution of 1978-79 dramatically burst onto the world stage, or more recently, when the Iranian democracy movement has come to once again challenge the status quo of the clerical regime. Iran’s dominance in the Middle East has brought it into conflict with the United States and so it is the subject of almost daily coverage from reporters. Sympathetic observers of Iran-students, scholars, policy makers, journalists, and the educated public-tend to be perplexed and confused by this tangled web of historical development. Iran, as it appears to most observers, is a foreboding, menacing, and far away land with a history that is simply too difficult to fathom.

 

  • The Oxford Handbook of Iranian History front cover

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