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The rise and fall of the Persian Empires

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1 The rise and fall of the Persian Empires
EMPIRES of PERSIA The rise and fall of the Persian Empires

2 The Achaemenid Empire Medes and Persians migrated from central Asia to Persia before 1000 B.C.E. Indo-European speakers, sharing cultural traits with Aryans Challenged the Assyrian and Babylonian empires

3 Cyrus the Achaemenid (the shepherd) (reigned 558-530 B.C.E.)
Became king of Persian tribes in 558 B.C.E. All of Iran under his control by 548 B.C.E. Established a vast empire from India to borders of Egypt

4 Cyrus’s son Cambyses reigned 530-522 B.C.E.

5 Darius (reigned 521-486B.C.E.) largest extent of empire; population 35 million
Diverse empire, seventy ethnic groups New capital at Persepolis 520 B.C.E.

6 Achaemenid administration
23 satrapies (Persian governors), appointed by central government Local officials were from local population Satraps’ power was checked by military officers and imperial spies Replaced irregular tribute payments with formal taxes

7 Standardization of coins and laws
Communication systems: Persian Royal Road and postal stations

8 Xerxes (reigned B.C.E.) Retreated from the policy of cultural toleration Caused ill will and rebellions among the peoples in Mesopotamia and Egypt

9 Decline and fall of Achaemenid Empire
Commonwealth: law, justice, administration led to political stability and public works

10 The Persian Wars (500-479 B.C.E.)
Rebellion of Ionian Greeks Persian rulers failed to put down the rebellion, sparred for 150 years

11 Alexander of Macedon invaded Persia in 334 B.C.E.
Battle of Gaugamela, the end of the Achaemenid empire , in 331 B.C.E. Alexander burns the city of Persepolis

12 The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanid Empires
Seleucus inherited most of Achaemenid when Alexander died Retained the Achaemenid system of administration Opposition from native Persians; lost control over northern India and Iran

13 The Parthians, based in Iran, extend to Mesopotamia
Power of Parthian was heavy cavalry Mithradates I established an empire through conquests from B.C.E. Parthian government followed the example of Achaemenid administration

14 The Sasanids, from Persia, toppled Parthians; ruled 224-651 C.E.
Merchants brought in various crops from India and China Shapur I ( C.E.); buffer states with Romans; standoff with Kushan In 651 C.E., empire incorporated into Islamic empire

15 Imperial Society and Economy
Social development in classical Persia Nomadic society, importance of family and clan relationships Imperial bureaucrats Imperial administration called for educated bureaucrats Shared power and influence with warriors and clan leaders

16 Free classes were bulk of Persian society
In the city: artisans, craftsmen, merchants, civil servants In the countryside: peasants built underground canals Large class of slaves who were prisoners of war and debtors

17 Economical foundations of classical Persia
Agriculture was economic foundation Trade from India to Egypt Standardized coins, good trade routes, markets, and banks Specialization of production in different regions

18 Religions of salvation in classical Persian society
Zorathustra and his faith Zoroastrianism Emerged from the teachings of Zarathustra

19 Visions: supreme god (Ahura Mazda) made Zarathustra prophet
The Gathas, Zarathustra’s hymns in honor of deities Teachings preserved later in writing, by magi Compilation of holy scriptures, Avesta, under Sasanid dynasty

20 Zoroastrian teachings
Ahura Mazda as a supreme deity, with 6 lesser deities Cosmic conflict between Ahura Mazda (good) and Angra Mainyu (evil) Heavenly paradise and hellish realm as reward and punishment The material world as a blessing Moral formula: good words, good thoughts, good deeds

21 Popularity of Zoroastrianism grows from sixth century B.C.E.
Attracted Persian aristocrats and ruling elites Darius regarded Ahura Mazda as supreme God Most popular in Iran; followings in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Egypt, and more

22 Religions of salvation in a cosmopolitan society
Suffering of Zoroastrian community during Alexander’s invasion Officially sponsored Zoroastrianism during the Sasanid empire The Zoroastrian’ difficulties Islamic conquerors toppled the Sasanid empire, seventh century B.C.E. Some Zoroastrians fled to India (Parsis) Most Zoroastrians converted to Islam Some Zoroastrians still exist in modern-day Iran

23 Zoroastrianism influenced Judaism, Christianity, and later Islam
Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism, Judaism also in Persia

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