Hollywood has carved images of famous Greeks and Persians into people’s minds, whether it be Achilles or Xerxes. In reality, war often caused the two nations to become intertwined. Many of the Greeks were of Aryan descent just like the Persians, and often times, many inter-ethnic marriages occurred between the two civilizations. Because of this, those of Greek and Persian decent share similarities in physical features.
The Persians and Greeks built two of the most successful and prosperous nations in history. Although perhaps lesser-known than their Greek counterparts, the Persians are known for their high level of culture, just like the Greeks. They established their civilization first, with the Greeks not far behind. Each civilization produced scholars, enhancing the world in many subjects, from philosophy to science. Popular Greek philosophers include Socrates and Plato, while Persian philosophers include Rumi and Avicenna.
Although Greece was comprised of several city states, some of them – such as Athens and Sparta – were far more powerful than the rest throughout most of history. The Persian Empire was known for its military superiority as well. From time to time, the two nations clashed, leading to famous battles throughout history, such as the Battle of Thermopylae, where all the Greek soldiers fought to the end, defeated by the famous Persian general Xerxes. The Greeks later produced famous leaders of their own, including Alexander the Great, one of the most successful military commanders of all time.
Greek architecture is well-known for its influence upon later cultures; however, some Greek architecture supposedly drew on influences from Persian culture. This includes the Odeon of Pericles and the Prytaneum. The Odeon was allegedly constructed in imitation of the king of Persia’s pavilion, while the Prytaneum was inspired by Persian spoils left behind in the form of a royal tent.
The Greeks and the Persians have many similar culinary offerings, such as the pastry. Other examples of dishes shared are abyrtake (a sour sauce) and dolma (a mixture stuffed in an edible leaf). Both cuisines make liberal use of basil, cumin, mint, saffron, cloves and coriander. Walnut, cucumber, pomegranate, pistachio and sesame are also common ingredients.
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