‘Boundary’ in Ancient Persian Tradition of Statehood: An Introduction to the Origins of the Concept of Boundary in Pre-modern History
Author: Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirouz
Source: GeoJournal, Volume 62, Numbers 1-2, January 2005 , pp. 51-58(8)
Abstract:It is universally accepted that the need for defining precise lines of separation and points of contacts between states is the byproduct of the emergence of nation-states and ‘world economy’ in the 19th century Europe. Nevertheless, it is hard to overlook the fact that these modern notions are rooted in periods prior to the emergence in Europe of nation-states. There are indications that ancient civilizations were familiar with the notion of ‘state’ in connection with the concepts of territory and boundary. Ancient texts reveal that this basic principle existed in ancient Persian literature in respect of matters of state, territory, and boundary. Similarly, the likelihood exists that these Persian notions could have influenced Roman civilization. It is widely believed that a combination of ancient Greco-Roman and Persian civilizations is a major contributor to what culturally constitutes ‘West’. Later in the Sassanid period the inter-linked notions of state, territory, and boundary developed substantially, coming quite close to their contemporary forms. On the other hand, considering that ‘justice’ was the corner stone of ancient Persian Political philosophy, the idea that ancient Persian spatial arrangement might have contributed to the evolution of the concept of democracy in the West may not be too difficult to contemplate.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Political Geography, T.M. University, Tehran, Iran, Email: pirouzmojtahed Zadeh@hotmail.com
Publication date: 2005-01-01