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Great Monuments of the Ancient World: Persepolis

Evening Program (Session 2 of 4-Session Course) on Zoom

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0076B
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Clockwise: Karnak Temple Complex, Luxor, Egypt; Persepolis in Shiraz, Iran; Parthenon, Athens, Greece; and Teotihuacan pyramids, near Mexico City

Save $20 when you purchase all 4 sessions of the Great Monuments of the Ancient World course!


There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Each of them offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites of the ancient world from Persia to Mesoamerica. Each lavishly illustrated program goes far beyond the typical tourist experience by incorporating the insights of the latest scholarship and research. 

Jacobs, an associate professor of history at American University, is the author of several books, including The Compensations of Plunder: How China Lost Its Treasures. He is currently producing a 24-episode series on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for The Great Courses.

Session Information


In the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., the ancient Persians forged a new empire that stretched from the Indus River in the east to the Danube in the west. Jacobs analyzes the architectural symbol of their unprecedented wealth and power: the palace complex at Persepolis. By examining the artistic motifs of surviving stone reliefs and the many mysteries of the ruins, he illustrates how the ancient Persians laid the rhetorical foundations of so many other empires that followed in their historical wake.

Additional Sessions

If you are interested in additional Monuments of the Ancient World sessions this winter, view the upcoming schedule:

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