ANE History: Persia

The first mention we have of the Persians is on a tablet recording the expedition of Shalmanesser III into a country called Parsua, in the mountains of Kurdistan around 837 BC. There, it seems that twenty-seven chieftain-kings ruled over twenty-seven states thinly populated by a people called Amadai, Madai, or Medes. They were Indo-European and had probably come from around the Caspian Sea into Western Asia about 1000 BC. The Zend-Avesta, the sacred scriptures of the Persains, idealized the racial memory of their ancient homeland and described it as a paradise. Not likely, since if it was so nice, why would they have ever left? In any case, scenes of our youth and the past are often wonderful and pleasant -- if we don't have to live in them again.

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