'Darius the King said: Give 100 goats from my
estate to Duksis Irtasduna...'
"And now Parnaka says: as the King ordered me, so I am ordering you: Give
100 goats to Duksis Irtasduna, as ordered by the King."
Adukanaisa, in 16th Year of King Darius.
Ansukka wrote this order; Maraza delivered it to Harrena.
What Parnaka, uncle of the Great Darius, said was done by
Harrena and the clay fragment bearing the order of the Great King was routinely
archived by the imperial administrators of Parsa.
During the reign of the
following Achaemenid Kings, the older archives were probably moved to storerooms
within the fortification wall of Parsa to make room for newer archives. And
there they remained buried under heap of ashes for centuries after Alexander
burned Parsa in 331 BCE in an act of wanton savagery.
Lofty bare columns, splendid stairways, and carved
stone walls stood tall on the massive platform resting at the foot of the
Mountain of Mercy.
"Stranger passing by, go tell the Persians, that
here we lie in ruins, still obedient to the Masters of the Lands...
Our glory will never fade..."
Massive stones brought from afar by the order King Darius were taken away by
kings and thieves alike to be used in royal palaces and humble homes...
And more barbaric invaders came: Arabs and Mongols and Turks... with cursed
hands and bloody swords; they defaced magnificent carvings of the ancient
Persians... still fearful of the wrath of the Great Kings who once ruled the
Sealed imperial tombs carved high into the
nearby mountains in observance of Mazdean religious practices were desecrated by
greedy godless men in search of riches and their contents robbed.
Visitors carved their own mortal
legacies into the immortal flesh of Parsa...
There were earthquakes...
And scorching heat and scouring winds...
Then came the Europeans who axed and hauled
chunks of what was still left standing as souvenirs from their travels to exotic
Persia... local government officials either too ignorant to care or too greedy
to refuse bribes.
Men, friend or foe, turned into dust, while Parsa remained eternal...
and faithfully kept its most precious buried treasures hidden...
The glory of Parsa truly never faded.
What little of it that still stands today, is as magnificent as ever in the
eyes of the mind.
Hidden in Plain Sight...
From 20 columns out of 72 that still stood on the Apadana Terrace by 1619, as
reported by a European visitor, 13 remains.
In 1930s, archaeologists from the Chicago
Oriental Institute were the first to
be given legal permission to excavate in Parsa, modern
Takht-e Jamshid. And so came the first wave
of the archaeologists from the Oriental Institute, headed by
Ernst Herzfeld from the Berlin Museum.
While Alexander and the Makedonians had taken
all the Persian gold and silver, in their utter ignorance they had left behind
the crown jewels.
Dark clouds had passed overhead but had left faint footprints of a silver
Hetzfeld found some buried treasures: splendid imperial art in all her glory:
reliefs depicting scenes from the imperial festivities celebrating the Persian
New Year; orderly processions of elite gift-bearers of 23 nations of the
Achaemenid Empire; nobles and warriors and guards; bringing gifts of silver and
gold vases and vessels and weapons, cloth and jewelry, camels and horses... as
token of their loyalty to the Great Kings.
Freidrich Krefter, a German architect
with the expedition, found two stone boxes buried in the symmetrical corners of
the high terrace, with two identical foundation tablets in gold and silver in
each box, in trilingual languages of
Akkadian, still beautifully preserved:
Darius the King said:
the kingdom I hold... which Ahuramazdah
the greatest of the gods bestowed upon me..."
Next to a ravaged stairway, came the discovery
of a lifetime: a second stairway, perfectly preserved under the rubble of mud
More foundation tablets were found.
In 1933, Herzfeld found two groups of clay
documents in Parsa:
♦ One set, about 100+, mostly in
Elamite, dating from the later part of King Darius (Darius I, 522-486) to the
early part of
King Artakhsaca (Artaxerxes, 465-424) were found in a building on the
Parsa Terrace, called the 'Treasury', and became
known as 'Treasury Texts' after their findspot; records of payments
made to imperial workers in silver.
♦ The other more stunning set, about 30,000+ unbaked and broken
clay tablets, fragments, and seal impressions, mostly in Elamite,
some in Aramaic, and one so far in Akkadian, Phrygian, Greek and Arya,
was found in two buried storerooms in the north-west
fortification wall, when a portion of a collapsed wall was cleared;
records of storage and disbursement of food rations to gods,
members of the imperial family, Persian nobles, satraps, official
travelers, and all the workers: men, women and children,
dating from 509 to 494 BCE. This set became known as 'Fortification
But Herzfeld did not
keep meticulous records of the excavation about how most artifacts were found,
how many were they, what was their condition and what else was found near them.
After three years, Herzfeld resigned and
Erich Schmidt from the Oriental
Institute took his place. But unlike Herzfeld, Schmidt recorded everything and
later published three comprehensive reports.
In 1936, these clay tablets, most
extremely fragile and fragmentary, were loaned to the Oriental Institute by the
Iranian government for the purpose of decipherment and scholarly research. It is
not known why a center of competency was not created in Iran at the time to
decipher these tablets by Iranian scholars. It is a stretch to think that the
historical value of these tablets, irrespective of their unknown contents at the
time, was not understood by the Iranian government.
At first, the discovery of these clay
documents from Parsa which had become collectively known as 'Persepolis
Fortification Archive' or more
appropriately 'Achaemenid Administrative Archives', created tremendous
excitement among western scholars. But the excitement soon faded when initial
translations of the poorly understood Elamite tablets by George Cameron, a
philologist from the Oriental Institute, revealed the mundane administrative
nature of the archives: just everyday records of an ancient bureaucracy.
No historical narratives like: "Darius
the King said this..." or "Xerxes
the King said that..." were found etched in lowly clay to excite the
Brasidas stopping for a meal and then
hurrying along... approaching the bridge of Amphipolis in a stormy and snowing
Just Parnaka telling Bakadada, chief of
workers, how much grain was issued to his 13 workers, with Takmaziya writing the
Then came World War II and only a handful of scholars were left in Chicago
working on the Achaemenid Administrative Archives.
An Officer and a Gentleman
Richard Treadwell Hallock, a trained
Assyriologist, returned to the Oriental Institute in 1947 after serving in the
United States Navy during WWII. For the rest of his life,
Hallock worked on the Elamite tablets
of the Achaemenid Administrative Archives.
They say he was a sort of a man who preferred to look at how ants moved the
earth rather than how the stars moved across the sky.
He said it himself: "If you are not confused, then you clearly don't
understand the problem."
By sheer brilliance, determination,
persistence and a bit of borrowed Irish luck, Hallock and a handful of others
slowly cracked the Elamite code of the Achaemenid Administrative Archives.
In 1969, Hallock published
Persepolis Fortification Tablets, a groundbreaking study of some 2,000+
Elamite texts, with a complete glossary of all known Achaemenid Elamite texts,
and a wealth of names, tittles and administrative terminology of the Imperial
Ants finally cleaned the muddy earth from the face of the Persian
Slowly the implications of Hallock's
pioneering work became clear and the profound impact of his work literally
launched the rebirth of Achaemenid studies in the 1970s. Meticulous
collaborative studies of the Achaemenid Administrative Archives, by Hallock and
other scholars greatly expanded the insight to and appreciation for the
Achaemenid Persia, by enabling the reconstruction of life in Parsa during the
Achaemenid Administrative Archives,
mundane records of storage and outlay of food: grains, fruit, meat, poultry,
beer and wine, to workers employed by the imperial administration, unexpectedly
became a rich source of information on art, language, culture, customs, gods,
and the fascinating interworkings of a very complex empire.
Bothersome babbling of
Herodotos and the rest finally started
to turn into background noise.
What stepped into the spotlight of history were the faded footprints of the
first great empire builders... Great Kings and their Royal Women traveling to
the royal cities of the empire; government officials coming and going to and
from all the far corners of the empire, drawing from supplies from
well-provisioned way-stations along the vast network of royal roads; workers all
busy building splendid palaces; everyone eating at the Table of the Great
Kings... at times there were food shortages and orders were not always
such was life at the imperial court...
No historian could longer claim
with false authority that the Persian Achaemenids were illiterate barbarian
rulers of literate civilized subjects. With the light of Achaemenid
Administrative Archives now shining on the history of the Imperial Achaemenids,
they were finally the proud progeny of millennia of astute statecraft, supported
by a complex and sophisticated administration, tightly-knit and highly-linked
together with all the regional administrators of the empire.
Hallock died in 1979. He was the sort of a man who was blessed by the
After WWII, the Imperial Aramaic texts of the
Achaemenid Administrative Archives had fallen into the hands of Raymond Bowman
who worked on them on and off for most of his life. By the time he died in 1979,
he left draft editions of some 500+ Imperial Aramaic texts on Achaemenid
Administrative Archives: a linguistic treasure chest still waiting to be
examined further in relation to the Elamite texts.
Works of Hallock and Bowman remain to be finished.
While no narrative about Persian history is yet written based on the
information gleaned from the Achaemenid Administrative Archives, some
discoveries covered elsewhere are worth noting here again.
Since the cuneiform language of Arya [Old
Persian] was deciphered in the mid 19th century, it was commonly believed by the
philologers that Arya language was an artificial written and not spoken
language, created most likely by the order of the Great Darius and used
exclusively for imperial inscriptions, such as those carved on imperial
monuments in Parsa and Behistun. But since one clay fragment, a common
administrative record, from the Achaemenid Archives has been discovered to be
written in Arya, that assumption
no longer seems to be valid. A small window into further philological studies of
Arya language has been opened.
While the Assyrian palaces, Egyptian
pyramids and Greek monuments were built by slave labor, Achaemenid
Administrative Archives attest to a large number of free workers: men and women
and children, who were employed by the imperial government for various works and
they were mostly paid by food rations.
Some professions were undertaken by both men and women while others
were restricted to either men or women. Both men and women supervised the mixed
imperial workshops and received similar rations. The highest-ranking female
workers were called aras-sara (great chief). They appeared regularly in the
imperial records, were employed at different locations and managed large groups
of worker, including women, children and sometimes men. They received high
rations of wine and grains exceeding all the other workers in the group
including the men. Ordinary workers received rations according to their skills
and men and women with similar skills and jobs received equal rations.
Achaemenid Administrative Archives also
provide a tangible insight into the more realistic social and economic
situations of Achaemenid women. Royal Women are identified, payments of rations
and wages for men and women are documented and sealed orders by the Royal Women
themselves or their agents provide valuable information on how these powerful
women managed their wealth.
Land ownership by women was not exclusive to the Royal Women and the
Achaemenid imperial administration recognized all women as independent legal
entities that could own, sell or lease their own lands.
Such discoveries gleaned from the Achaemenid
Administrative Archives clearly indicate that the Royal Women enjoyed economic
independence; they were involved in the administration of economic affairs and
actively controlled their considerable wealth and position. They traveled
extensively on the Royal Road; visited their estates and administered their land
and wealth individually and at times with help from their King-husbands. Travel
rations identify their travel partners, guards, servants, cooks, and others, and
they were treated no different than royal men. They participated in royal
festivities and banquets for the Great King and organized their own feasts and
Well, so much for the Hellene and Judean views of women in Achaemenid Persia
living secluded lives behind high walls of 'harems' with the sole purpose of
bearing and rearing sons!
Sovereign nations used to
be generally immune from the jurisdictional reach of American courts and it was
left to the Executive Branch of the government to decide when the presumption of
immunity could be waived to allow a lawsuit brought against a sovereign. In
1976, United States Congress decided to replace the politically motivated ad-hoc
decision making of the Executive Branch with a legal statute and the
Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act was
codified in law. In 1996 an exemption was made to this law, if the sovereign
nation was considered a "state sponsor of terrorism".
In September of 1997, a suicide attack
on a popular shopping mall in Jerusalem killed five and left over 100 wounded.
Hamas claimed responsibility. Two
Hamas operatives were quickly arrested by the Israeli police and brought to
trial and were subsequently convicted by an Israeli criminal court and punished.
In 2001, American survivors and families of
the victims of the 1997 Hamas suicide bombing sued Hamas and The Islamic
Republic of Iran in the United States Federal Court in the District of Columbia,
a landmark case on grounds that Hamas was a terrorist organization financed by
Islamic Republic of Iran. Since Hamas
had no known assets in the United States worth pursuing, the Islamic Republic
with deep oil revenue pockets was clearly the chief target of the plaintiffs.
With no diplomatic relations since
1979, in 1984, the U.S. Department of State designated the Islamic Republic of
Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, so the Federal Court agreed and the
sovereign immunity of Iran was waived for the purpose of the lawsuit.
Islamic Republic of Iran ignored the lawsuit
and failed to appear in the U.S. Federal Court to refute the charges brought
As they say: 'Ignorance of law is not a defense."
Without any of the defendants appearing in court, the case was quickly
decided and in September of 2003, millions of dollars were awarded in default
judgment to the plaintiffs and another $300 million was added to the default
judgment in punitive damages, bringing the total judgment to $423.5 million.
But the plaintiffs soon realized that winning such a staggering sum in
judgment was one thing, collecting it was an entirely different beast.
Commercial assets of the Islamic Republic in
the United States were frozen after the
Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979; a long
line of plaintiffs with judgment won from other lawsuits against the Islamic
Republic had been trying in vain for years to collect against such iced assets;
and a frantic search for the riches of the former Shah did not unearth any
hidden millions of dollars.
Curse of the 300
In 2004, the Oriental Institute of Chicago University returned 300 clay
tablets from the Achaemenid Administrative Archives to Iran and the media
publicity that followed caught the eyes of the Rubin
vs. the Islamic Republic
legal team. A lawsuit to collect on
the judgment was brought quickly in the Federal Court in Illinois, and the court
was asked to confiscate the remaining 'Persepolis Fortification Tablets' still
in care of the Oriental Institute, as property of the Islamic Republic to
compensate the victims and their families.
At first, Chicago University's legal team took on the defense of the
'Persepolis Fortification Tablets' as a third party, stating that the Islamic
Republic of Iran was reluctant to entangle with the United States courts due to
the ongoing hostilities between the two governments.
The Federal Court was not amused.
The claim was rebuked by the judge
presiding over the case by stating that the university's "brazen accusation that
the courts of the United States are hostile to Iran and that, as a result, Iran
should be excused from bothering to assert its rights, is wholly unsupported."
In response to this decision, Chicago
University invoked the old legal principle of sovereign immunity, stating that
governments cannot be sued just like ordinary citizens, but could not make the
claim on behalf of the Islamic Republic.
In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran finally entered the legal
proceedings to assert her rights.
While going after frozen assets of the Islamic Republic had serious
competition, Persian antiquities held by various museums across the United
States had not been considered a part of official Iranian-owned assets
The Rubin plaintiffs made a connection: ancient footprints of the Persian
Kings were tied to the shoes of modern Iranian Islamic Republic.
In addition to the lawsuits brought against the 'Persepolis Fortification
Tablets' and the
Choga Mish collection held at the
Oriental Institute, they sued Chicago's
Field Museum of Natural History
for its Herzfeld collection: a collection
of Persian archaeological objects collected by Herzfeld during 1920s and
1930s, probably without the permission of the Iranian government, and sold to
the Field Museum in 1945. Perhaps that was why Herzfeld never took detailed
notes during his excavations.
Rubin plaintiffs also filed separate lawsuits against Boston's
Museum of Fine Arts
Harvard University art museums, all
with impressive collections of Persian antiquities, claiming such works of art
still belonged to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Sins of fathers visited upon the sons and daughters...
The lawsuits were no longer
just a fight for seizure of commercial assets owned by the Islamic Republic of
Iran, but a fight for the seizure of precious Persian antiquities held by
museums, regardless of who owned them.
Christie's Auction House in London
included a stone relief fragment of an Achaemenid Imperial Guard for auction
with an estimated price tag of £200,000 to £300,000.
Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) submitted a legal
complaint to a British Court in London, claiming ownership of this priceless
work of imperial art, and asking for a halt on the sale of the precious cultural
property and return it to Iran. To prove her ownership, a documentary film and
pictures of the excavations carried out in Parsa and a complete report of the
Oriental Institute's archeological works were submitted to the court.
The relief, part of the stairway of
Apadana Audience Hall in Parsa built
by Khasayar-sa (Xerxes), was unearthed in 1933 during archeological excavations
by the Oriental Institute. It was auctioned in New York in 1974 and was sold and
re-sold to a French collector who kept the piece for 30 years in her private
collection in France.
It is not clear how the piece was taken out of Iran in the first place
and why the government of Iran did not take any legal action in 1974 to stop her
cultural property from being auctioned off and sold in the United States.
The British Court refused to rule in
favor of the Islamic Republic and referred the case to the Appeal Court for
further investigation. The Appeal Court also rejected Islamic Republic's claim,
arguing that the historical relic had previously been sold twice in New York
without any objection on the part of Iranian government.
They say it was also suggested to the Islamic
Republic that she should purchase the Achaemenid relief fragment. But apparently
the suggestion was rejected by Iranian authorities because they believed that
purchasing the ancient artifact would legitimize the illegal act of smuggling
In October of 2007, after two years of
struggle to reclaim the
Achaemenid Imperial Guard, it was sold
again to an anonymous buyer by Christie's for £580,500 (about $1.2 million).
According to their website, similar artifacts from Achaemenid era have been sold
by Christie's over the years.
Decades of neglect in reclaiming the
Achaemenid Imerial Guard and returning it to Iran resulted in losing a priceless
piece of Persian cultural heritage which belongs to all the Iranians.
While international conventions have banned
stealing or illegally transferring cultural properties of one nation to another,
refusal of the British Court to put cultural ahead of political considerations
and to recognize Iran's ownership claim over the Achaemenid Imperial Guard
fragment in good faith in order to facilitate a return to civility and
diplomacy, violated moral if not legal international obligations of nations and
undoubtedly added to feelings of hostility between the two governments.
In 2006, a member of a film crew making a feature-length documentary
film in Parsa was arrested for vandalizing two Achaemenid reliefs. The
perpetrator was found stabbing the reliefs with metal tools, extensively
damaging head of an Achaemenid Imperial Guard and causing much harm to another
relief depicting a representative from an Achaemenid subject nation bringing
gift to the imperial court of Great Kings.
While there are no other details available, Iranian authorities claimed that
the vandal was planning to smuggle the broken reliefs out of Iran.
If true, this could be an early indicator of the realization that ancient
Persian cultural properties are highly in demand in the shadowy global world of
art markets. Since the politically charged American and British courts are
unwilling to enforce international laws in regards to stealing or illegally
transferring cultural properties of Iran, ancient Persian antiquities could be
apparently stolen in broad daylight, smuggled and sold with immunity from legal
What kind of damage this sort of greed and ignorance could unleash upon the
ruins of Parsa would hinge on the ability and willingness of the Islamic
Republic of Iran to safeguard such national pre-Islamic treasures.
What little remains from glorious Parsa could vanish right before our eyes...
Legal wheel goes round & round...
After 4 years of legal wrangling,
Persepolis Fortification Archive is still caught in the net of American legal
system and is likely to remain captive for a number of years to come while the
legal battle for Persian antiquities unfolds in various courts across the United
While Chicago University's efforts to
preserve the integrity of the Persepolis Fortification Archive are highly
commendable, the defense of the Achaemenid Administrative Archives, cultural
heritage of ancient Persia, falls squarely on the shoulders of the Iranians
However, after some 70+ years,
the measured academic pace of Oriental Institute's scholarly research on
Achaemenid Administrative Archives has finally turned into a feverish race
against time in the capable hands of Professor Matthew Stolper, one of the
world's leading experts in late Babylonian historical and legal texts, with
interest in Arya and Elamite languages and Achaemenid history, who is devoting
his life to complete this extraordinary task at hand.
The Oriental Institute is in need of additional grants to complete
its critical work using state-of-the-art imaging technologies. More volunteers
could not hurt either!
hands on deck, so to speak...
But while the Persepolis Fortification Archive
is just one of the many
projects at the Oriental Institute,
slated for return upon completion of research, and their loss under such
unfortunate circumstances would no doubt impact the prestige of such a renowned
institution and the status of other artifacts currently on loan to the Institute
for study as well as Institute's access to similar objects in the future,
Achaemenid Administrative Archives, on the other hand, are rare, unique and the
only contemporary material evidence from the inside of the Achaemenid imperial
administration and their loss will have a profound impact on piecing together
the history of the Persian Achaemenids from the Iranian perspective with the
imperative to know more about how their ancient civilization evolved over time.
Islamic Republic's refusal to appear in
United States courts to defend herself against real or imaginary charges will
only make her an easy target of endless civil litigations and would result in
more and more lawsuits with the default judgments starting to add up to billions
of dollars: a significant barrier to the normalization of diplomatic
relationships between the two sparring governments, when cooler heads are
elected to lead each sovereign nation.
Given the current political tensions,
however, realistically it is unlikely that the U.S. courts would rule in favor
of the Islamic Republic in similar cases, even if the Iranians start to put in
an appearance; effectively practicing some sort of de facto American foreign
policy that is legally solely reserved for the U.S. State Department.
Justice is not blind like the King's Law.
Which court would not give boxes full of clay lumps to sympathetic plaintiffs
and their families, suffering from life-altering mental and physical wounds, to
ease their pain and make their lives as comfortable as possible?
Who does not want to see men who have the blood of innocent on their hands
But as the ancient Babylonians used to pray: "My Goddess, lay thy punishment
on he who is sinful, be merciful that the innocent not be destroyed."
As the result of this landmark lawsuit,
Rubin vs. the Islamic Republic, not just the remaining Achaemenid
Administrative Archives, some 8,000 tablets and 11,000 fragments, held at the
Oriental Institute by the order of the United States courts, are in the danger
of being seized, divided and sold in auctions, but all the Persian antiquities
in museums have become the subject of unbridled legal greed. The ultimate loss
will belong to the Iranian cultural heritage, without making any real impact on
the bloody behavior of extremist individuals and governments.
The families of U.S. marines killed or wounded
in a 1983 bombing in Beirut have joined the Rubin lawsuit and are trying to
apply any money garnered from the Achaemenid Administrative Archive against a
$2.7 billion judgment against the Islamic Republic which they won last year.
Others are likely to follow suit.
The initial intent of the United
States Congress in legislation against terrorism was to ensure that terrorist
regimes could not injure Americans with impunity. However, the impact of a legal
decision in favor of the Rubin plaintiffs would undoubtedly have other adverse
impacts, far beyond the fate of the Achaemenid Administrative Archives: it could
unintentionally bring all the American museums with vast collections of
antiquities to their knees with endless litigation to either prove legal
ownership of such cultural properties of many ancient civilizations that were
looted by the west or have them seized by the increasing number of plaintiffs
desperate to collect on millions of dollars worth of judgments.
It could possibly put the entire holdings of antiquities of all the
American museums on a shelf for sale to the highest bidders.
Achaemenid Administrative Archives are
literally boxes and boxes full of dust and clay fragments and their historical
value rests with the data collected from the entire set by highly specialized
scholars, no more than 20 in the entire world.
Their commercial value, however, is
harder to estimate. Judging from the case of the Achaemenid Imperial Guard in
London, it is unlikely that the Islamic Republic would buy back the collection
in art auctions. As small lumps of extremely fragile clay, they are not 'works
of art' to be framed and put on a wall to be admired. So the commercial value of
them is perhaps highly overstated.
In a bizarre twist of fate, seizure and
sale of Achaemenid Administrative Archives, the priceless imperial
administrative records, will not only do irreparable harm to Persian Achaemenid
history by destroying the wholesome integrity of the few remaining direct
material evidence of their reign, it will indirectly accomplish what the Islamic
Republic of Iran dares not do publicly: destroy the continuity of modern
Iranians with their proud and glorious Persian history.
In the case of all the Persian
antiquities held by American museums, a favorable judgment for the plaintiffs
would no doubt be ruinous for the museums and its true impact cannot be
predicted. The museums would either have to litigate and take their chances with
the courts; settle out of court for huge sums of money; or hand over the
precious antiquities for sale.
Gold is greed...
With vast holdings of Persian antiquities in British, French, German and
other western museums, it is yet to be seen whether staggering legal
judgments pending against American collections would entice the Europeans to
test their respective legal systems in regards to such emerging international
legal issues, where legal courts are bearing down on foreign policy.
Iranians themselves could bring lawsuits to reclaim their long lost looted
natinal treasures from various western museums.
Who knows if a lawsuit could be brought
successfully against the British Museum, challenging the ownership of the
by the museum who 'acquired' the historical object from an Assyrian raider of
They say, in a letter to Darius
III, Alexander wrote: "I crossed into Asia, wishing to punish the Persians!"
As the old saying goes: "A fool throws a stone into a well, which a
hundred wise men cannot pull out."
Alexander destroyed a great empire in vain and
ended up destroying himself in the process. By the end of his barbaric folly,
the dead outnumbered the living.
Roxana Romance is the story of Roxana who
married Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, who defeated the last Great King
of the first Persian Empire. They say it was a love match.
The third chapter of the novel: 'Axis
of Empire' is about the horror of burning of Parsa [Persepolis] by
Alexander. It puts Achaemenid Administrative Archives in context of time and
place. It is provided here by the author in