• Cyrus II became king of the small Persian kingdom of Anshan in 559 BC
• Within ten years he had subjugated the eastern part of Persia and established a reputation among even his rivals as a natural leader to whom men gravitated
• When the Median king attempted to reassert control over Persia around 550 BC, the Median army revolted on the battlefield, handing over their king to Cyrus and surrendering their own capital at Ecbatana
• Cyrus II was now Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire
• Cyrus then conquered in quick succession the Lydians of Asia Minor, Greek colonies on the Aegean coast, the Parthians, and the Hyrcanians to the north
• In 541 BC he marched into the steppes of Central Asia, establishing a fortified border along the Jaxartes River
• In 540 BC, his 19th year as king, Cyrus turned on his onetime ally, Babylon.
• After one battle, the army and people of Babylon surrendered their king, city, and empire that stretched from southern Mesopotamia to Phoenicia
• Before Cyrus could expand into Egypt or toward Greece, however, he was killed fighting nomadic tribesmen who were threatening his eastern provinces
• .The first successors to Cyrus conquered Egypt, gathered new provinces in North Africa, and extended the empire into India to the Indus River
• Cambyses II• Darius
• In 513 BC a huge floating bridge was built across the Bosporus Strait, linking Asia and Europe. The Persian army took Thrace and Macedonia to cut off grain to the Greeks, but could not subjugate the elusive Scythians
• Xerxes • The firs king who had a women as his navy general • This was the peak of the Persian Empire. The stage
was set for the mighty struggle with the city-states of Greece that lasted 50 years.
• Great King Darius instituted many economic innovations and reforms: systematized taxation; standardized weights, measures, and monetary units (the first successful widespread use of coins); improved transportation routes, including the 1600-mile Royal Road from Susa to Sardis and an early Suez Canal; royal trading ships; promotion of agriculture; a banking system; and promotion of international trade.
Religion and culture
• The Persian kings and nobility were Zoroastrians, a religion named after its founder, Zarathustra, called Zoroaster in Greek
• Zarathustra conceived his religion around 600 BC, and it had great influence later on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
• Zoroastrianism was monotheistic, centering on one supreme god who created everything material and spiritual
Government • The head of the Persian government was the king whose
word was law• His authority was extended by a bureaucracy led by
Persian nobles, scribes who kept the records, a treasury that collected taxes and funded building projects and armies, and a system of roads, couriers, and signal stations that facilitated mail and trade
• In the early years when the army was predominately Persian, it capably preserved the internal and external peace
• Much of the empire was divided into provinces called satrapies, ruled by a satrap. All of Egypt was usually a single satrapy, for example
• The satraps were normally Persians or Medes to help ensure their loyalty
• All Persian men to the age of 50 years were obligated to serve in the armies of the Persian Empire
• The army consisted mainly of four types of units: spearmen for infantry shock combat, foot archers to act as skirmishers, light cavalry armed mainly with bows, and heavy cavalry that wore some armor and carried spears
Apranik and her Ranks, never surrendered, they have fought an on going bloody battle to the bitter ends. Apranik became a symbol for the “Persian Resistance & Freedom”
Sura was one of the Greatest Heroines of Persian History, A strategically and Military Genius during the Parthian dynasty
Artemisia I: became the ruler of Halicarnassus (A Greek City-State and a colony of Persian Empire). She ruled under the over lordship of the Persian Emperor Xerxes I (Kheshayar Shah). She was the legendary Grand Admiral and leader of the Persian Navy
Youtab Aryobarzan was the Commander of Achaemenid’s Army, sister of the legendary Persian Hero, Aryobarzan (Achaemenid’s General), she stood side by side to her brother and fought the Greeks and Macedonians to death during the invasion of Alexander. The name “Youtab” means: Unique.
Decline and fall
Alexander invaded in 334 BC, captured Lydia by 333, took Egypt in 332, and became king of Persia in 331