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Persepolis

PERSEPOLIS pər sĕp’ ə lĭs (Περσέπολις, Persian City). This city, mentioned by numerous Gr. historians from Strabo on, apparently was known originally as Πέρσαι Πόλις (Persai Polis), a name which was later contracted. It was built by Darius (520-485 b.c.) in his home province of Pārsa (modern Fārs). Situated about forty m. S of the older Achaemenid capitol at Pasargadae (q.v.) its ruins lie about thirty-five m. NE of modern Shiraz. From about 519 on, it was one of the principal residences of the king. Darius had an enormous terrace constructed near a natural hill, the floor of the terrace being partly excavated and partly raised with massive stone blocks fastened in place by iron staples set with lead. Since Darius made use of craftsmen and builders from Susa, the palace and decorations are very similar to the Achaemenid buildings at that site. On this terrace were raised seventy-two massive columns some sixty-five ft. in height, which were surmounted with elaborate capitals formed like