The Earth and Its Peoples Chapter 3

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Key Words:Notes:
Ancient Iran 1000-500 B.C.E.| 1) In the sixth century B.C.E. the vigorous Persians of southwest Iran created the largest empire the world had yet seen.| | |
Geography and Resources| 1) Iran boundaries|
IBHE| a) West: Zagros Mountains|
| b) North/NW: Caucasus Mountains & Caspian Sea| | c) East/SE: Mountains of Afghanistan & desert of Baluchistan | | d) SW: Persian Gulf|
| 2) The northeast is less protected by natural boundaries, and from that direction Iran was open to attacks by the nomads of Central Asia. | | 3) Humans trying to survive in these harsh lands had to find ways to exploit limited water resources. | | e) Iran did not have a dense population.|

| 4) In the first millennium B.C.E. irrigation enabled people to move down from the mountain valleys and open the plains to agriculture.| | 5) A buildup of salt in the soil or a falling water table sometimes forced the abandonment of settlements.| | |

The Rise of the Persian Empire| 1) Groups of people, called “Iranians” b/c they shared cultural characteristics, spread out across western & Central Asia| Political| 2) The Medes were the first to achieve complex level of political organization.| | 3) The Persian rulers cemented their relationship with the Median court through marriage. | | 4) Cyrus (Kurush), the son of a Persian chieftain and a Median princess, united the various Persian tribes and overthrew the Median monarch around 550 B.C.E. | | 5) Cyrus placed both Medes and Persians in positions of responsibility and retained the framework of Median rule. | | a) The differences between them were small & Greeks could not readily tell them apart.| Social| 6) Patriarchal family organization|

| b) Male: head of household had near absolute authority| | 7) Classes of Society|
| c) Warriors: Dominant. A landowning aristocracy, they took pleasure in hunting, fighting, and gardening. The king was the most illustrious member of this group.| | d) Priests (Magi): Ritual specialists who supervised the proper performance of sacrifices.| | e) Peasants: Common people. Primarily village-based farmers & shepherds.|

Cornell Note Taking Template

Key Words:Notes:
Political| 8) Over the course of two decades the energetic Cyrus (r. 550–530 B.C.E.) redrew the map of western Asia.| | 9) Cyrus showed respect to the Babylonian priesthood and had his son crowned king in accordance with native traditions.| | 10) After Cyrus lost his life in 530 B.C.E. while campaigning against a coalition of nomadic Iranians in the northeast, his son Cambyses set his sights on Egypt.| | f) Greek sources depict Cambyses as a cruel and impious madman.| | g) Contemporary documents from Egypt show him operating in the same practical vein as his father, cultivating local priests and notables and respecting native traditions.| | 11) When Cambyses died in 522 B.C.E., Darius I seized the throne.| | h) His success in crushing many early challenges to his rule was a testimony to his skill, energy, and ruthlessness.| | 12) From this reign forward, Medes played a lesser role, and the most important posts went to members of leading Persian families.| | |

Imperial Organization & Ideology| 1) The empire of Darius I was the largest the world had yet seen| Political| a) Stretching from eastern Europe to Pakistan, from southern Russia to Sudan| | b) It included many ethnic groups and forms of social & political organization| | 2) He created a new organizational structure that was maintained throughout the remaining two centuries of the empire’s existence.| | c) He divided the empire into 20 provinces.|

| i) Each under supervision...
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