The five part video below of Persepolis features a number of scholars including Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University, Professor Remi Boucharlat of the National Center of Scientific Research (France), the late Professor A. Shapur Shahbazi of Eastern Oregon University, and Professor Abbas Alizadeh of the University of Chicago. The producers of this feature program were Farzin Rezaeian and Hossein Hazrati.
Before proceeding to watch the excellent video clips, readers may also be interested in viewing the following programs as well:
- History Channel –مستند آغاز یک امپراطوری – هخامنشیان – (available in English and Persian)
- Five-part Video examination of of Persepolis by the late Shapur Shahbazi (narrated in Persian only)
Part (1 of 5): Introduction to Persepolis built 2500 years ago which was one of the wealthiest cities of history. The role of Cyrus the Great in laying an empire built on racial tolerance and praises of him by the Jews and Greeks; Persian Gardens or “Paridaesa”; role of Darius the Great in extending the Achaemenid Empire to its greatest extent; the four capitals (Babylon, Susa, Ecbatana and Persepolis-Parsa); foundations of Persepolis around 518 BC and its continual construction over the next 50 years by Darius the Great and his successors (Xerxes and Artaxerxes I).
Part (2 of 5): the bearing of gifts for the king from all parts of the empire, Persian carpets and textiles, Nowruz, role of Persepolis as a ceremonial capital of a multi-varied empire, the Gateway of Nations, the 100 column Hall, the audience Hall, the Apadana (Royal Audience Hall).
Part (3 of 5): glazed bricks of Apadana tower, the 12 capitals of the eastern portico of the Apadana (in the form of roaring lions), the role of Darius the Great in bringing prosperity to the peoples of the empire, Darius’ construction of the first Suez Canal, the Royal Road and other highways, the postal system, rapid communications, standard system of weights. Old Persian cuneiform script invented, minting of gold and silver coins for standardized commerce. The uniqueness of the empire built on tolerance and encouragement for religions (i.e. freeing of Jews; support of Egyptian religions, Babylonians, Ionian Greeks); Persepolis portrays images of friendship and cooperation between peoples (especially at Trepilon Palace or Council Hall); the Persepolis treasury and its riches.
Part (4 of 5): there were no slaves at Persepolis, workers paid salaries according to skill and merit, women also feature as supervisors, they could also be paid more than men, pay for maternal leave, the role of the workers in building Persepolis such as the Thachara (private palace of Darius the Great – also known as Hall of Mirrors), the Hadish (King Xerxes’ private Palace – the place where Alexander started his fire of Persepolis), Queen’s palace (south side of Hadish), the largest palace (100 Column Hall or Throne Hall – 10 rows of columns by 10 rows of columns – built by Xerxes and finished by his son Artaxerxes), the role of Alexander in destroying the Persian Empire and Persepolis.
Part (5 of 5): the end and destruction of Persepolis.