Persia Unites many Lands Chapter 4.3

Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

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Page 1: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

Persia Unites many Lands

Chapter 4.3

Page 2: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

The Rise of Persia

• Unlike the Assyrians who used force to control a vast empire, the Persians would use tolerance and diplomacy.

• After the Medes overthrew the Assyrian Empire in 612 B.C., they joined the Persians as the other major power in the region.

• Soon, the Persians would dominate even the Medes

Page 3: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

Cyrus the Great

• Persian King that began a conquest of several neighboring kingdoms in Iran.

• Conquered the entire Fertile Crescent and most of Anatolia

• Although his military might was great, Cyrus would be remembered for his method of governing.

Page 4: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

Differences in Leadership

Sennacherib• Burned and sacked 89 cities

and 820 villages• Killed most of the

inhabitants, beheading many.

• Chose Assyrian or Assyrian-friendly kings to govern conquered lands.

• Levied heavy taxes on the conquered.

Cyrus• His generals enforced strict

discipline against looting and burning.

• Honored the local customs and religions of the conquered

• Knelt to pray in the local temple.• Babylon opened it’s gates for

Cyrus to enter, a bloodless victory for Cyrus

• Allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem.

Page 5: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

Persian Rule and Religion

Cambyses:• Cyrus’ son• Extended the Persian

Empire into Egypt, but scorned the Egyptian religion.

• Destroyed many of the Egyptian statues of their idols and gods

• After his death, many rebellions broke out.

Darius• Started as the king’s

bodyguard• With the help of soldiers,

claimed the throne.• Expanded the empire , over

2500 miles east to west• Divided his empire into 20


After Cyrus’ death, his successors had both successes and failures.

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Persian Empire 500 B.C.

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Provinces and satraps

• Darius divided his empire into 20 provinces.• These “nationalities”:

– Practiced their own religion– Spoke their own language– Had their own laws

• Although these groups had many freedoms, Darius still ruled absolutely.

• Installed satraps, or governors, in each province, which ruled under his command

• They were kept honest by inspectors, who he called his “eyes and ears”

Page 8: Ch 4.3 -persia unites many lands

Keeping the Empire together

• The Royal Road– Linked his empire together

• Manufacturing coins– First use of standardized coins

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The Royal Road

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Persian Religion

• Zoroaster:– Persian Prophet who lived around 600 B.C.– Helped people deal with the suffering and chaos they dealt with

every day.• Taught that 2 armies fight for possession of your soul

– Ahura Mazda leads the good army– Ahriman leads the bad

• Each person, at their death, would be judged on their life.– Followers of Mazda would be lifted into paradise.– Followers of Ahriman would burn forever in a fiery pit.

• Sound familiar?