historical - ancient Persia

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historical - ancient Persia

Post by Willendorfer on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:39 pm

I have a hankering to write a story set in ancient Persia, with consanguinamorous characters. So far as I'm aware, this is the only known society in which sibling and even parent-child marriage was fully accepted (indeed, it was encouraged on religious grounds). See my post at http://ks2016.forumactif.fr/t615-consang-marriage-in-ancient-persia. It is fascinating to imagine how consang relationships might develop in this context, how the characters would feel about their relationships and related issues, given the radically different expectations of the surrounding society. My difficulty is that I have no mental frame of reference for ancient Persian society. There are many historical novels and films portraying life in ancient Greece and Rome as well as mediaeval Europe. But I can't find much of anything on Parthian/Sassanian-era Persia. What did ordinary Persians' houses look like? What did they wear, what did they eat? (It makes one realise how Euro-centric historical fiction is, or at least what's available in English.) And what little non-fiction is available deals exclusively with kings and the royal court. I don't really want to write about the Parthian/Sassanian-era royal court: it was an environment rife with intrafamilial assassination, as power-hungry relatives vied for the throne (like Game of Thrones with everyone behaving like Littlefinger). I can't imagine a sympathetic character surviving in this milieu. I'd therefore want my characters to be ordinary folk. But I'm up against a dearth of information. Any suggestions?


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