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Iron Age Empires: Introduction Iron metallurgy begins around 1500BCE with the Hittites 600 BCE – 600 CE Age of large empires encompassing multiple people.

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Presentation on theme: "Iron Age Empires: Introduction Iron metallurgy begins around 1500BCE with the Hittites 600 BCE – 600 CE Age of large empires encompassing multiple people."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iron Age Empires: Introduction Iron metallurgy begins around 1500BCE with the Hittites 600 BCE – 600 CE Age of large empires encompassing multiple people groups Iron allows larger, more complex, and more coercive government structures. It also causes population to grow (better military equipment/better plows)

2 Main Questions for Time Period II In pre-modern times, how do rulers govern large territories and establish unity, stability, and prosperity? How do Empires operate politically and socially? What kinds of cultural characteristics are seen in empires? What developments occurred within trade and religion during the period 600 BCE – 600 CE?

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4 Persian Empire Located in modern Iran By 500 BCE, it consisted of everything between Egypt, Turkey and modern India, and included the old center of civilization, Mesopotamia Problem? – how to unify these very different areas

5 Relief of two Persian Magi This stone relief from Dascylium, headquarters of the Persian governor in northwest Anatolia, shows two magi wearing veils over their mouths and holding bundles of sticks used in the ceremony of sacrifice. The Persian kings and their subordinates were Zoroastrians, and it is likely that Zoroastrianism spread to the provinces, where significant numbers of Persians lived, and influenced the beliefs of other peoples. (Courtesy, Archaeological Museums of Istanbul) Relief of two Persian Magi Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

6 Methods of Unification 1.Common Religion – the Persian Empire followed Zoroastrianism and encouraged it, but did NOT impose it –Lesson: Religious Toleration is GOOD 2. Communications – Royal Roads were built connecting the empire 3. Delegating power – Satraps (governors) were appointed to rule outlying territories 4. Displays of power – Persepolis, the capital, contained huge monumental structures;

7 Methods of Unification 5. Keep the People Happy – Persians used a new technology called the qanat system (underground irrigation canals): Food = Happy People Elites who were taken over in conquest often were made bureaucrats and wealth was given to these elites by the Shah (King)

8 Persepolis Darius I began the elaborate citadel; his son, Xerxes, continued its construction; and his grandson, Artaxerxes I, completed the magnificent city of Persepolis, which was a confluence of styles--Median, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek. Only portions of the audience hall remain. (George Holton/Photo Researchers, Inc.) Persepolis Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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10 Tomb of Cyrus Cyrus the Great (r B.C.E.), king of the Persians, was one of the most remarkable statesmen of antiquity. For all his greatness Cyrus retained a sense of perspective. His tomb, though monumental in size, is rather simple and unostentatious. Greek writers reported that it bore the following epitaph: "O man, I am Cyrus the son of Cambyses. I established the Persian Empire and was king of Asia. Do not begrudge me my memorial." (The Oriental Institute, University of Chicago) Tomb of Cyrus Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

11 Continuity or Change? What methods seem similar to the River Valley Civilizations? Different? EVENTUAL PROBLEMS: Persia clashed with Greece, as the Greek city-states unified and attempted to fight back the expanding Persian Empire Eventually, the Greeks unified under Alexander the Great, who defeated Persia in military campaigns


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