The harsh terrain in the area of modern Iran made it very difficult for humans to survive and find water sources. The arid climate meant more work for agriculture and agricultural surplus was very rare. Organizing the building of underground irrigation channels for agriculture required a strong central government. The connection between royal authority and prosperity can be seen in the ideology of the first Persian Empire. (p. 100, 102).
2. How did Persia rise from nomadic roots to become the largest land empire the world had ever seen?
Persia’s rise to power began with the marriage between a Persian and a Median. Cyrus, the son of a powerful Persian chief, married a Median princess. The Medes had been the first to achieve a complex political organization in Central Asia near western Iran. The Persians eventually overthrew the Median monarch but maintained the framework of the Median government. In Persian society the warrior was dominant. Over the course of two decades the Persian rulers and their armies redrew the map of western Asia from Anatolia to Mesopotamia and as far as the Indus region. Cyrus and his successors used the traditions of the local people and the creation of a new organizational structure to maintain control of their empire. (103-104)
3. Describe the family and social structure in the Persian Empire.
They had occupational and social classes. There were the warriors, priests, and peasants. The warriors were the aristocrats who enjoyed fighting, hunting, and gardening. The priests were the specialists in rituals and sacrifice, and the peasants were the working class, common people. The king and the royal family were at the top of the society. The king had several wives. Both Greek and Persian sources reveal that Persian elite women were politically powerful, possessed a good bit of property, traveled and were prominent on public occasions.(p. 104,105).
4. How were