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Back to Mesopotamia: the Rise of Persia

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1 Back to Mesopotamia: the Rise of Persia

2 History of Persia Built upon the collective culture of ancient Mesopotamian and Fertile Crescent Empires (from Sumerians, Babylonians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians) Ancient Persian people’s came south from the Caucasus Mt./Caspian Sea regions Settled on land just North of Persian Gulf (in modern day Iran)

3 Where Was it? When was it? 550 B.C.

4 1st Great King, Cyrus (Syruhs)
Was a military genius who began conquering surrounding peoples and unifying land from Med. Sea and Anatolia to Indus R. in the East Was a rather benevolent ruler for his time, prevented looting and pillaging, allowed local leaders to remain, allowed Jews to continue practicing their religion Died in battle protecting his region

5 Cyrus’ Successors Most notable one was Darius (dairyus)
Was able to keep Persia strong and keep the region unified (even in parts of Egypt that were revolting because of inept rulers after Cyrus’ death)… the only place he never conquered was Greece. Empire extended 2,500 miles and it’s capital was in Persepolis. He DID NOT look like he was portrayed in the movie 300. Check out this youtube link on what Perspolis might have looked like

6 Best Qualities of Persian Rule
Had tolerance for conquered peoples The Persians did not make people slaves Darius’ created an imperial bureaucracy whereby he had his large territory divided into provinces that were ruled by regional leaders known as Satraps… these rulers allowed locals to follow local customs and laws and they administered areas along with tax collectors and military leaders loyal to Persia These people ensured that locals paid taxes/tribute to the Persian king They included inspectors that were the King’s “eyes and ears”

7 The Royal Road Darius also united the empire by massive road construction projects… one of the most important of these was the creation of the Royal road from Sardis in Anatolia to Susa near the Persian homeland.. The road was over 1,677 miles long.

8 Created a Standardized Coin
This allowed for easier trade across the empire, people didn’t have to weigh gold or silver before exchanging goods.

9 The Zoroastrian Religion
Prophet was Zoroaster (600 B.C.) - grappled with why there should be suffering (remind you of anything?) Earth is a battle ground where good and evil collide and each person must choose sides and fight in the battle Dualisms: Good/Evil, Heaven/Hell, Satan/God, Angels/Demons, etc. … many later religions borrowed these thoughts from Zoroastrianism

10 Assignment Write and acrostic poem using the phrase, Persian Empire
An acrostic poem is one in which each line of the poem begins with a letter in the poem’s main thematic phrase P E R And so on … Include some of the most important things you’ve learned and, now thought, about the Persians

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