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From the publisher
Now available in paperback, The Persians tells the story of this cultured ancient civilization, tracing the unique features of Persian life as well as their influence down the centuries. The book describes the difficulties early Persians encountered and how these contributed to their unique character and the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire. It recounts the keenly fought conflicts with the Greeks for mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean, a contest which was to dominate the geopolitics of the ancient world, and it paints a vivid picture of the many great Persian cities and their spectacular achievements: an efficient road system that linked an empire together; respect for their subject peoples; and advances in irrigation techniques which created a 'paradise' envied by their neighbours.