The Achaemenid empire (/ ?ki?m?n?d / Persian: Hax?mani?iy?, ca. 550-330 BC) Or the first Persian empire was an empire in western and central Asia, founded by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. The dynasty takes its name from King Achaemenes, who dominated Persis between 705 BCE and 675 BC The kingdom extended to finally dominate over important parts of the ancient world, around 500 BC From the Industal in the east to Thrace And Macedon on the north-eastern frontier of Greece. The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt. It was ruled by a number of monarchs who unified their disparate tribes and nationalities by building a complex network of streets.
Up to the 600th BC, the Persians (Parsa) had settled in the southwestern Iranian plain, bounded in the west by the Tigris and in the south by the Persian Gulf; This region came to its core country. From this region Cyrus the Great would defeat the Kingdom of the Media, the kingdom of Lydia and the Babylonian Empire to form the Achaemenid Empire.
At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire covered about 8 million square kilometers on three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. In its greatest scope, the empire embraced the modern territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all the major populations of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya,Thrace and Macedonia, many of the Black Sea coast regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Afghanistan, northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and parts of Oman and the UAE. It is used in Western history as the antagonistic enemy of the Greek cities during the Greek-Persian wars, for the emancipation of the slaves including the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity and for the establishment of infrastructures such as post-systems, road systems and the use of an official language, Aramaic , In all areas. The empire had a central, bureaucratic administration under the king, and a large professional army and civilian services that inspired similar developments in later empires.The delegation of power to local governments eventually weakened the king's central authority, causing resources to be expended in attempts to subdue local rebellions. This accounts for the dis-unification of the region by the time Alexander the Great invaded Persia in 334 BCE.
This position is, however, challenged by some modern scholars who argue that the Achaemenid empire had no such crisis at the time of Alexander, and that only internal successor struggles within the Achaemeniden family were ever closer to weakening the empire. Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great,
Finally, the collapse of the Empire and its disintegration around 330 BC would lead to the later Ptolemaic kingdom and the Seleucid empire, in addition to other smaller areas which gained independence at that time. However, the Persian culture of the central high plain remained until the 2nd century BC.
The historical feature of the Achaemenid empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences, and also encompassed cultural, social, technological and religious influences.Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a cultural exchange, some of which were occupied or allied by the Persian kings. The impact of the Cyrus of the Great Edict of Restoration is mentioned in Jewish-Christian texts and the empire was instrumental in spreading Zoroastrianism as far east as China. Even Alexander the Great, the man who wanted to conquer this great empire, respected his customs by respecting respect for the royal Persian kings including the Cyrus of the Great, and even in proskynesis a Persian royal habit, despite the severe Macedonian contempt. The Persian Empire would also set the tone for the politics, heritage and history of modern Persia (now Iran).
In 480 BCE, it is estimated that 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire or about 44% of the world's population at the time, making it the largest empire in history (by population percentage).
The Persian nation contains a number of tribes, as listed here. ...: the Pasargadae, Maraphii and Maspii, on which all other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most important; They contain the clan of the Achaemenids, from whom the Perseid kings are spring. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all fixed on the ground, the rest - the Dai, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, nomadic.
The Persian Empire is named after a West Iranian tribe called Parsua. The name Persia is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the name Parsua, and Persis (or in Persian, Pars) was their territory, an area located north of the Persian Gulf and East of Tigris river.
Tomb of Cyrus the Great,
founder of the Achaemenid Empire of Iran
Despite its success and rapid expansion, the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as in the 6th century BC, Another group of Iranian peoples had already founded the Mediterranean. The Medes were originally the dominant Iranian group in the region, which came into power at the end of the 7th century BC and integrated the Persians into their realm. The Iranian peoples had arrived in the region around 1000 BC and had first fallen under the rule of the Assyrian Empire (911-609 BC). However, the Medes and Persians (together with the Scythians and Babylonians) played an important role in the destruction of an Assyrian territory, which was characterized by internal disputes.
The term Achaemenid is in fact the Latin version of the ancient Persian name Hax?mani? (a bahuvrihi compound, which has "translated a friend"), meaning in Greek "the family of Achaemenis". Despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes himself was a small seventh century ruler of the Anshan (Ansham or An??n) in the southwest of Iran.
Only when Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) was a descendant of the Achaemenans, did the Achaemenid empire develop the prestige of a kingdom, and set about integrating the existing empires of the ancient East to become the vast Persian empire Old texts.
At some time in 550 BC, Cyrus the Great rose in rebellion against the Median Empire (presumably by the Persian Persian Persecution), eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire. Cyrus the Great used his tactical genius as well as his understanding of the socio-political equations that dominated his territories to eventually integrate into the Persian empire the neighboring Lydian and Neo-Babylonian empires and also to pave the way for his successor Cambyses II in Egypt Dare to defeat the Egyptian kingdom.
Cyrus the Great reflected his political insight into the administration of his newly-formed empire, as the Persian empire was the first to try to govern many different ethnic groups on the principle of equal responsibility and rights for all people as long as issues Paid their taxes and kept peace. In addition, the king would agree not to interfere with the local customs, religions and unions of his subjects states, a unique quality that eventually won Cyrus's support to the Babylonians.
|Standard of Cyrus the Great|
This management system would ultimately become a problem for the Persians, as the need for order and control arose with a larger empire, which resulted in the expense of resources and the mobilization of troops to suppress local rebellions and weaken the central power of the king . At the time of Darius III, this disorganization had almost led to a ruined empire.
The Persians, of whom Cyrus was called, were originally nomadic pastoralists on the western Iranian plateau and called themselves 850 BC. The Parsa and its continually changing territory Parsua for the most part around Persis (Pars). When Persians came to power, they developed the infrastructure to support their growing influence, including the creation of a capital called Pasargadae and an opulent city called Persepolis.
Started during the reign of Darius the Great (Darius I), and accomplished about 100 years later, Persepolis was a symbol of the empire serving both as a ceremonial center and a center for the government. It had a special set of gradually progressing stairs called "All Countries," depicting the carved relief decoration scenes of heroism, hunting, natural themes, and the presentation of gifts to the Achaemenid kings by their subjects during the Spring Festival, Nowruz.
The core structure consisted of a large number of square rooms or halls, the largest of which was Apadana. Tall, erected, decorated columns would often welcome visitors and impress them with the size of the structure. Later, Darius the Great (Darius I) used Susa and Ecbatana as government centers and developed them into a similar metropolitan status.The account of the ancestral lineage of the Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty can be derived either from documented Greek or Roman accounts or from existing documented Persian accounts as listed in the Behistun inscription. However, since most of the existing reports of this vast empire are in the works of the Greek philosophers and historians, and since a great deal of the original Persian documents are lost, not to mention different learned views on their origin and possible motivations behind them,It is difficult to create a final and complete objective list. Nevertheless, it is clear that Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) and Darius the Great (Darius I of Persia) were critical for the expansion of the empire. Cyrus the Great is often believed to be the son of Cambyses I, grandson of Cyrus I, the father of Cambyses II and a relative of Darius the Great, by a common ancestor, Teispes.Cyrus the Great is also believed to have been a family member (possibly grandchild) of the Median King Astyages by his mother, Mandana of Media. A minority of scholars argue that perhaps Achaemenes was a retrograde creation of Darius the Great to reconcile his connection with Cyrus the Great after gaining power.
Ancient Greek writers give some legendary information about Achaemenes by calling his tribe the Pasargadae and declared that he was "raised by an eagle". Plato, when he wrote about the Persians, identified Achaeans with Perses, the ancestor of the Persians in Greek mythology. According to Plato, Achaemenes was the same person as Perses, a son of the Ethiopian queen Andromeda, and the Greek hero Perseus and a grandson of Zeus.Later writers believed that Achaemenes and Perses were different people, and that Perses was an ancestor of the king. This account further confirms that Achaemenesen might well be a significant Anshan leader and ancestor of Cyrus the Great. Independently, both Cyrus the Great and Darius were the great relatives, prominent kings of Persia, under whose rule the empire expanded to encompass much of the ancient world.
Formation and expansion
The empire took its united form with a central administration around Pasargadae erected by Cyrus the Great. The empire ended the conquest and enlargement of the Median empire to include Egypt and Asia Minor. During the reign of Darius I and his son Xerxes I, he engaged with military clashes with some of the great cities of ancient Greece, and although he came close to defeating the Greek army, this war eventually led to the overthrow of the empire.
In 559 BC, Cambyses I the Elder was succeeded as King of An??n by his son Cyrus II the Great, who also succeeded Arsames as King of Persia, reuniting the two kingdoms. Cyrus is the first true king of the Persian empire, since his predecessors were subject to the Medes. Cyrus the Great captured media, Lydia and Babylon. Cyrus was politically wise and modeled himself as a "savior" of the conquered nations, which often enabled the return of expellees and gave his subjects the freedom to practice local customs.In order to strengthen this image, he introduced policies of freedom of religion and restored temples and other infrastructure in the newly acquired cities (especially the Jewish inhabitants of Babylon, as recorded in the Cyrus cylinder and the Tanakh). As a result of his tolerant policy, he was known as "the anointed of the Lord" by those of the Jewish faith.
His immediate successors were less successful. Cyrus 'son Cambyses II conquered Egypt 525 BC, but died in July 522 BC during a revolt led by a sacerdotal clan who had lost his power after Cyrus' conquest of the media. The cause of his death remains uncertain, although it may have been the result of an accident.
According to Herodotus, Cambyses II had originally dared to take Egypt's revenge for the imagination of Amasas when he sent a fake Egyptian bride whose family Amasis had murdered instead of his own daughter to marry Cambyses II. In addition, negative reports of the abuse of Amasis, given by Phanes of Halicarnassus, a wise counselor, Amasis, force the determination of Cambyses to move to Egypt.Amasis died before Cambyses II could face him, but his successor Psamtik III was defeated by Cambyses II in the Battle of Pelusium.
While Cambyses II was in Egypt, the Zoroastrian priests who called Herodotus Magi used the throne for one of their own Gaumata, who then claimed to be Cambyses II Younger Bardiya (Greek Smerdis or Tanaoxares / Tanyoxarkes) three years before Murdered Because of the strict rule of Cambyses II, especially his attitude to taxation and his long absence in Egypt, "the whole people, Perses, Medes, and all other peoples," the usurper recognized, especially as he gave a surrender of taxes three years (Herodotus III, 68)Cambyses II himself would not be able to quell the imposters, as he died on the way back from Egypt.
The assertion that Gaumata had embodied Bardiya (Smerdis) is derived from Darius the Great and the notes of the Behistun inscription. Historians are divided on the possibility that the story of the deceiver of Darius was invented as justification for his coup. Darius made a similar claim when he later captured Babylon and proclaimed that the Babylonian king was not actually Nebuchadnezzar III, but a deceiver named Nidintu-bel.
Detail of Darius III from the Alexander
According to the Behistun inscription, Gaumata dominated for seven months before being overthrown by Darius the Great (Darius I) in 522 BC. The ancient Persian D?ryavu?, "who holds the good", also called Darayarahush or Darius the Great). The magicians, though persecuted, persisted, and a year after the death of the first pseudo-Smerdis (Gaumata), saw a second pseudo-Smerdis (called Vahyazd?ta) try a coup. The coup, though initially successful, failed.
Herodotus writes that the local leadership is discussing the best form of government for the empire. It was agreed that an oligarchy would divide them against each other, and democracy would bring power to power, leading to a charismatic leader who would resume the monarchy. They therefore decided to appoint a new monarch, especially as they were able to choose him. Darius I was chosen from the leaders. He was a cousin to Cambyses II and Bardiya (Smerdis) and claimed Ariaramnes as his ancestor.
The Achaemenids thereafter consolidated areas firmly under their control. It was Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great who, by a solid and far-sighted administration planning, a brilliant military maneuvering and a humanist outlook on the world, founded the Achaemenids and turned them into a world power in less than thirty years from an obscure tribe. It was during the reign of Darius the Great (Darius I) that Persepolis was built (518-516 BC) which would serve as capital for several generations of the Achaemenid kings. Ecbatana (Hagmat?na "City of Assemblies", modern: Hamadan) in the media was greatly expanded during this time and served as a summer capital.
Darius the Great (Darius I) finally attacked the Greek mainland, which had supported rebellious Greek colonies under his aegis; But as a result of his defeat at the Battle of Marathon, he was forced to draw the boundaries of his empire back to Kleinasien. Some scholars argue that Alexander can be regarded as the "Last of the Achaemenids" within the framework of the history of the Near and Middle East in the first millennium. This is partly because Alexander retained more or less the same political structure, and borders on the former Achaemenid kings.
Until the 5th century BC, the kings of Persia ruled over or subordinate territories, which included not only the entire Persian plateau and all the territories formerly owned by the Assyrian empire (Mesopotamia, Levant, Cyprus and Egypt) But also all Anatolia and the Armenian plateau as well as a large part of the southern Caucasus, Macedonia and parts of Greece and Thrace in the north and west, parts from Central Asia to the Aral Sea, Oxus and Jaxartes in the north and north, east, Hindukusch and the Western Indian basin (corresponding to modern Afghanistan and Pakistan) to the east, parts of northern Arabia to the south and parts of northern Libya to the southwest.
The Ionian Rebellion in 499 BC. And the uprisings in Aeolis, Doris, Cyprus, and Caria were military revolts of several small Asian regions against the Persian rule from 499 to 493 BC. At the center of the rebellion was the dissatisfaction of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the tyrants ruled by Persia, who, together with the individual treaties of two Mixtian tyrants, Histiaeus and Aristagoras, ruled.In 499 BC the then tyrant of Miletus, Aristagoras, began a joint expedition with the Persian satrap of Artaphernes to conquer Naxos in order to strengthen his position in Miletus (financially and prestigiously). The mission was a debacle and felt his imminent distance as a tyrant, Aristagoras decided to arouse the entire Ionia in turmoil against the Persian king Darius the Great.
The Persians continued to reduce the cities along the west coast which were still against them before finally setting up a peace settlement in 493 BCE on Ionia, which was generally considered fair and just. The Ionian Uprising represented the first great conflict between Greece and the Achaemenid empire, making it the first phase of the Greek-Persian wars. Little Asia had been returned to the Persian fold, but Darius had vowed to punish Athens and Eretria for their support of the revolt.As the political situation in Greece constituted a continuing threat to the stability of his empire, he decided to begin the conquest of Greece. However, the Persian forces were defeated at the Battle of Marathon and Darius would die before they had the chance to launch an invasion of Greece.
These life sized "Immortal Guard" in richly
ornamental robes wear the twisted headband
typical of native Iranians from Susa.
Xerxes I (485–465 BCE, Old Persian Xšayārša "Hero Among Kings"), son of Darius I, vowed to complete the job. He organized a massive invasion aiming toconquer Greece.
Thessaly, but was delayed by a small Greek contest for three days at Thermopylae. A simultaneous sea battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive, as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was ended prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and withdrew. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, leaving them undisputed control over Artemisium and the Aegean Sea.
After his victory in the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes got rid of the evacuated city of Athens and ready to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In the year 480 bc. When the Greeks gained a decisive victory over the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis, they forced Xerxes to retreat to Sardis. The land army, which he left in Greece under Mardonius, conquered Athens, but was finally destroyed in 479 BC In the Battle of Plataea. The final defeat of the Persians in Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt and marked the end of Persian expansion to Europe.
Fall of the empire
After Plutarch, Artaxerxes succeeded Artaxerxes III (358-338 BC) with bloody means to the throne and secured his place on the throne by the assassination of eight of his half-brothers. 343 BC Defeated Artaxerxes III Nectanebo II, drove him out of Egypt and made Egypt again a Persian satrapy.In 338 BC, Artaxerxes III died under obscure circumstances (natural causes after wedge-shaped sources, but Diodorus, a Greek historian, reports that Artaxerxes was murdered by Bagoas, his minister). While Philip of Macedonia united the Greek states by force, and began to plan an invasion of the empire.
Artaxerxes III followed Artaxerxes IV Asses, who, before he could act, was also poisoned by Bagoas. Bagoas is said to have killed not only all the children of the donkeys, but many other princes of the country. Bagoas then put Darius III (336-330 BCE), a nephew of Artaxerxes IV, on the throne. Darius III, previously satrap of Armenia, personally forced Bagoas to swallow poison. In 334 BCE, when Darius succeeded in subduing Egypt, Alexander and his combat-hardened troops fell into Kleinasien.
At two different times, the Achaemenids ruled Egypt, although the Egyptians twice regained the temporary independence of Persia. According to the practice of Manetho Egyptian historians refer to the periods in Egypt when the Achaemenid dynasty ruled as the twenty-seventh dynasty of Egypt, from 525-404 BC to the death of Darius II. And the thirty-first dynasty of Egypt 343-332 BC. Who began after the defeat Nectanebo II by the Persian king Artaxerxes III.
Alexander the Great defeated the Persian armies at Granicus (334 BC), followed by Issus (333 BC) and lastly at Gaugamela (331 BC). After that he marched on Susa and Persepolis, which began in 330 BC. From Persepolis Alexander went north to Pasargadae, where he visited the tomb of Cyrus, the funeral of the man whom he had heard from Cyropedia.
Inscription of Xerxes the Great near the Van
In the ensuing chaos created by the invasion of Alexander the Great in Persia, the tomb of the Cyrus of the Great was broken and most of his luxury plundered. When Alexander the Great reached the grave, he was horrified at the way the grave was treated, and asked the magicians and put them to justice. On some reports, Alexander's decision to bring the magicians to justice is more about his attempt to undermine his influence and power in his newly conquered empire than a concern for the grave of Cyrus. No matter, Alexander the Great ordered Aristobulus to improve the condition of the tomb and restore its inner being, which shows respect for Cyrus. From there he went to Ecbatana, where Darius III. Had sought shelter.
Darius III. Was captured by Bessus, his bacric satraps, and his relative. When Alexander approached, Bessus had murdered his men Darius III. And then Darius succeeded himself as Artaxerxes V, before he left Central Asia to delay Darius's body on the way to Alexander, who brought it to Persepolis for an honorable burial. Bessus would then create a coalition of his forces to create an army to defend against Alexander. Before Bessus was able to unite completely with his confederates in the eastern part of the empire, Alexander, who feared the danger for Bessus to find him, to bring him before a court controlled by him, and to execute his execution in a "barbaric manner" .
Despite the successful conquest of the entire Persian empire, Alexander the Great was still unable to offer a stable alternative. After his death, Alexander's once-massive Hellenistic empire was crushed by his ambitious generals (Diadochi), followed by a few minor empires, the largest of which was the Seleucid empire ruled by the generals of Alexander and their descendants. They followed the Parthian empire.
Part of the cause of the decline of the empire was the heavy tax burden on the state, which ultimately led to an economic decline. An estimate of the tribute that was imposed on the subject of nations was up to US $ 180M per year. This does not include the physical goods and supplies supplied as taxes. After the great effort of the government - the military, the bureaucracy, whatever the satraps could safely enter the coffers - this money went to the royal treasure chamber. In Persepolis, Alexander III. 180,000 talents, in addition to the additional treasure that the Macedonians already had seized in Damascus by Parmenio.
This amounted to US $ 2.7 B. In addition, Darius III. In his flight to the north 8000 talents. Alexander put this static hoard back into the economy, and after his death, about 130,000 talents were spent on the construction of cities, dockyards, temples, and the payment of the troops. In addition, one of the satraps, Harpalus, had been to Greece with about 6,000 talents, which Athens used to rebuild its economy after having it during the battles with the Corinthian League. Because of the flood of Alexander 's hoard, which entered Greece, however, there was a disturbance in the economy, in agriculture, banking, rents, the great increase of mercenaries, which allowed money to the rich, and an increase in Piracy.Another factor contributing to the decline of the Empire after Xerxes was its failure of ever molding the many subject nations into a whole; no national identity was ever attempted at. This looseness eventually affected the efficiency of the military.
Descendants in later Iranian dynasties
Istakhr, one of the Vassal kingdoms of the Parthian Empire, would be overthrown by Papak, a priest of the temple there. Papa's son, Ardašir I, who called himself in memory of Artaxerxes II, would revolt against the Parthians, finally defeat them and make the Sassanid empire or the second Persian empire known.Both the later dynasties of the Parthians and Sassanids and Gabaris would occasionally assert Achaemenid descent. Recently, it has shown some affirmation for the Parthian claim to Achaemenid descent about the possibility of a hereditary disease (neurofibromatosis) caused by the physical descriptions of rulers and evidence of familial disease on ancient coins.
Cyrus the Great founds the empire as a multi-state empire ruled by four capital states; Pasargadae, Babylon, Susa and Ekbatana. The Achaemenids allowed a certain regional autonomy in the form of the Satrapiesystem. A satrapie was an administrative unit, usually organized on a geographical basis. A "satrap" (governor) was the vassal kings who administered the region, a "general" military recruiting, ensuring order, and a "secretary of state" kept the official records. The Secretary General and the State Secretary reported directly to the Satrap as well as to the Central Government. At different times, there were between 20 and 30 satrapies.
Cyrus the Great created an organized army including the Immortals unit, consisting of 10,000 highly trained soldiers Cyrus also formed an innovative postal system throughout the empire, based on several relay stations called Chapar Khaneh.
Cyrus der Großen schuf eine organisierte Armee, inklusive der Unsterblichen Einheit, bestehend aus 10.000 hoch ausgebildeten Soldaten Cyrus auch ein innovatives Post-System im ganzen Reich, auf mehreren Relais-Stationen namens Chapar Khaneh.Darius the Great moved the capital from Pasargadae to Persepolis; He revolutionized the economy by placing it on a silver and gold coin, introducing a regulated and sustainable tax system that was tailored to each satrap, based on its alleged productivity and economic potential. For example, Babylon was judged for the highest amount and for a frightening mixture of goods - 1000 silver talents, four months supply of food for the army.
Under the Achaemenids, the trade was extensive and there was an efficient infrastructure that facilitated the exchange of commodities in the far reaches of the empire. Tariffs on trade were one of the empire's main sources of revenue, along with agriculture and tribute.
The satrapies were connected by a 2500-kilometer-long highway, the most impressive stretch was the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis, built by Darius I. The relays of the assembled couriers could reach the most remote areas in 15 days. Despite the relative local independence afforded by the satrapy system, royal inspectors, the "eyes and ears of the king" visited the empire and reported on the local conditions. The king also retained a personal bodyguard of the elite at 10,000 immortals when he was not in war.
The practice of slavery in Achaemenid Persia was generally prohibited, although there is evidence that captured and / or rebellious armies were sold in captivity. Zoroastrianism, the de facto religion of the empire, expressly forbids slavery, and the kings of Achaemenid Persia, especially the founder Cyrus the Great, followed this prohibition to varying degrees as evidenced by the liberation of the Jews in Babylon and the construction of Persepolis By paid workers.
The Vexilloid of the Achaemenid empire was a gold falcon on a field of purple.