Not if you see history through Persian eyes
bbc / Prof Ali Ansari
15-Jul-2012 (5 comments)

Alexander the Great is portrayed as a legendary conqueror and military leader in Greek-influenced Western history books but his legacy looks very different from a Persian perspective.

Any visitor of the spectacular ruins of Persepolis - the site of the ceremonial capital of the ancient Persian Achaemenid empire, will be told three facts: it was built by Darius the Great, embellished by his son Xerxes, and destroyed by that man, Alexander.

That man Alexander, would be the Alexander the Great, feted in Western culture as the conqueror of the Persian Empire and one of the great military geniuses of history.

Indeed, reading some Western history books one might be forgiven for thinking that the Persians existed to be conquered by Alexander.

Darius Kadivar

Was Alexander Great?

by Darius Kadivar on

Through Persian Eyes

Prof Ali Ansari is one of the world's leading experts on Iran and its history.

He presents Through Persian Eyes - a three part series on BBC Radio 4 exploring world history from a Persian perspective.


khaleh mosheh

Seemed a sensible article

by khaleh mosheh on

but why the character assassination..... Charlton Heston would be turning in his grave if he saw such below the belt punches.

Mohammad Ala

Thanks Kako

by Mohammad Ala on

I saw and read it.  I found it interesting.

Did your post was about the author or the article?  Iranians never seize a chance to criticize.  LOL.


About Ali Masoud-Ansari

by anglophile on

Darius Jaan, as a matter of fact, it is not as strange at it may seem. Allow me to explain.

Ali Masoud-Ansari, Khatami Professor of Islamic Regime's Apologetics, also known as Professor of Iranian studies at St. Andrews University is a shining example of the impovershed quality of Persian scholarship in the UK. Gone are such giant figures as E. G. Browne, A K S Lambton, Taqizadeh, Zabih Behruz, Peter Avery and many more and in are such mini-me characters as Ali Masoud-Ansaris, Haleh Afshar, and a few less celebrity mini-mes.

Both brothers, who are sadly related to Shahbanu through their mother, have replaced loyalty to pragmastic association with the Islamic regime. Ahmad who is now the toast of the Tehrangelese tv stations chat shows defending himslef against Parviz Sabet has a deep affection for Khatami  and his clan. Ali, on the other hand has made no secret of his passionate affair with Khatami and his bond and suprise surprsie his romantic overtures paid of handsomely by the pro Kahatam, former IRI's Paris ambassador donating a huge library of Islamic and Persian books to the university of St. andrews in return for Ali Masoud Ansari's appointment to a professorial post in that university. He travels to Iran freely and is welcomed by the regime's (and his brotehr's) handlers. As for his academic credentias, like many other internet-scholars of his generation, he is not even capable of reading or writing in Persian at an average academic level. Ansari is a typical product of the avarage English public schooling who can only present Iran based on his patchy and sacntly information, amost entirely obtained from English speaking sources, hence regurgitating what is already researched and publised by other academics. 


Ali Masoud-Ansari is the best example of how, in the absence of a substantial scholarly figure, an inadequately accomplished and poorly tutored charactere can fill in the vacuum and how the universities and media, in the absence of a credible sponsoring body, sell themselves the highest supportive bidder in the market, in this case, the Islamic Republic of Iran! 



Darius Kadivar

Strange Family the Ansaris ...

by Darius Kadivar on

The Ansaris are a curious lot. The Father was a Minister during the Shah, one of the two sons is a brilliant academic (he is the author of this article) where as the other is a crook who has sided with the Islamic Republic.

He was sued by Crown Prince Reza for fraud because he had screwed up his finances and then ran away to Iran to escape prosecution in American Courts ...

Strange and opposite destinies indeed ...