Achaemenid Empire

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One of the empires in Asia

Transcript of Achaemenid Empire


  • ACHAEMENID EMPIRECyrus the Great built the Persian Empire at around 539 B.C. in Southwestern Iran

    The end came with Alexander the Great's overthrow of Darius III (the last Achaemenid ruler)

  • People of PersiaMedes and Persians for a time, they lived under Assyrian and Babylonian rule spoke Indo-European languages had considerable military power When the Assyrian and Babylonian empire weakened, the Medes and Persians launched their military campaign

  • Shift of PowerThe collapse of the Neo-Babylon Empire, disappearance of Nabonidus (its last ruler), and the entry of Cyrus into Babylon

    There occurred a dramatic shift of power away from The Land of the Two Rivers northeastward into the Zagros Mountains, which separate Mesopotamia from the Iranian plateau

  • Mobilization of Resources Tribal Confederacy Each of these tribes inhabited a certain part of Persia, and their territories were well defined oligarchic system social classes: ruling class clergy artisans herdsmenOpportunities were offered by the Assyrian and Babylonian empire's decline Expanding economic activity meant increased prosperity and also additional resources and revenues for the state

  • Military Pacification Cyrus promptly enlarged his military manpower by winning over the recently defeated Medes

    The subjugation of Mesopotamia added a vast population of skilled and disciplined cultivators and artisans whose labor provided a regular revenue base

  • Rulers of the Achaemenid Empire Cyrus the Great Darius the Great Xerxes I Alexander the Great

  • Cyrus the Great ( 550-530 BC)laid the foundations of the Achaemenid empirehe was a tolerant rulerhe allowed different cultures within his empire to keep their own institutionsthe Jews called him, "The Anointed of the Lord"He set free the Jewish captives that had been moved to Babylon since the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and gave back the stolen ornaments of the Temple of Jerusalem and money to rebuild that Temple

  • Cyrus the Great

    Established a vast empire stretching from India to MediterraneanCyrus died in the battle with the Sakas in 530 BC, drawn into the steppes beyond the Syr Darya by a cunning ruseAt the time of his death, the empire already embraced much of West Asia

  • Tomb of Cyrus the Great

  • Cambyses (r. 529-522 B.C.)son of Cyrus the Greatconquered Egyptthe Achaemenid frontier advanced down the Nile as far as the First Cataract

  • Darius the Great (r. 521-486 B.C.) Best organizer among Persian kings

    Extended the Persian empire to the Indus river Northern India

    Built the largest empire in world history: conquered Indus Valley

    Ruled more than 70 ethnic groups

  • Darius the Great Built new capital at Persepolis, 520 B.C.E.

  • Darius the GreatMaybe not a great army general, but certainly the greatest of politicians

    Darius recognised the first need for the rule of his empire, and that were roads. Wide and long roads connected all of the Persian empire together, and along with the first postal system in the world (Barid), helped facilitate the communication.

  • Darius the GreatHe created a major road system for Iran, coined money(Darik), and finished Cyrus incomplete job of invasion. Established a tax-collecting systemBuilt a canal in Egypt connecting the nile and the red seaQanat- system of underground canalsDarius passed away in Persepolis,December of 485 BC

  • Tomb of Darius I

  • Xerxes I (r. 486-465 B.C.)Unfortunately, Xerxes did not continue Cyrus and Darius' tolerance for other traditions

    His policies led to rebellions which culminated in the Persian Wars with Greece

    successor: Artaxerxes III (his death led to the rapid fall of the regime)

  • The Wars with Greece1.The Persian Wars (500-479 B.C.E.) Ionian Greeks rebelled Greek free city states sent aid to rebels Persian rulers put down rebellion2.Darius invaded Greece to punish GreeksWon battle of ThermopylaeDid not live long enough to finish job3.Xerxes (reigned 486-465 B.C.E.) Retreated from the policy of cultural toleration Caused ill will and rebellions among subject peoplesLost both land and sea battles to GreeksBattles of MarathonBattle of Salamis

  • Alexander the Great I (331-330 B.C.) In 334 BC, Alexander invaded Persia with an experienced army of 48, 000 Macedonians Alexander confiscated the wealth in the treasury at Persepolis, proclaimed himself heir to the Achaemenid rulers and burned the city After Alexanders death:His chief generals divided the empire into three large realms which they divided among themselves:SeleucidsParthiansSasanids

  • Persian ReligionZoroastrinism emerged from teachings of Zarathustra/Zoroasterearliest Persian religion resembled that of the Aryans

    Zoroastrian teachings Ahura Mazda as a supreme deity, with six lesser deities Heavenly paradise and hellish realm as reward and punishment Moral formula: good words, good thoughts, good deeds

  • Persian Religion

    Popularity of Zoroastrianism Attracted Persian aristocrats and ruling elites Darius regarded Ahura Mazda as supreme God The faith was most popular in Iran Sizable followings in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, and other regions

  • Religions of SalvationZoroastrian community suffered during Alexander's invasion

    The Zoroastrians' difficulties Extreme rivalries with Christianity (Orthodox, Monophysites)Some Zoroastrians fled to India Remaining Zoroastrians converted to Islam Few faithful Zoroastrians still exist in modern day Iran

    Influence of Zoroastrians Influence on Jewish religion: belief in future reward and punishment Influence on Christianity: concepts of heaven and hell Later influenced Islam; one of Muhammads protected faiths