The rise and fall of the Persian Empires
The Achaemenid Empire
Medes and Persians migrated from central Asia to Persia before 1000 B.C.E. Indo-European speakers, sharing cultural traits with Aryans
Challenged the Assyrian and Babylonian empires
Cyrus the Achaemenid (the Shepherd) (reigned 558-530 B.C.E.) Became king of Persian tribes in 558 B.C.E.
All of Iran under his control by 548 B.C.E.
Established a vast empire from India to borders of Egypt
Cyrus's son, Cambyses (reigned 530-522 B.C.E.), conquered Egypt in 525 Darius (reigned 521-486 B.C.E.); largest extent of empire; population thirty-five million Diverse empire, seventy ethnic groups
New capital at Persepolis, 520 B.C.E.
Twenty-three satrapies (Persian governors), appointed by central government Local officials were from local population
Satraps' power was checked by military officers and "imperial spies" Replaced irregular tribute payments with formal taxes
Standardization of coins and laws
Communication systems: Persian Royal Road and postal stations Decline and fall of the Achaemenid Empire
Commonwealth: law, justice, administration led to political stability and public works Xerxes (reigned 486-465 B.C.E.)
Retreated from the policy of cultural toleration
Caused ill will and rebellions among the peoples in Mesopotamia and Egypt The Persian Wars (500-479 B.C.E.)
Rebellion of Ionian Greeks
Persian rulers failed to put down the rebellion, sparred for 150 years Alexander of Macedon invaded Persia in 334 B.C.E.
Battle of Gaugamela, the end of Achaemenid empire, in 331 B.C.E. Alexander burned the city of Persepolis
The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanid Empires
Seleucus inherited most of Achaemenid when Alexander died
Retained the Achaemenid system of administration
Opposition from native Persians; lost control over northern India and Iran The Parthians, based in Iran, extend to Mesopotamia
Power of Parthian was heavy cavalry
Mithradates I established a empire...
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