Online Resources


The Threefold Path of Zoroastrianism in Middle Persian: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds

The AID Project is only meant to give a brief introduction to the culture of ancient Iran.  Other scholars have created much more extensive, exhaustive databases online, and if anything on this site appeals to you, we encourage you to explore what they have to offer.  We've sorted them below by category:


Encyclopedia Iranica, the biggest and most important resource for the Iranian world, was compiled by Ehsan Yarshater starting in 1973 and now includes contributions by over 1,300 scholars on nearly every aspect of Iranian history and culture, from ancient times to the present. Start here!

Achemenet, built by French Iranologist Pierre Briant, presents a detailed catalog of material, textual, and iconographic remains from the Achaemenid period.

Parthian Sources Online, created by Jake Nabel of Penn State University, offers translations of key texts and a host of references for studying the history of the Arsacid dynasty (ca. 247 BC-224 CE).

Sasanika, a project developed by the University of California Irvine, is specifically devoted to the Sasanian Empire (ca. 224-651 CE).  While still a work in progress, it contains valuable lists of primary sources and information on Sasanian archaeological remains.


Iranian religion was complex and diverse.  Below, we have included links to Zoroastrian (Mazdayasnian), Jewish, and Christian resources. - Dedicated to providing an online resource for Zoroastrians, this site includes the main Zoroastrian scriptures, later commentaries, and links to Avestan and Pahlavi dictionaries and grammars.  Visitors should be aware that it is not an academic site and that scholarly studies on Zoroastrianism are best found elsewhere, but as a center for the writings itself, it is unbeatable. - The Talmud, a collection of ancient commentaries on Jewish law, coalesced under the aegis of the Sasanian Empire.  Halakhah offers an accessible English translation for readers who want to explore the legacy of Judaism east of the Tigris. - Syriac Christianity was one of the key religions of the Sasanian period, and Syriac writers record details about history, culture, and even folklore that otherwise would go unwritten.  This site includes links to Syriac hagiography (stories about the lives of saints) from the end of the Sasanian Empire.  While the details of the lives themselves should be taken as legends rather than history, they give a sense of Iranian culture just before the coming of Islam.

Art and Architecture

Persepolis and Ancient Iran, a site run by the Oriental Institute of Chicago, preserves photographic archives of one of Iran's most valuable cultural monuments: Persepolis, the winter capital of the Achaemenids. Click here for a list of some of the most important buildings.

Unlocking Stories from Objects - using objects from ancient Persia from the British Museum, senior curator St. John Simpson demonstrates how close study and analysis can reveal an entire culture.