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Persia, the Greeks, and Alexander. “Persians” began in Central Asia as farmers and nomadic horse and sheep breeders. “Iranic” tribes: – Persians – Medes.

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Presentation on theme: "Persia, the Greeks, and Alexander. “Persians” began in Central Asia as farmers and nomadic horse and sheep breeders. “Iranic” tribes: – Persians – Medes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Persia, the Greeks, and Alexander

2 “Persians” began in Central Asia as farmers and nomadic horse and sheep breeders. “Iranic” tribes: – Persians – Medes – Parthians – Bactrians – Scythians “Iran” translates as “Aryan”

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4 Cyrus II, “The Great” ( c. 590–530 BCE) Cyrus II of the Achaemenids – vassal of Medes until taking power in 550 BCE. Expanding into – Anatolia – Afghanistan – Mesopotamia – Syria – Egypt. Conquests achieved with lightly armed mounted archers and heavily armored horsemen known as cataphracts. Military included Greek hoplites, or foot soldiers, from Anatolia.

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7 Persian navy included galleys...

8 Ancient scatological humor: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap.“ Sumerian, c 1900 BCE

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10 Persian Empire Large and culturally diverse empire. – limited central bureaucracy. – 30 largely autonomous provinces. – Satraps (provincial governors) enforced Persian law collected taxes and tribute sent troops to the royal army as required.

11 The Persian Emperor – shahinshah, or “king of kings.” Cyrus the Great’s official title: “The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, King of the four corners of the World.”

12 Key to Persian government... Communication network. – Royal roads linked capital of Persepolis to Anatolia and Mesopotamia. – Marked and protected by satraps distance markers Inns – Allowed for quick troop movements and facilitated trade.

13 Of the Persian courier system... “It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.”

14 Of the Persian courier system... “It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.”

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16 Greece Politically divided – Independent city-states -- polis Culturally united – Language – History – Oracles – Olympic games. Two largest cities: – Athens (200,000 people) – Sparta (140,000 people).

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18 Athens Economy based on agriculture – wine – olive oil – nuts and fruit Agricultural goods traded for grains and metals. Reforms in under Solon (594 BCE) and Cleisthenes (508 BCE) – created alliance between elite landowners and small farmers.

19 Sparta Athens’s main rival – Larger land area and thus more agriculture. Citizenship limited to landowners. – Council of Elders (30 members) – Board of Overseers (5 members) – 2 hereditary kings Society = Army – All male citizens – Began training at age 7 – Lived with army until age 30 – Allowed to marry and have families. Women also given physical training. Farming class made up of helots, essentially slaves

20 Athens’ “Golden Age” Reforms Pericles, c. 450 BCE, led to Golden Age of democracy. – Voting limited to male citizens ( 1/3 of the population) – Comparable to unban assemblies in Mesopotamia or India War between Greece and Persia, – 499 BC BC

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22 Ionian Revolt BCE to 493 BCE Darius vows to punish the Greeks – Athens and Eretria 492 BCE – Thrace conquered – Macedon becomes a client kingdom 491 BCE – – Most Greek cities submit to the Persians – Athens and Sparta execute the Persian emissaries 490 BCE - Persians land at Marathon

23 11,000 Greeks 25,000+ Persians Pheidippides runs to Sparta (130 mi.) -- Spartans can’t come for 10 days. Greeks defeat the Persians Greeks & 6,400 Persians dead. Athenians march back to defend Athens Persian fleet sails away.

24 “Phase II” 486 BCE - Egypt revolted against Persian rule. – Darius dies, succeeded by Xerxes – Xerxes suppresses the Egyptian revolt – Begins to prepare for total conquest of Greece 481 BCE - Xerxes asks for “earth and water” from the Greeks, except Athens and Sparta 480 BCE - A number of cities unite with Athens and Sparta

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26 Athens (Themistocles) commands the Greek fleet. Other Greeks block the pass at Thermopylae – 300 Spartans (Leonidas) – 1,000 Phoceans – 4,000+ Greeks from other cities Early sources: 5,200 – 11,200

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28 Xerxes’ army “The number, then, of those whom Xerxes son of Darius led as far as... Thermopylae was 5,283,220.” -- Heroditus Modern estimates:70,000 – 300,000

29 Greek dead: 4,000 Persian dead: 20,000

30 “Go tell the Spartans, thou who passeth by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.”

31 “ Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι. ” "O Stranger, send the news home to the people of Sparta that here we Are laid to rest: the commands they gave us have been obeyed."

32 “Obedience in its highest form is not obedience to a constant and compulsory law, but a persuaded or voluntarily yielded obedience to an issued command.” - John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) But the Greeks could not maintain their unity.

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