Sample Theme Based Chapter Outline—Chapter 7
Interaction Between Humans and the Environment
Migration of Indo-European Medes peoples into Mesopotamia and Persia Migration of Parthian people into Persia
Population increases with advances in agricultural production
Development and Interaction of Cultures
Thriving artistic and architectural traditions develop in places like Persepolis under the Achaemenids Spread of Hellenistic culture under the Selucids
Development of Zoroastrian religion under Achaemenids, state supported Features of Zoroastrianism—polytheistic, but a salvation religion. Well developed ideas of good and evil based on two major deities, Ahura Mazda and Agra Manu. Zoroastrianism heavily influenced Christian ideas of good and evil. General religious tolerance under the Achaemenids
Zoroastrianism generally tolerated under Parthians and Selucids. Becomes state religion again under Sanasids. Zoroastrianism largely destroyed as major religious movement by Arab conquests in 7th Century.
State Building, Expansion and Conflict
Achaemenids develop vast classical empire.
Highly centralized government based on imperial rule and run by professional bureaucratic class. Satrapies are governmental units run by satraps, similar to governors who report directly to the emperor. Becomes model for all future dynasties Use of imperial spies and audit to keep track of satraps by the emperor Achaemenids militarily powerful, conquer vast empire but fail to conquer Greece, losing wars in 490 BCE and 480 BCE. Critical battles are Marathon and Salamis. Important emperors are Cyrus (the founder) Darius (who expands empire to greatest extent) and Xerxes (who backs off from usual Persian policy of tolerance toward conquered peoples. Achaemenids conquered by Alexander the Great’s Macedonian/Greek army After Alexander’s death his empire is divided among his generals. Greatest part of empire, including the heart of Persia and Mesopotamia goes to general...
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