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Course Description

This course introduces students to the history of ancient Iran from the establishment of the Achaemenid dynasty in 705 BCE to the collapse of the Sasanian dynasty in 651 CE. We will begin by situating the Achaemenid dynasty within the Assyro-Bablyonian cultures of Mesopotomia and showing how the Persian Empire extended political domain from Greece to north India until the conquests of Alexander the Great. Then we will examine the historical memory of the Achaemenids in the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian dynasties. Throughout this course, we will ask: how did the ancient Persian Empire construct itself as the political center of the world? How did it combine religion and politics? And how did it maintain control over religiously and ethnically diverse populations? Readings will foreground Old Persian inscriptions, Zoroastrian scripture, and Middle Persian texts to approach the self-understanding of ancient Iranian empires and peoples.

This is an in-person course that follows the published schedule of course meetings and requires attendance at all sessions. Tufts courses are designed to provide high-quality and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about course policies and expectations, please visit https://universitycollege.tufts.edu/policies#University-Policies

This section is also open to high school students who are 11th or 12th grade students. High School students who enroll will be prompted to submit an additional application after enrollment including: a high school transcript, letter of recommendation, parental permission, and other required consent forms.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: 

Academic Year (Fall/Spring): Unofficial Transcript – High School Diploma or current high school transcript (for high school students only in applicable classes), Bachelor’s Degree, or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA.

Summer: None.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the offering type: whether the offering is a course, workshop or short course, or in-demand offering. Please refer to the section details to confirm the type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type are viewable here: https://universitycollege.tufts.edu/policies/refunds#Courses-at-Tufts-(Academic-Year--Summer-Session)

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

School of Arts and Sciences