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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 'City of the Persians' that flourished for almost 200 years from the reign of Darius I until its destruction by Alexander III of Macedon.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the role of the great 'City of the Persians' founded by Darius I as the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire that stretched from the Indus Valley to Egypt and the coast of the Black Sea. It was known as the richest city under the sun and was a centre at which the Empire's subject peoples paid tribute to a succession of Achaemenid leaders, until the arrival of Alexander III of Macedon who destroyed it by fire supposedly in revenge for the burning of the Acropolis in Athens.

The image above is a detail from a relief at the Apadana, the huge audience hall, and shows a lion attacking a bull.


Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University

Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
Curator of Middle Eastern Coins at the British Museum


Lindsay Allen
Lecturer in Greek and Near Eastern History at King's College London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

51 minutes

Last on

Thu 7 Jun 2018 21:30


Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones at Cardiff University

Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis at the British Museum

Lindsay Allen at King's College London

Persepolis: A Virtual Reconstruction –

Persepolis - Wikipedia



Lindsay Allen, The Persian Empire: A History (British Museum Press, 2005)

John Boardman, Persia and the West (Thames and Hudson, 2000)

John Curtis and Nigel Tallis, Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia (British Museum Press, 2014)

Lori Khatchadourian, Imperial Matter: Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires (University of California Press, 2016)

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, King and Court in Ancient Persia 559 to 331 BCE (Edinburgh University Press, 2013)

Ali Mousavi, Persepolis: Discovery and Afterlife of a World Wonder (De Gruyter, 2012)

Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, Persian Myths (British Museum Press, 1993)

Donald N. Wilber, Persepolis: The Archaeology of Parsa, Seat of the Persian Kings (Darwin Press Inc, 1989)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Lloyd Llewellyn Jones
Interviewed Guest Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
Interviewed Guest Lindsay Allen
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 7 Jun 2018 09:00
  • Thu 7 Jun 2018 21:30

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