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The Empires of Persia Chapter 7.

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Presentation on theme: "The Empires of Persia Chapter 7."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Empires of Persia Chapter 7

2 Achaemenid Empire

3 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires
The Achaemenid Empire 1. The Medes and the Persians a. 2 closely related people: Medes & Persians (from C. Asia to Persia) b. Indo-European languages c. shared many cultural traits with Aryans d. equestrian skills e. expert archers

4 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
2. Cyrus a. Cyrus the Achaemenid (reigned bce) b. aka “Cyrus the Shepherd” c. tough, wily leader & outstanding military strategist d. led first Persian Empire 3. Cyrus’s Conquest a. 558 bce king of Persian tribes b. 553 bce rebellion against his Median overlord c. 548 bce all Iran under his control, conquered Babylon d. ruler of empire that stretched from India to borders of Egypt

5 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
e. 530 bce mortally wounded from nomadic raiders 4. Darius a. Cyrus’s empire expanded during the reign’s of his successors b. Cyrus’s son Camyses conquered Egypt c. Darius (reigned 521bce-486bce) extended both east & west d. largest empire the world had seen e. better administrator than conqueror f. ruled over 70 distinct ethnic groups g. communication w/all parts of their realm, created institutions that allowed them to tax and administer their territories

6 Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadae

7 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
5. Persepolis a. Darius centralized his administration b. Persepolis=new capital c. administrative center d. lavish halls, royal residences, well protected treasury e. advisors, ministers, diplomats, scribes, accountants, translators & bureaucratic officers 6. Achaemenid Administration: The Satrapies a. central & local initiative b. governors were agents of central administration and oversaw affairs in the various regions

8 Ruins of Persepolis

9 Stone Carving from Persepolis showing an enthroned Darius

10 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
c. 23 satrapies – districts governed by the satraps d. local officials filled other jobs below the satrap e. military and tax officers checked on the local power of the satraps f. “eyes and ears of the king”-conducted surprise audits of the provinces & collecting intelligence reports 7. Taxes, Coins, and Laws a. regularized tax levies and standardized laws

11 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
b. replaced with tribute payments with formal tax levies c. had to pay a quantity of silver, horses and slaves d. issued standardized coins which fostered trade e. codified laws of the different subjects within the region 8. Roads and Communication a. roads across the realm b. Persian Royal Roads-paved with stone stretched 1600 miles, took 90 days to travel this road c. organized courier service d. stations provided fresh horses & food e. pass info from one end of the road to the other in 2 weeks

12 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
f. these roads also facilitated trade which integrate various regions into a larger economy B. The Decline and Fall of the Achaeminid Empire 1. The Achaeminid Commonwealth a. roads and administrative machinery enabled them to govern a vast empire b. political stability led to public works c. qanat-underground canals led to enhanced agricultural production and population growth d. iron metallurgy spread

13 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
e. subject peoples and rulers undermined integrity of the Achaemenid empire f. Cyrus and Darius were both tolerant g. Xerxes (reigned 486bce-465bce) had a harder time with these people h. reputation for cruelty and insensitivity 2. The Persian Wars a. difficult time w/ethnic Greek subjects b. Ionian Greeks fell under Persian rule during the reign of Cyrus c. Greeks called the Persian “tyrants” d. Greek rebellion caused a series of wars called the Persian Wars

14 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
e. 150 years of intermittent battle occurred between the Persian and Greeks 3. Alexander of Macedon a. Invades Persia in 334bce b. Military had heavier arms, more sophisticated tactics c. Battle of Gaugamela- one year defeated the Persian army and took over the Achaemenid empire d. . Alexander acted like the legitimate successor and kept many aspects of the Achaeminid empire (ex. Administrative structure)

15 Silver Coin of Alexander of Macedon

16 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
C. The Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanid Empires 1. The Seleucids a. Alexander diees, internal conflict a new leader, Seleucus (reigned bce), commander of elite guard corps b. kept many Achaeminid concepts: administration, taxation, imperial roads, & postal service c. Seleucids founded new cities, attracted Greek colonists d. Satraps revolted against the foreign Seleucids created power bases to oppose the Seleucids e, Seleucids lost control in N India to the seminomadic Parthians.

17 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
2. The Parthians a. maintained customs and traditions of the steppes people of C Asia b. no centralized gov’t but a federation of leaders, got together to organize policy. c. skillful warriors d. effective means to resist nomadic invasions 3. Parthian Conquests a. Mithradates I is the greatest conqueror b. Transforms state to a mighty empire

18 I. The rise and fall of the persian empires cont’d
4. Parthian Government a. enemies of Seleucids, b. restores Persian traditions c. followed Achaemenids in structuring their empire d. responsibility and authority to clan leaders, served as satraps, built independent bases of power e. internal pressure by satraps and Romans contributed to the weakening of the Parthians e. 3rd century ce the empire declines

19 Sassanid Empire

1. Imperial Bureaucrats a. new educated bureaucrats b. undermine old warrior elite c. shared power with warrior elite and clan leaders d. translators 2. Free Classes a. artisans, merchants, craftsmen, low ranking civil servatns b. peasants who owned land, landless cultivators who worked on property owned the state or temples. c. right to marry and move as they wish d. qanat (underground canals) -move water w/o losing large quantities to evaporation 3. Slaves a. two routes: prisoner of war, civilians who rebelled or those who accumulated debt, could not marry often worked state projects B. Economic Foundations of Classical Persia Agriculture was the economic foundation

1. Agricultural Production a. Barley and wheat 2. Standardized Coins a. Encouraged economic development and trade b. trade benefited from standardized coins c. coins were precisely measured metal and guaranteed their value d. coins were popular and drew merchants from distant lands e. banks and companies invested in commercial ventures

3. Trade a. Long distance trade grew rapidly b. linked lands from India to Egypt in a commercial zone c. each region contributed particular products d. long distance trade became popular Alexander of Macedon and the Seleucids

23 III. Religions of salvation in classical persian society
Zarathustra and His Faith 1. Zarathustra a. priest who became disenchanted with traditional religion and bloody sacrifices b. convinced there was a supreme god called Ahura Mazda c. claimed as a prophet

24 III. Religions of salvation in classical persian society cont’d
2. The Gathas a. Hymns he composed in honor of various deities he recognized 3. Zoroastrian Teachings a. Ahura Mazda=supreme deity, eternal, beneficent creator of all good things b. Angra Mainyu=destructive spirit or hostile spirit c. Ahura Mazda & Angra Mainyu are adversaries. Forces of good would prevail against evil and evil would disappear. Human souls undergo judgment and experience rewards or punishment according to the holiness of their thoughts, words and deeds

25 III. Religions of salvation in classical persian society cont’d
3. Popularity of Zoroastrianism a. did not ask to renounce material things in the world in to reach heaven b. material world a blessing c. moral teachings allowed people to enjoy the fruits of the earth d moral teachings as “good faith, good works, good deeds” e. Darius (emperor) associated himself with Ahura Mazda and claimed divine sanction for their rule

26 III. Religions of salvation in classical persian society cont’d
B. Religions of Salvation in a Cosmopolitan Society 1. Officially Sponsored Zoroastrianism a. Sasanid dynasty revived Zoroastrianism b. Zoroastrianism faced difficulties when Islamic conquerors took over the Sasanid empire c. The Muslims place political and financial difficulty on the temples and magi

27 III. Religions of salvation in classical persian society cont’d
2. Other Faiths a. Jewish communities existed b. Manichaeism 3. Influence of Zoroastrianism a. left its mark on other religions of salvations b. the ideas that developed: omnipotent deity, evil against the creator, good will prevail, high moral standards, humans undergo judgment

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