5.31.2006

Iran and U.S. Bluffing and Posturing Not Really New
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The U.S. and Iran are often in the news with bluffing and posturing on both sides.

There is a long history of Imperial animosity between the West and Iran, since the end of WWI obviously and before that, excluding the Medieval period where Iran was a member of various Islamic empires, the bluffing and posturing was frequent between the rulers of the Roman Empire and the Sassanid Empire, large-integrated empires, both of which were greatly weakened by Muhammad and his followers and eventually eliminated.

In the fourth century, the Emperor Shapur II referred to the Roman Emperor as his servant and 'overseer of the Western provinces who serves at our pleasure.'

In response, the Roman Emperor's ministers claimed that Shapur was beholdened to the "Lord of the Universe" and that the ruler of the world was too busy to respond to any entreaties from princelings and other local rulers of no import.

Ocasionally warfare flared in Mesopotamia, a buffer zone between the two empires.
In 260, the aged emperor Valerian was captured and held in captivity in Persia until he died. After which, his skin was stuffed and kept in the palace as a momento.
This giant rock carving, like Stone Mountain, Georgia or Mt. Rushmore, sits above the most well-traveled highway in Iran (the Silk Road) so that everybody would see the Roman Emperor's submission......

Here it is.



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