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Vocabulary Words 1.Mountain – bundok 2.Valley – lambak 3.Plain – kapatagan 4.Sea – dagat.

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Presentation on theme: "Vocabulary Words 1.Mountain – bundok 2.Valley – lambak 3.Plain – kapatagan 4.Sea – dagat."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vocabulary Words 1.Mountain – bundok 2.Valley – lambak 3.Plain – kapatagan 4.Sea – dagat

2 Classical Societies: Persia

3 Rise of the Persian Empire The empire of Persia arose in Iran around the 6 th century B.C.E. The Medes and the Persians migrated from central Asia to Persia (SW Iran). For a time, they lived under Babylonian and Assyrian rule.

4 Rise of the Persian Empire The Medes and Persians spoke Indo-European languages. They were part of the larger Indo-European migrations. They shared many traits with distant cousins, the Aryans. They were mostly pastoralists. They were organized into clans rather than states.

5 Rise of the Persian Empire The Medes and Persians had considerable military power. They were expert equestrians like other steppe people. They were expert archers even on horses. They often raided the people of Mesopotamia.

6 Rise of the Persian Empire When the Assyrians and Babylonian empires weakened in the 6 th century B.C.E., the Medes and Persians launched their military campaign.

7 The Achaemenid Empire Cyrus the Achaemenid (558-530 B.C.E.) -from SW Iran -called Cyrus the Shepherd -Established first Persian Empire -Called Achaemenid after Cyrus’ clan. -king of the Persian tribe located in a mountain fortress near Pasargadae

8 Cyrus’s Persian Empire Cyrus the Achaemenid (558- 530 B.C.E.) -Initiated a rebellion against Median overlord -By 548 B.C.E., all of Iran was under his control. -He conquered Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), central Asia, and Bactria (modern day Afghanistan). -Within 20 years, his empire stretched from India to the border of Egypt.

9 The Achamenid Empire Cyrus’s son Cambyses conquered Egypt later and brought its wealth into Persian hands. The actions of this King caused rebellion to occur in the Persian empire. He ruled for 8 years before dying. After dying he left the thrown to his heir Darius.

10 The Achaemenid Empire Darius the Great (521-486 B.C.E.) Built the largest empire the world had ever seen. He was known for being a great administrator. The Achaemenid Empire had more than 70 different ethnic groups. He established an empire that provided for communication throughout.

11 The Achaemenid Empire Darius the Great (521- 486 B.C.E.) Centralized administration Built capital at Persepolis near Pasargadae –Reception halls –Royal residences –Military quarters –treasury

12 Persepolis: Aerial View

13 Carving of Persian Soldiers at Persepolis

14 Ancient Texts at Persepolis


16 Persepolis Persepolis was the administrative center and monument to the dynasty. Bustled with ministers, advisors, diplomats, scribes, accountants, translators and bureaucratic officers.

17 Political Structure of Darius’s Empire Balance between strong central power and local administration Governors were appointed to oversee various regions. Twenty-tree administrative and taxation districts governed by satraps Most satraps were Persian but local officials were recruited for some administrative posts.

18 Political Structure of Darius’s Empire Regulated tax by standardizing laws. Each satrapy had to pay a set quantity of silver to the imperial court. He standardized coins which encouraged trade. He did not interfere with local laws but he sometimes modified them to make the empire run more smoothly.

19 Persian Royal Road Construction began during the Achaemenid Empire. Parts were paved with stone. Stretched 1600 miles from Aegean Sea to Anatolia, through Mesopotamia to the capital of Persepolis in Iran. It took caravans 90 days to travel this road, lodging at inns along the well-policed route.

20 Persian Royal Road Courier service with 111 postal stations 25 to 30 miles apart on the Royal Road Each station had a supply of horses for couriers. This system facilitated trade with various regions.

21 Xerxes Xerxes was a powerful king of the Persian Empire. He was focused on conquering the city states of Greece during his reign as king. Xerxes was the son of Darius and he ruled from 486 BC to 465 BC. Xerxes devoted his reign to attempting to conquering Greece. –Greece was considered Persia’s main threat. Xerxes crossed the Hellespont with his army and then ordered a bridge to be built, which was destroyed in a storm. As a result, Xerxes is said to have crossed the river by chariot on a bridge of boats.

22 Xerxes In 480 BC, Xerxes led his sea forces to the victory in defeating Sparta in the Battle of Thermopylae. They were even able to sack Athens. The Greeks won against the Persian Navy in 479 BC in the straits of Salamis. When rebellion broke out in Babylon, however, Xerxes rushed abate the issue. The army left behind was defeated in 479 BC at the battle of Plataea. Greece had officially defeated the Persian Empire. Xerxes was assassinated in 465 BC. The assassin is believed to have been one of his generals.

23 Fall of the Achaemenid Empire Cyrus and Darius had policies of tolerance. They respected values and beliefs of the people they ruled. Darius’s successor, Xerxes (486- 465 B.C.E.), flaunted his Persian identity and imposed his values on conquered lands. This created ill will, especially in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

24 Fall of the Achaemenid Empire: The Persian Wars (500 – 479 B.C.E.) Ethnic Greeks in Ionian cities in Anatolia resented the Persian governors who oversaw their affairs. They rebelled, expelling or executing their governors. This rebellion launched a series of conflicts known as the Persian Wars.

25 Important battle The legendary Battle of Thermopylae. –It is believed that the Persians had 200,000 men on land and 1,000 on ships. Sparta was only able to send 300 men due to a religious festival taking place. –King Leonidas of Sparta tried to even out the numbers by fighting in a narrow pass called the Hot Gates in Thermopylae in the northeastern coast of Greece. They were aided by the help of soldiers from other city-states. –At first, the Spartans stood up well to the lightly armed Persians. However, Xerxes found out about the Hot Gates. –The other soldiers abandoned the battle, but the 300 Spartans remained. Though they fought bravely, all 300 were killed.

26 Fall of the Achaemenid Empire: The Persian Wars (500 – 479 B.C.E.) For 150 years, the Persian empire sparred with the Greek cities. The Greek cities were too small and disunited to pose a serious threat to the Persian empire. The standoff ended with the rise of Alexander of Macedon or Alexander the Great.

27 Fall of the Achaemenid Empire: Alexander the Great In 334 B.C.E. Alexander invaded Persia with an experienced army of 48,000 Macedonians. The Macedonians were well- disciplined and carried heavier arms with more sophisticated military tactics. Alexander confiscated the wealth in the treasury at Persepolis, proclaimed himself heir to the Achaemenid rulers and burned the city.

28 Fall of the Achaemenid Empire After Alexander’s death: His chief generals divided the empire into three large realms which they divided among themselves: The Seleucids The Parthians The Sasanids

29 The Seleucids The former Achaemenid empire went to Seleucus, a commander in Alexander’s army. He retained the Achaemenid system of administration, taxation, imperial roads, and postal service. Founded new cities and attracted Greek colonists to occupy them.

30 The Seleucids The Seleucids had conflicts with native Persians, especially the ruling classes. The Satraps often revolted against Seleucid rule. The Seleucids lost their holdings in northern India. The semi-nomadic Parthians took over Iran during the third century B.C.E.

31 The Parthians Established strong empire in Iran and extended to Mesopotamia. Maintained many of the customs of the nomadic people from steppes of central Asia. Loosely organized into federation of leaders who met in councils. Skilled warriors.

32 The Parthians Improved grazing methods for horses which created stronger horses that could support soldiers with heavy armor. This development enabled them to fight off nomads from the steppes. The Parthians revolted against the Seleucids in the third century B.C.E. and by 155 B.C.E. had taken firm control of Iran to Mesopotamia.

33 The Parthians Followed example of the Achaemenids in running empire. Maintained elements of their own steppe traditions. Government not as centralized. Most authority rested in hands of clan leaders who often served as satraps who worked to build independent bases of power in their regions. For three centuries, Parthians presided over powerful empire between India and Mediterranean.

34 The Sasanids Claimed they were direct descendants of the Achaemenids. Conquered the Parthians in 224 C.E. and ruled until 651 reinstating much of the splendor of the Achaemenid empire. Rebuilt strong system of administration. Refurbished numerous cities. Merchants traded actively with people from east to west. Introduced rice, sugarcane, citrus fruits, eggplant, and cotton. Created buffer states between themselves and Roman empire.

35 Persian Classical Society In the early days of the Achaemenid empire, Persian society reflected its origins on the steppes of central Asia. Family and clan relationships were extremely important in political and social affairs. Male warriors were the head of the clans. The development of a cosmopolitan empire complicated this structure.

36 Persian Classical Society Imperial administration called for a new class of educated bureaucrats. This undermined old warrior elite. Persian cities were home to administrators, tax collectors, record keepers, translators, and high ranking officials. Bureaucrats shared power with warriors and clan leaders.

37 Persian Classical Society Clan Leaders and Bureaucrats Free Classes Artisans Craftsman Merchants Priests and Priestesses Low ranking civil servants Slaves

38 Technological Developments of Persian Society Qanat – underground canals allowed cultivators to distribute water to fields without losing large quantities to evaporation through exposure to the sun and open air. Elaborate qanat system was maintained by slaves and laborers in the countryside.



41 Economic Developments of Persian Society Agriculture was the foundation. Resources from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia and northern India helped Persia prosper. Barley and wheat were the most commonly cultivated crops. Peas, lentils, garlic, onions, pomegranates, pears, and apricots supplemented the cereals in diets. Beer and wine were the most common beverage.

42 Economic Developments of Persian Society Long-distance trade grew rapidly. Standardized of coins Availability of good trade routes. Newly constructed highways such as the Persian Royal Road. Sea routes through the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea Cities like Babylon were home to banks.

43 Trade in Persia From India: gold, ivory, aromatics From Iran and Central Asia: lapis lazuli, turquoise and other stones From Mesopotamia: textiles, mirrors and jewelry From Anatolia: gold, silver, iron, copper and tin From Arabia: spices and aromatics From Egypt: grain, linen textiles, papyrus writing materials, gold, ebony, ivory From Greece: oil, wine, and ceramics


45 Early Persian Religion Celebrated natural elements and geographical features, i.e. the sun, the moon, the water, and especially fire. Recognized many of the same gods as the Aryans Priests performed sacrifices similar to those conducted by the brahmins in India. Used hallucinogenic agent called haoma in the same way Aryans used soma

46 Zoroastrianism Attempt to address moral questions in a cosmopolitan world. Zarathustra, priest from aristocratic family, left family at 20 yeas of age to seek wisdom. He experienced visions and became convinced that the supreme god had chosen him as a prophet to spread message.

47 The Gathas Originally transmitted orally by priests or magi. During Seleucid dynasty, magi began to preserve in writing. Hymns composed in honor of the various deities. Treatises on moral themes.

48 Zoroastrian Teachings Not strict monotheists Recognized a supreme deity and creator of all good things. Spoke of six lesser deities. Explored battle between good and evil, as well as judgment, reward, punishment, heavenly paradise, demons, and place of pain and suffering. Encouraged enjoyment of earthly pleasures in moderation.

49 Zoroastrian Attracted large numbers during 6 th century B.C.E. Popular with Persian aristocrats and ruling elites. Wealthy supported the building of temples. Large priesthood emerged and taught Zoroastrian values through oral transmission. Darius and other emperors closely associated themselves with Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian deity. Darius did not suppress other religious practices, however.

50 Zoroastrian Attracted large numbers during 6 th century B.C.E. Popular with Persian aristocrats and ruling elites. Wealthy supported the building of temples. Large priesthood emerged and taught Zoroastrian values through oral transmission. Darius and other emperors closely associated themselves with Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian deity. Darius did not suppress other religious practices, however.

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