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    The Persian Empire

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    Medes and Persians The Medes and Persians were among the groups of Indo-

    Europeans speaking tribes that migrated around 2000 B.C.E.

    In 612, Medes, Scythians, and Babylonians jointly attackedand took Niheveh, officially ending the Assyrian Empire.

    Medes lasted only 30 years (585-550). Under the rule of their

    King Astyages, their Persian subjects rebelled under Cyrus(from the house of Achaemens.)

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    OrAchaemenid Empire(558-330 B.C.)

    Medes and Persians migrated from centralAsia to Persia before 1000 B.C.

    The Medes and Persians were

    considerable military powers Cyrus the Achaemenid ruled from 558-530

    B.C. and launched the Persians first

    imperial venture Darius reigned from 521 to 486 and

    expanded the empire both east and west

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    Cyrus and his Heirs

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    Persia under the Medes

    Both Indo-European tribes

    Medes conquered Persians

    Persians allowed to keep theirown leaders as long as they did

    not rebel

    Darius I

    Crushed rebellion after death ofCyruss son

    Strengthened army, empire

    Ceremony and ritual

    Created satraps to help govern

    Cyrus the Great

    Defeated Medes in 559 BC

    Expanded Persian Empire

    Freed Jews in Babylon

    Respected by those he

    conquered

    Persia in Decline

    Rule of Darius high point ofPersian culture

    Son, Xerxes, failed to conquerGreece

    Last strong ruler of Persia

    Growth and Organization

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    Blended Culture

    Cyrus and Darius encouraged cultural unity

    Shared culture led to peace

    People worked together to improve empire

    Art and Architecture

    Animals a common subject

    Persepolis, monument to Persias glory

    Greatest example of Persian architecture

    Communication

    Network of high quality roads

    Royal Road = worlds first long highway

    Horseback messengers in shifts

    Persian Achievements

    Art and Architecture

    Animals a common subject

    Persepolis, monument to Persias glory

    Greatest example of Persian architecture

    Communication

    Network of high quality roads

    Royal Road = worlds first long highway

    Horseback messengers in shifts

    Blended Culture

    Cyrus and Darius encouraged cultural unity

    Shared culture led to peace

    People worked together to improve empire

    Art and Architecture

    Animals a common subject

    Persepolis, monument to Persias glory

    With Susa Greatest example of Persian architecture

    Communication

    Network of high quality roads

    Royal Road = worlds first long highway

    Horseback messengers in shifts

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    Persia Nomads to PersianAgriculture

    There was little rainfall in Persia.

    The Persiansare said to have been adeptin the art of water- divination

    The Persians used underground watersources for farming.

    Underground water sources are called

    aquifers. reverence for waterheld in the old Persian

    religion

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    Aquifers allowed people to farm away from

    rivers.

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    Gardening Eden

    Garden as Paradise

    Creating gardens was held in such high esteem that thePersian kings wished to be remembered as gardeners.

    Among them was the first example of the Paradaisia, thequartered, walled, Persian garden, containing lilies,roses, cherries and pomegranate. It was a paradise

    watered by a thousand yards of limestone irrigationchannels, designed so that the water filled a myriad tiny

    pools.

    Wanted to be remembered as gardeners.

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    The Persians built roads to connect their

    vast empire.

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    Zarathustra [Zoroaster], 6c

    BCE:Good Thoughts, Good Deed, Good Words

    Tree of Life

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    Extent of Zoroastrianism

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    Zoroastrianism

    The Persians worshipped many gods untilZoroaster started a new religion in about 600B.C.

    Zoroaster taught that there were two forces inthe world: a force of good and a force of evil.

    People were free to choose which force to followbut they would be rewarded or punished in theafterlife.

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    Zoroaster taught that the world isa battle between the God of good,

    Ahura Mazda, and the force of evil.

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    Dualistic Battle of

    Good vs. Evil

    Ahura MazdaHoly Spirit

    AhrimanDestructive

    SpiritEnd of time

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    Zoroastrians believe that fire is a symbolof their God.

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    Cyrus the Great

    580 529 B. C. E.

    A tolerant ruler heallowed

    different cultures withinhis

    empire to keep their owninstitutions.

    The Greeks called him a

    Law-Giver.

    The Jews called him theanointed of the Lord. (In

    537,

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    Darius the Great

    (526 485 B. C. E.)

    Built Persepolis.

    He extended thePersian Empire to

    theIndus River in

    northernIndia. (2 mil. s.q.

    mi.)

    Built a canal in

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    Darius the Great

    (526 485 B. C. E.)Established a tax-collectingsystem.

    Divided the empire intodistricts

    called SATRAPIES.

    Built the great Royal Roadsystem.

    Established a complex postal

    system.

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    Ancient Persepolis

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    Persepolis

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    The People of Persepolis

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    Persian Archers & Soldiers

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    Empires and Dynasties

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    Conquered people paid tribute to the

    Persian emperor.

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    Tribute is a payment from one ruler toanother ruler. Paying tribute is a wayto acknowledge the superior ruler.

    PersianCoins

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    Darius

    Darius empire stretched some 1,865 miles from

    the Indus River in the east to the Aegean Sea inthe west and 933 miles from Armenia in the

    north to the first cataract of the Nile in the south Population of some 35 million people

    encompassing over 70 distinct ethnic groups

    Description of the construction of the palace at Susa

    testifies to the diversity of the empire

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    Palace at Susa

    the sun-dried brick was molded, theBabylonian people -- it did (these tasks). Thecedar timber, this -- a mountain named Lebanon --from there was brought. The Assyrian people, it

    brought it to Babylon; from Babylon the Cariansand the Ionians brought it to Susa. The yak-timber was brought from Gandara and fromCarmania. The gold was brought from Sardis andfrom Bactria, which here was wrought. The

    precious stone lapis lazuli and carnelian which waswrought here, this was brought from Sogdiana.The precious stone turquoise, this was broughtfrom Chorasmia, which was wrought here. Thesilver and the ebony were brought from Egypt.

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    Palace at Susa

    The ornamentation with which the wall wasadorned, that from Ionia was brought. The ivorywhich was wrought here, was brought fromEthiopia and from Sind and from Arachosia.

    The stone columns which were here wrought, avillage named Abiradu, in Elam -- from therewere brought. The stone-cutters who wrought thestone, those were Ionians and Sardians. Thegoldsmiths who wrought the gold, those were

    Medes and Egyptians. The men who wroughtthe wood, those were Sardians and Egyptians.The men who wrought the baked brick, thosewere Babylonians. The men who adorned thewall, those were Medes and Egyptians.

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    Darius

    Governing such a far-flung empirewould prove to be a more difficultchallenge than conquering it

    Darius was an excellent administrator He arrived at a finely tuned balance

    between central initiative and localadministration

    Centralization Authority Persepolis Royal Road Standardized taxes

    Localization Satraps

    Tolerance

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    Authority: Centralization

    Achaemenid rulers held the official title of The

    Great King, King of Kings, King of Persia, Kingof Countries

    Darius ruled by the grace of Ahura Mazda, theZoroastrian god of light

    A great god is Ahura Mazda, who created the earth,

    who created the sky, who created man, who created

    happiness for man, who made Darius king. Zoroastrianism was a Persian religion which emphasized the

    duality of good and evil and the role of individuals indetermining their own fate

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    Authority: Centralization

    Kings decision on allmatters of policy wasfinal

    King was commander-in-chief of the army andceremoniously took hisposition in the center ofthe formation There he was protected

    by an elite royalbodyguard

    The Greeks called the bodyguard

    the Ten Thousand Immortals

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    Persepolis: Centralization

    Soon after Dariuscame to power hebegan centralizinghis administration

    About 520 hebegan building anew capital inPersepolis Would become the

    nerve center of thePersian empire Palace of Darius

    http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/PA/IRAN/PAAI/IMAGES/PER/PD/3C8_72dpi.html
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    Persepolis: Centralization

    Persepolis had vastreception halls, lavishroyal residences, and

    a well-protectedtreasury

    It was designed to benot just an

    administrative centerbut also a monumentto the Achaemeniddynasty

    Gate of All Nations atentrance to city

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    Persepolis: Centralization

    Persepolis was full ofadvisors, ministers,diplomats, scribes,accountants, translators,

    and other bureaucraticofficials

    Governors served asagents of the centraladministration tooversee affairs in thevarious regions

    Persepolis is near modern

    day Shiraz in Iran

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    Satraps: Localization

    Darius divided thekingdom into 23satrapies Administrative and

    taxation districtsgoverned by satraps

    Satraps were royalappointees, oftenmembers of the royal

    dynasty by birth ormarriage Satrapies tended to

    become virtuallyhereditary domains

    Satrap receiving a visitor

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    Satraps: Localization

    Principal duty of the satrap was to collect taxesand deliver them to the central treasury

    Before Darius, Cyrus had accepted irregular,

    periodic gifts as tribute from subject lands andcities

    Though often lavish, these gifts did not provide aconsistent and reliable source of income

    Darius changed all that

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    Standardized Taxes: Centralization

    Darius replaced theirregular payments withformal tax levies

    Each satrapy was

    required to pay a setquantity of silver and insome cases a levy ofhorses and slaves alsoto the imperial court

    In order to expeditepayments, he issuedstandard coins

    Gold coin issued byDarius, known after himas a daric

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    Localization: Legal Tolerance

    Darius did not abolish the existing laws ofindividual lands and peoples

    He had no uniform law code for the entire

    empire He did direct legal experts to codify the

    laws of the subject people and modify

    them as necessary to harmonize themwith the legal principles observed by theempire as a whole

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    Localization: Religious Tolerance

    Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you, theirfellow officials of that province, stay away from

    there. Do not interfere with the work on thistemple of God. Let the governor of the Jewsand the Jewish elders rebuild this house of Godon its site.

    Ezra 6: 6-7

    Darius also funded the project and providedharsh penalties for anyone who interfered

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    Royal Road: Centralization

    The Royal Road stretched1,600 miles from theAegean port of Ephesus toSardis in Anatolia, throughMesopotamia along the

    Tigris River, to Susa in Iran,with an extension toPasargadae and Persepolis

    Caravans took 90 days totravel the route

    Inns along the way providedlodging The road was well policed

    for safety

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    Royal Road: Centralization

    Darius established 111 postal stations at 25 to30 mile intervals along the route

    Each station kept a fresh supply of horses socouriers could travel the entire route in one week Like the Pony Express

    Herodotus praised the couriers saying, Neithersnow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays

    these couriers from the swift completion of theirappointed rounds. Motto of the US Postal Service

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    Checks and Balances

    Since the satraps were often far away fromPersepolis, there was always the possibility theymight ally with local groups and becomeindependent of the central authority

    To prevent this, Darius: Placed a contingent of military officers and tax

    collectors in each satrapy to serve as a check on thesatraps power and influence

    Appointed agents to serve as the eyes and ears ofthe king by traveling throughout the empireconducting surprise audits and gathering intelligence