Presentation on theme: "Peoples of the Bible: Achaemenid Persia"— Presentation transcript:
1 Peoples of the Bible: Achaemenid Persia Nick Noppinger
2 Who were the Achaemenid Persian’s An Indo-European Western Iranian peoples.
3 Iranian Empires List of dynasties described as a Persian Empire Median Empire ( BC)Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC)Seleucid Empire (312–63 BC) (Remnant of Alexander)Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD), also called the "Arsacid Empire"Sasanian Empire (224–651), also called the "Empire of Empires"Muslim conquest of Persia (633–654)
4 Indo-European Invasions Triggered by Flooding of Black Sea 5600 B.C. (Conjectural)
6 Indo-Europeans Indo-Europeans (Aryan language) Nomadic tribes From Steppes of AsiaHerders and GrazersWarfare using horsesSwept into Old Europe, Middle East, Indiastarting about 5,000 BCHittites
7 Indo-European Conquerors Aryans in IndiaHittites and Mittani in the Fertile CrescentLuwians in Anatolia (Turkey)Kurgans in eastern EuropeBattle-Axe PeopleAchaeans, Dorians in GreeceIranians to Caspian Region
14 Elamite EmpireProto-Elamite: c – c BC (Proto-Elamite script in Susa)Old Elamite period: c – c BC (earliest documents until the Eparti dynasty)Middle Elamite period: c – c BC (Anzanite dynasty until the Babylonian invasion of Susa)Neo-Elamite period: c – 540 BC (characterized Assyrian and Median influence. 539 BC marks the beginning of the Achaemenid period.)
18 Median EmpireMost of what we know comes from Greek sources, but does not always seem to align with royal records.No Median documentary evidence
19 Median Empire Very little “Median” archaeology Ecbatana (modern day Hamadan)What we do knowThey along with the Babylonians, and others defeated AssyriaMedes and Persians are related-both Iranian languagesMedes were absorbed into Persian EmpireMedized is synonymous with Persia.Persian royal line, may have had Mede blood.
20 Median Empire Religion- Zoroastrianism? Possible worship of Mithras. An Empire or coalition?
24 Problems with Greek Sources Often fragmentaryBiased- if you were not Greek you were barbariansTo a Greek the Persians were effeminate barbariansPersian invades Greece twiceAeschylus EpitaphAeschylus, Euphorion’s sonof Athens, lies under this stonedead in Gela among the whitewheatlands; a man at needgood in fight—witness the hallowed field of Marathon,witness the long-haired Mede.
26 Sources1st mention of Persians, as a distinct group is in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th Century BC (800’s)Persian sources are not historical records in the modern or even Greek use of the term.Usually an account to the God they worshipped or something that we would call a propaganda piece.Business records tend to be more accurate but often lack descriptionLineages of Kings often have major discrepancies
27 Sources Why Achaemenid Persia? After the alleged dynastic founder AchaemenesFirst mentioned by Darius 1Archaeology is problematic
30 Kings and Family Autocratic rule Generally tolerant of non-Persians All Royal positions owed themselves ultimately to the KingMany wives, but one would be prominentWomen could be landholdersGreeks portrayed royal court as ruled by women and eunuchs
31 Government Offices such as Royal Secretary Royal Treasurers Head of Warehouses and GranariesPriestly hierarchyMilitary hierarchyFully functioning government bureaucracy down to local levelsPaid by King
32 The Empire Divided into Satrapies ruled by Satrap. Satrap could be a local ruler, but was often a member of the royal family
33 Satrapy System Developed from Cyrus to Darius 1 Satrapies often stayed within the same familyGreat autonomy in things except foreign affairsSatrap Secretary- Royal Watchdog on SatrapSatrap Garrison Commander answered to KingPaid taxes to central treasuryRoyal Road
34 Society Stayed at the station or level in which you were born. Possible but difficult to move up through the classesMany records are on Treasury Tablets called KurtashesOne talks of work at Persepolis in the reign of Darius 1 and mentions workers of Arab, Bactrian, Babylonian, Egyptians, Elamite, Ionian Greeks, and Thracians among the workers along with rates of pay in food.
35 Persian Empire Politics: “King of Kings” & satraps Economics: trade, tribute, taxesReligion: ZoroastrianismOften seen through Greek eyes….
46 Zoroastrianism 600 BC?? Dualistic cosmology Ahura Mazda- asha Angra Mainyu- rujAvesta- Gathas (poems)- Yasna (scripture)Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.
47 ZoroasterMagusMagiThere are some very strong suggestions that Cyrus was NOT a follower.The earliest royalist inscriptions that show a possibility is under Darius 1 (names of relatives with Zoroastrians names).
48 Astyages DreamDaughter Mandane- urination that flooded Asia- dream was interpreted that her son would depose him and rule.Refused to marry her to a Mede, had her marry the minor Persian noble CambysesOnce pregnant with Cyrus she was summoned back to Ecbatana for the baby to be killed.Royal Councilor Hapargus delegated the task to a shepherd named Mithradates.Mithradates substituted own stillborn son and raised CyrusAt age 10 Cyrus, during a game, had the son of a nobleman beaten. Cyrus summoned to court for the infraction, along with Mithradates Astyages realizes Cyrus is his grandson.
49 Astyages Dream Astyages sends Cyrus to his daughter. Summons the son of Hapargus, and has him butchered.Unknowingly, from Hapargus point of view, served to Hapargus at a great feast.At the end Astyages has his son’s head, hands and feet brought out on a platter revealing that Hapargus had engaged in cannibalism.Cyrus does rebel with the help of Hapargus.
50 Cyrus the Great 559 to 530BC Statesman Human rights General Ideal multi-ethnic empireinfluence
51 Cyrus1st mentioned in Babylonian Chronicles dated to late reign of Nabonidas.Conquers Media 553 or 550 BCConquers Asia Minor sometime around 546 BC.By 540 he had captured Elam
53 Conquest of BabyloniaNabonidus, his son and regent Belshazzar, had ordered cult statues from outlying Babylonian cities to be brought into the capital, suggesting that the conflict had begun possibly in the winter of 540 BCBattle of Opis- late September/early October ? 539October 29? 539 BC Cyrus enters Babylon and captures Nabonidus
55 Cyrus CylinderI am Cyrus, king of the universe, the great king, the powerful king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four quarters of the world, son of Cambyses, the great king,, king of the city of Anshan, grandson of Cyrus, the great king, ki[ng of the ci]ty of Anshan, descendant of Teispes, the great king, king of Anshan, the perpetual seed of kingship, whose reign Bel and Nabu love, and with whose kingship, to their joy, they concern themselves.
56 Cyrus the GreatFrom [Babylon] to Aššur and (from) Susa, Agade, Ešnunna, Zamban, Me-Turnu, Der, as far as the region of Gutium, the sacred centers on the other side of the Tigris, whose sanctuaries had been abandoned for a long time, I returned the images of the gods, who had resided there, to their places and I let them dwell in eternal abodes. I gathered all their inhabitants and returned to them their dwellings. In addition, at the command of Marduk, the great lord, I settled in their habitations, in pleasing abodes, the gods of Sumer and Akkad, whom Nabonidus, to the anger of the lord of the gods, had brought into Babylon.
57 Persia and the Bible Isaiah 45 Cyrus, God's Instrument45 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: 2 “I will go before you and level the exalted places,[a] I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, 3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places,
58 Ezra 1 The Proclamation of Cyrus 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”
59 Persia 74 verses that mention Persia 40 that mention Cyrus Esther- possibly Xerxes or ArtaxerxesBook of Daniel- Babylonian and Persian periods
60 Death of CyrusBC in battle against the Massagetae (modern Uzbekistan)
62 Persian ArmyInfantryImmortals, Sparabara, Takabara, later the CardacesMost linen armor with a wicker shieldImmortals and possibly Cardaces wore scale armorSparabara were levies with some to no trainingTakabara seems to have been lightly armored garrison troops???? Or probably peltasts
74 Darius the Great 522 to 486 BCBorn of Hystaspes, an officer and possible Satrap under CyrusHigh officer in Cambyses Army and son in lawCambyses brother, or Magi imposter named Gaumata, deposed him, Cambyses dies under dubious circumstances on the march to fight Bardiya.Darius deposed and killed Gaumata-Bardiya.
75 Darius the Great Moves into Indus Valley 515 Moves into modern Bulgaria 514Major Babylonian rebellion 513 BC