There are but few nations of the earth which can match the boast of Persia: that despite an unexampled series of conquests and subjugations she has as a nation played a great part in world history in ancient, in mediaeval, and in modern times. In ancient times she stands forth, first among the great conquering nations, next as the only power able to cope with the Roman colossus. In mediaeval times she became the mistress of the intellectual world, the paradise of poetry, the literary center and dispenser of light for all the East. In modem times she appears again as a great political state courted by Europe, influencing the Asiatic expansion of European powers, splitting the Mohammedan world by her secession from the orthodox faith. And finally, after producing the last of the great series of Asiatic conquerors whose exploits and whose spoils revive for us the marvels of the Arabian Nights, she sinks rapidly into decay, and like many another Asiatic power, falls an easy prey before the more scientific civilization of modern Europe...