If Persia Had Conquered Greece, Would the World Have Turned Out Better?

Ancient Greek culture was a strong influence on later civilisations after 480 BCE, when Greek city-states, in alliance with Athens, defeated the attacking Persians.

But what if the Persians had won? Their empire had served as a model for others. They did not oppress conquered states, but improved their infrastructure and took taxes. Their religion, Zoroastrianism, was not aggressive and forbade slavery.

The Greeks had great philosophers, architects and artists, but took slaves and were brutal in war.  During the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians slaughtered the men and enslaved the women of Melos, a Spartan colony declaring its neutrality, so as not to look weak. The Greeks proclaimed that ‘the strong can do what they like and the weak must suffer’. Is that an ideal basis for a civilisation?

I graduated in English language and literature with Latin subsidiary. I write poetry, act, and have worked in reference and educational publishing for decades. I was commissioned in 1994 to write The Ladybird Book of Kings and Queens, did extensive editing and writing for Harraps 20th-century History series, and was one of the contributors to Helicon's Book of the Millennium, a 4-volume children's world history book.