22 JULY 1927, Page 38

ANCIENT PERSIA AND IRANIAN CIVILIZATION. By Professor Clement Huart. Illustrated.

(Kegan Paul. 12s. 6d.) —So far as may be, this volume brings into comprehensive synthesis all recent theories and findings that relate to Ancient Persia, but, as its author points out, the systematic archaeological exploration of Persia still awaits accomplish- ment, and until it finds it, early Iranic history will remain deficient, for the art of writing appeared late in Persia. This volume, which has been admirably translated from the French by Mr. M. R. Dobie of the British Museum (in briefest summary) recounts the history of the Achaemenids, the spread of Hellenism under the Seleueids. and the glories of the Sassanian age. As part of the history of the world's evolution Persian- history must always hold an important rank, for geographically Iran was a kind of clearing-house or passage-way for East and West, and from it there spread over the world ideas of tolerance, liberty and justice, all of which " contlibuted to the- syncretic movement which prepared the way for the coming of the universal religions." We can now see in the Persian attack on Greece more than a mere attack of Oriental savagery on European freedom ; rather the Greeks defended not civilization against barbarism, but a system of individual liberty and reason against one which was despotic though humane and just.