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Classical Civilizations of the WEST

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1 Classical Civilizations of the WEST

2 Extent of Persian Empire – 490 BCE

3 Cyrus the Great – (mid 6th c. BCE)

4 Cyrus the Great – (mid 6th c. BCE)
Short clip about Cyrus the Great from Engineering an Empire (2:54 minutes)

5 Cyrus the Great – (mid 6th c. BCE)
Created the 1st “largest” empire Tolerant of all religions smart way to keep “control” Champion of safe trade Freed the Jews from Babylon His reign lasted about 30 years (died at 46) His sons could not retain control 7 years after his death – Darius takes control

6 Persian Empire - Geography
Core located in present-day IRAN Capital City at Persepolis Extended from Asia Minor to North Africa (Egypt) across the Middle East to the Indus Valley

7 Persian Empire - Religion
Zoroaster created a MONOTHEISTIC religion in which people determine their fate by the choices they make AHURA MAZDA was the only god Concept of heaven & hell

8 Persian Empire - Achievements
Royal Road connected all parts of the empire Used to improve trade Used for postal system Used to deploy military (if needed) Magnificent Capital Palaces


10 Persian Empire - POLITICAL
Monarchy – but local rulers allowed to retain positions of power. Empire divided into provinces / states called SATRAPIES and representatives of Cyrus (satraps) would “advise” the local leaders and collect taxes. Relatively peaceful

11 Persian Empire - Economy
Extensive trade network used Royal Road with “safe” inns (caravanserai) Standardized Coins Standard weights & measures Effective system of taxes Compare to peace on the Silk Road during the time of the Mongols

12 Persian Empire - Social
Because of Religious & Social Tolerance Persian Empire remembered as 1st empire concerned with “human rights”. Cyrus the Great “released” Jews from captivity when he conquered Babylon.

13 Persian Wars The Greeks and especially the Athenians humiliated the Persians. This led to the rise of the Greek Classical Civilization and the eventual end of the Persian Civilization

14 Persian Wars – Part 1 490 BCE - Marathon
The power of Persia was not questioned. Darius sent army to Greece to “scold” them for helping inhabitants of a Greek colony that had been absorbed into Persian Empire and tried to revolt. (Ionian War) Army of Darius defeated by Athenians at Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE. 26 miles / NIKE / Drop Dead

15 Marathon Dead: 6400 Persians / 196 Athenians

16 Persian Wars – Part 2 480 BCE – Thermopylae & Salamis
Massive army sent to seek revenge (at least 200,000 experienced soldiers) Bridge of ships built across the Dardanelles (about 1 mile) Army “delayed” by King Leonidas and 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. Athens burned. Navy defeated by Athenians at sea battle of Salamis (off coast of Athens)

17 King Leonidas of Sparta

18 Persian Wars – Part 3 Athens Enters its Golden AGE
As a result of defeating the Persians Athens takes the position of leadership in Greece. That’s the link to Persia – now let’s go back and talk about Greece.

19 Persian Empire Terms/Names to Remember
Cyrus the Great Darius Xerxes Zoroaster Persepolis satraps / satrapies Royal Road

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