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Iran from 500 - 100 BC - Artistic - Research Paper Example

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Last Name, First Name Paper: Iran from 500-100 BC - Artistic The famous Persian king Darius I died in 486 BC and his son Xerxes took over the role of king and pursued campaigns against the Greeks, who were the dominant culture in that period, looking to expand their empire eastwards…
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Iran from 500 - 100 BC - Artistic
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Download file to see previous pages It was eventually restored to Persian control between 330 and 100BC, and prospered into the modern era again. The area covered by modern day Iran was then called Persia, and as mentioned in the Bible and in Greek history and literature, it was a proud nation at the heart of a great Empire. Much of our knowledge comes from Greek and Jewish sources because original writings from that location have been lost. This means, unfortunately that some of the historical information is somewhat biased. The Greeks admired the skills of the Persians in producing fine works of art in metal, with precious jewels, and in sculpture, painting and weaving, but at the same time saw them as a threat, and dismissed their culture as “barbaric.”i Some scholars have noted that the best Greek imperial artefacts of this period such as statues and monuments demonstrate the use of styles and materials, such as gold, which they borrowed from the so-called “barbarian” culture of Persia.ii Although very little in terms of writings has survived from Persia in this period, there is fortunately quite a lot of archaeological evidence in the form of metalwork, such as precious armlets in silver and gold, and carved stonework with a distinctive theme: “The realism of Achaemenian art manifests its power in the representation of animals, as can be seen in the many reliefs at Persepolis. Carved in stone or cast in bronze, the animals served as guardians to the entrances or, more often, as supports for vases, in which they were grouped by threes, their union a revival of the old traditions of tripods with legs ending in a hoof or a lion’s paw.”iii Some of these animal images are realistic, like bulls and horses, while others are more figurative, like griffins and strange creatures with lion’s heads and wings. Another art form that was perfected by the Persians in this period was inlay work, using precious stones that were obtained via the extensive trading networks that the empire had built up over the preceding centuries. The devolved system of government used by the Persians meant that local governors (called “satraps”) looked after the infrastructure of the empire, and collected taxes. They also made sure that great cities were built and maintained with impressive architecture, including tombs for great leaders, temples for the predominant religion which was Zoroastrianism, and buildings for legal and commercial activity. This infrastructure is evidence of considerable wealth, allowing citizens to learn new decorative trades and arts. The city of Susa, which is often known by its Greek name Persepolis, is a fine example of the high level of planning in city architecture that the Persians were capable of. Another major innovation which the Persians enjoyed was the creation of a postal system, consisting of good roads with posting stations placed a day’s ride from each other.iv Official documents, trade items, and all kinds of ideas travelled along this network, making Persia the envy of the civilized world in those days. Reflection It was very interesting to read that even in this early period Persian carpets were famous across the world for their luxurious quality. I think that the cold of the desert areas at night in winter time caused the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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