Herodotus on Ancient Persia's Cultural Interactions with Foreign Nations

  November 21, 2020   Read time 1 min
Herodotus on Ancient Persia's Cultural Interactions with Foreign Nations
Herodotus suggests that Ancient Persians were culturally open to other nations. He also informs us of the cultural approaches within the ancient Persian society.

"There is no nation which so readily adopts foreign customs as the Persians. Thus, they have taken the dress of the Medes, considering it superior to their own; and in war they wear the Egyptian breastplate. As soon as they hear of any luxury, they instantly make it their own: and hence, among other novelties, they have learnt unnatural lust from the Greeks. Each of them has several wives, and a still larger number of concubines. Next to prowess in arms, it is regarded as the greatest proof of manly excellence to be the father of many sons. Every year the king sends rich gifts to the man who can show the largest number: for they hold that number is strength. Their sons are carefully instructed from their fifth to their twentieth year, in three things alone---to ride, to draw the bow, and to speak the truth. Until their fifth year they are not allowed to come into the sight of their father, but pass their lives with the women. This is done that, if the child die young, the father may not be afflicted by its loss." (Source: Encyclopedia of Ancient Persia)

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