2 Section 4: The Persian Empire Main IdeaThe Persians formed one of the largest and best governed empires in the ancient world and made great cultural achievements.ObjectivesWho shaped the growth and organization of the Persian Empire?What were the main teachings of Zoroastrianism?What were the most significant Persian achievements?
3 I. Growth and Organization At the height of its power, the Persian Empire encompassed approx. 8 million square kilometers and spanned the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. It included Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of India, Saudi Arabia and Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt as far west as Libya.
4 A. Persia under the Medes Persians and Medes: Indo-European tribes that settled in present-day Iran
5 A. Persia under the Medes c. 600 BC - Media conquered Persians; Persians allowed to keep leaders if they did not rebel
6 B. Cyrus the GreatThe Standard of Cyrus the Great. Called the Derafsh-e Shahbaz-e-Talayi or the 'Golden Falcon'.
7 B. Cyrus the Great559 BC - Cyrus became king; defeated Medes in 549 BC and expanded the Persian EmpireCyrus the Great - (c. 600 BC-530 BC) 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
8 B. Cyrus the GreatConquered Lydian's and Chaldeans, freed Jews in Babylon, gained respect of conquered
9 Tomb of Cyrus II of Persia at Pasargadae B. Cyrus the Great530 BC – Cyrus died in battle; his son Cambyses – a tyrant and madman – added EgyptTomb of Cyrus II of Persia at Pasargadae
10 Persian Immortals, found in Darius' palace in Susa C. Darius I522 BC – Darius emerged as emperor after death of Cambyses; created standing army and expanded empirePersian Immortals, found in Darius' palace in Susa
11 C. Darius IDarius surrounded himself with ceremony and ritual; created satraps to help governPersepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca BCE)
12 D. Persia in DeclineDarius’s son Xerxes failed to conquer the Greeks; empire declined, conquered by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C.
13 Zoroaster, aka Zarathushtra (c.630-550 BC??) II. ZoroastrianismDuring reign of Cyrus, Zoroastrian religion emerged; based on teachings of ZoroasterZoroaster, aka Zarathushtra (c BC??)
14 A. TeachingsZoroaster taught dualism – world controlled by struggle between good, the god Ahura Mazda, and evil, the spirit AhrimanAhura Mazda from the Hall of One Hundred ColumnsA Persian king fighting with Ahriman
15 A. TeachingsTeachings are recorded in the Avesta; people have free will to choose between good and evil; good will triumph in the end
16 Zarathustra warned the people that there would be a Last Judgment Zarathustra warned the people that there would be a Last Judgment. At the end of times, angels were to lead all men and women across a narrow bridge, where they would be judged by Spenta Manyu (described as a beautiful maiden); the friends of The Lie would fall into a large chasm of fire called Worst Existence, but the followers of Zarathustra were to reach Paradise, which goes by the name of House of Best Purpose
17 Ahura Mazda gives a crown to the Persian king Ardechir I B. SpreadThe religion spread; Darius and others worshipped Ahura Mazda, discouraged other religionsAhura Mazda gives a crown to the Persian king Ardechir I
19 III. Persian Achievements Many diverse peoples blended into a single Persian culture; cultural unity led to peace
20 A. CommunicationMessengers relayed news on a network of roads; 1500 mile-long Royal Road was world’s first long highway“Nothing mortal travels so fast as these Persian messengers… Along the whole line of road there are men stationed with horses…and these men will not be hindered from accomplishing at their best speed the distance which they have to go, either by snow, or rain, or heat, or by the darkness of night.” Herodotus
21 Staircase in Persepolis- a lion bringing down a horse B. Art and ArchitectureAnimals were a common subject; greatest example of architecture was PersepolisStaircase in Persepolis- a lion bringing down a horse