History of Architecture Persia

HISTORY: Persian Empire & Architecture

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History of ArchitecturePersia

Persian Empire(550-330 BCE)

Was an empire based in Western Asia

Before the Persian Empire There are three who are closely associated:

1. Aryan (went Eastward and settled down and built the Indian Civilization)

(While these two, went westward and encountered the Elamites.)2. Media3.Persia

Media and PersiaWhen they absorbed the Elamite culture,They were still on the long road on becoming civilized.

According to Herodotus, the nomadic Persians only have three goals in teaching their sons: To ride a horse, to draw a bow, to speak the truth.

Media and Persia

Media joined forces with the Babylonians so they could overthrown the Assyrians during 612 BCE.

The start of the First Persian Empire

Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II)

(550 530 BCE)

Known to be the one who started the First Persian Empire

Known to be a good liberator unlike others who are tyrant.

Cyrus the GreatAlmost killed by his Grandfather(Astyages) but Harpagus spared him.Married Cassandae and had 5 children:Boys: Cambyses II , BardiyaGirls: Atossa, Artystone, Roxane

Cyrus the GreatDuring 550 BC he conquered the Median Kingdom led by his Grandfather, so his dreams became true afterall.

539 BC starts the conquest of Babylon

Cyrus the Great

They said that Cyrus the Great died during his battles with Tomyris(pictured)

Cyrus the Great died 530 BCE

Cambyses II (530-522BCE)Oldest son of Cyrus the Great

Invaded Egypt and conquered it

Formerly King of Babylon

Tomb of Cyrus

Tomb of Cyrus

Cambyses IIManaged to capture the major Egyptian cities of Memphies and Heliopolis after a decisive victory at the Battle of Pelusium, and soon all Egypt fell.

The people didnt like Cambyses II that much

Cambyses IIWhile he is on Egypt, an impostor named Gaumata, tricked the people in believing he is Bardiya(Cambyses II brother).

Cambyses died before he could stop Gaumata

Cambyses IIWhen some of the officials realized that Gaumata is an impostor,They assissanated him afterwards.

Seven men where the ones who planned and assassinated the impostor

One of the seven men was Darius the Great

Darius the Great(Darius I)Reigned (522-456 BCE)

Formerly a spearman of Cambyses II during the Egyptian conquest

Continued bringing the glory of the Persian Empire

Darius IAfter his coronoation in Pasargadae, there were already revolts in other places.This is because some preferred the rule of the previous ruler(Gaumata which he faked)

Darius ISome well known revolts during Darius reign:

1. The Babylon Revolt

Led by Nebuchadnezzar III They didnt let Darius and his men to enter the place unless the follow their condition.

Darius IThe condition was to let a mule bear a foal.

It took them almost a year and a half to solve the problem, until Zopyrus(one of the six Darius nobles) mule bear a foal.Following this, a plan was hatched forZopyrusto pretend to be a deserter, enter the Babylonian camp, and gain the trust of the Babylonians. The plan was successful and Darius's army eventually surrounded the city and overcame the rebels

Darius I2. European Scythian Campaign

The Scythians took advantage of the revolts when they invaded Persia.Darius handled the revolts first in Elam, Assyria and Babylon before heading to the Scythian.He asked the Scythian ruler Idanthyrsus to surrender but the ruler has a condition.

Persian Invasion of Greece492 BC 490 BC

Darius IFirst Persian Invasion in GreeceThe invasion, consisting of two campaigns, was ordered by Darius I in order to punish the city states of Athens and Eretria.

The first campaign(492 BCE) which was led by Mardonius who wanted to gain control of Thrace and force Macedon to become a fully subordinate of Persia.

DariusFirst Persian Invasion of GreeceWhen Mardonius fleet got destroyed by a storm, Darius sent ambassador in all parts f Greece for submission. Athens and Sparta declined and executed the ambassadors.

Because of the response of the two places, Darius wanted a war with them.

Taking advantage of the chaos in Sparta, which effectively left Athens isolated, Darius decided to launch an expedition to finally punish Athens and Eretria

Darius IThey headed to the Lindos but was unsuccessful.

They went to Naxos and Karystos where they burn and destroyed the city.

In Eretria, the Persians enslaved the remaining townspeople.

Darius IBattle of Marathon(Athens,Plateans vs. Persian)

Even though the Persians were high in number, they didnt win the battle. Plus, the Spartans were unwilling to provide timely help for the Athenians and they still won by encircling the Persian forces.This was a momentous event since it was the first Greek victory in the Persian Wars. Then the Greeks prevented a surprise Persian attack on Athens by a quick march back to the city to warn the inhabitants.

Darius IDeath

He died during 486 BCE of October where his body was emblamed in his tomb.

Tomb of Darius the Great

Xerxes I

Born in 516BC

Died Augut 465BC

Continued to reign Persia after his fathers death.

Known Battles: Battle of Thermopylae

OthersArtaxerxes I third son of XerxesHad a fight with the Egyptians(with the help of Athens), where they lost, but eventually gained victory afterwards.

Xerxes II after a reign of 45 days, he was assassinated by his brother Sogdianus during 424 B.C., who in turned murdered by Darius II

OthersDarius II didnt meddle muchwith the Greeks, focused on other Persian state.

Artaxerxes II- Artaxerxes II betrayed his allies and came to an arrangement with Sparta, and in the Treaty of Antalcidas he forced his erstwhile allies to come to terms. This treaty restored control of the Greek cities of Ionia and Aeolis on the Anatolian coast to the Persians, while giving Sparta dominance on the Greek mainland. In 385 BC he campaigned against the Cadusians.

OthersArtaxerxes III continued to rule other Persian statesArtaxerxes IV- youngest son of Ataxerxes III. Reigned for 338-336 BC.Darius III

Darius III(pictured)The last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia(336-330BC)

Darius IIIDuring his reign, there were a lot of unreliable satraps. The empire is already unstable.


Pasargadaewas the capital of theAchaemenid EmpireunderCyrus the Greatwho had issued its construction (559530 BC); it was also the location of histomb.


PersepolisPersepolis is a Greek name meaning City of Persians

Persepolis was the capital of theAchaemenid dynastykingDarius the Great




is a largehypostylehall, the best known examples being the great audience hall and portico atPersepolisand the palace ofSusa. The Persepolis Apadana belongs to the oldest building phase of the city of Persepolis, the first half of the 6th century BC, as part of the original design byDarius the Great. Its construction completed byXerxes I.

Architecture in Ancient Persia

Achaemenid Architecture

In order for such a massive structure to have functioned properly it meant that the weight of the roof, columns and indeed the terrace had to be distributed evenly. Construction at the base of the mountain offered some structural support. The ceiling material was a composite application of wood and stone decreasing its overall weight. Extensive use of stone in Persepolis, not only guaranteed its structural integrity for the duration of its use but also meant that its remains lasted longer than the mud-bricks of Susa palaces

Naqsh-e Rustamis an archaeological site located about 6 kilometers to the northwest ofPersepolisin Marvdasht region in the Fars province of Iran.Nash-e Rustam acts as anecropolisfor the Achaemenid kings,


Tehran University College of Social Sciences

InfluencesIranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Courthouse of Tehran

InfluencesNational Bank of Iran

Referencehttp://www.ancientgreece.co.uk/war/story/sto_set.htmlhttp://archaeology.about.com/od/pethroughpg/qt/persepolis.htmWikipedia.comHistory of Architecture by Bannister Fletcher 20th Edition