History of Iran from 551 BC to Present Day (at Mary Winspear Centre)


Course description

This course will continue from the previous course, History of Iran: The Prehistoric Era to 642 CE, and will cover a span of 2500 years, though it is not necessary for you to have taken the initial course in order to benefit from this one.

The first empire on the globe with a large territory under domination and highest peak of civilization of the time was founded by the Cyrus the Great, a king from Achaemenid Dynasty in 551 BC. Cyrus was from Pars (Persia) province and the name of Persia for Iran among Greeks and then Europeans originated from this fact. Alexander the Great, the Parthians, and again Persians ruled Iran until 640 AD when Arabs conquered Iran and Islam was introduced to the nation.

Two hundred years of absolute Arab domination was shattered by numerous national uprisings and revolts in every part of Iran which ended with advent of first Iranian dynasties. The rise of the Turks was the next storm that swept over the entire country for 1000 years. Numerous Turk dynasties appeared in every part of the country, competing with each other and bringing destruction and bloodshed, including invasions of Moguls and Uzbeks. We will then review the flourishing of the country starting with Safavid dynasty. The last part of the course will be allocated to contemporary history and the Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties and the influence of colonial powers as well as the present Islamic Republic of Iran.

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