“Is it not passing brave to be a King,
And ride in triumph through Persepolis?”

These lines from the sixteenth-century Playwright Christopher Marlowe are spoken by one of his greatest literary characters – the ebullient conqueror of Persia, Tamburlaine. In the play, based upon the extraordinary life of the fourteenth century Eurasian emperor, Marlowe imagines Tamburlaine making a decision: rather than pillaging the great city of Persepolis (now in modern day Iran), he will ride through in triumph as its new ruler.