Rewriting victors' view of Persian history
But the show, which runs through Jan. 8, goes further, challenging the version of history that ancient Greece, starting with Herodotus, bequeathed to the West. Put simply, in that version Greece heroically resisted the marauding barbarians from the east during the Persian wars of 490 B.C. to 479 B.C. Then, by defeating the Achaemenid empire, as it was also known, the "West" scored its first important victory over the "East."
It is this victors' account, then, that the British Museum has set out to "correct." By presenting some 450 ancient objects, from stone reliefs and lapis lazuli heads to gold statuettes and jewelry, it aims to blur the political fault lines that have long separated East and West and give ancient Persia its proper place - between Assyria and Babylon on the one hand and Greece and Rome on the other - in the chronology of early civilizations.
In that sense, "Forgotten Empire" is also highly topical.
comments powered by Disqus
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Heirs Claim Bank Made Off with Nazi-Looted Art
- Add the University of Virginia to the list of universities actively confronting their association with slavery
- Stanley Kutler’s book on Nixon Watergate abuses has been turned into a show on the web
- China bans books by pro-Hong Kong historian who retired from Princeton
- Fordham Historian Lambasts ‘Shabby Treatment’ In Row Over Israel Boycott, Vows to Continue Fighting Anti-Semitism
- George Mason's digital history program is 20 years old -- and celebrating
- Watergate researchers can now see the materials — including tapes — Len Colodny used in writing "Silent Coup"