Chapter 7      The Empires of Persia                                                                                      ...
Persian Empires   Contemporary Iran   Four major dynasties       Achaemenids (558-330 BCE)       Seleucids (323-283 BC...
Achaemenid Empire (558-330 BCE)   Migration of Medes and Persians from central Asia,    before 1000 BCE       Indo-Europ...
Achaemenid Administration: TheSatrapies   23 Administrative divisions   Satraps Persian, but staff principally local   ...
Technologies   Qanat: System of underground canals       Avoided excessive loss to evaporation   Extensive road-buildin...
Decline of the Achaemenid Empire   Policy of toleration under Cyrus, Darius       Rebuilding of Temple in Jerusalem   X...
Persian Wars (500-479 BCE)   Rebellious Greeks in Ionia   Peninsular Greeks join in   Persians defeated at Marathon (49...
Seleucid Empire   Alexander the Great dies suddenly   Generals divide empire, best part goes to Seleucus    (r. 305-281 ...
The Achaemenid and Selucid empires,558-83 B.C.E.                                                                          ...
Parthian Empire   Seminomadic Parthians drive Seleucus out of Iran   Federated governmental structure   Especially stro...
Sasanid Empire (224-651 CE)   Claimed descent from Achaemenids   Continual conflicts with Rome, Byzantium in the    west...
The Parthian and Sasanid empires, 247B.C.E.-651 C.E                                                                       ...
Persian Society   Early steppe traditions       Warriors, priests, peasants       Family/clan kinship very important  ...
Slave Class   Prisoners of war, conquered populations   Debtors   Children, spouses also sold into slavery   Principal...
Persian Economy   Several areas exceptionally fertile   Long-distance trade benefits from Persian road-    building   G...
Zoroastrianism   Early Aryan influences on Persian religious    traditions   Zarathustra (late 7th-early 6th c. BCE)   ...
Fortunes of Zoroastrianism   Under Alexander: Massacre of Magi, burning    Zoroastrian temples   Weak Parthian support ...
Other Religious Groups in the PersianEmpire   Major Mesopotamian communities of Jews   Composition of the Talmud, c. 500...
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07 bentley3

  1. 1. Chapter 7 The Empires of Persia 1 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  2. 2. Persian Empires Contemporary Iran Four major dynasties  Achaemenids (558-330 BCE)  Seleucids (323-283 BCE)  Parthians (247 BCE-224 CE)  Sasanids (224-651 CE) 2 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  3. 3. Achaemenid Empire (558-330 BCE) Migration of Medes and Persians from central Asia, before 1000 BCE  Indo-Europeans Capitalized on weakening Assyrian and Babylonian empires Cyrus (r. 558-530 BCE) founder of dynasty  “Cyrus the Shepherd” Peak under Darius (r. 521-486 BCE)  Ruled Indus to the Aegean  Capital Persepolis 3 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  4. 4. Achaemenid Administration: TheSatrapies 23 Administrative divisions Satraps Persian, but staff principally local System of spies, surprise audits  Minimized possibilities of local rebellion Standardized currency for taxation purposes Massive road building, courier services 4 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  5. 5. Technologies Qanat: System of underground canals  Avoided excessive loss to evaporation Extensive road-building  Persian Royal Road  1,600 miles, some of it paved  Courier service 5 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  6. 6. Decline of the Achaemenid Empire Policy of toleration under Cyrus, Darius  Rebuilding of Temple in Jerusalem Xerxes (486-465 BCE) attempts to impose Persian stamp on satrapies Increasing public discontent 6 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  7. 7. Persian Wars (500-479 BCE) Rebellious Greeks in Ionia Peninsular Greeks join in Persians defeated at Marathon (490 BCE), retreated Alexander the Great conquers the Achaemenid Empire (334-331 BCE) 7 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  8. 8. Seleucid Empire Alexander the Great dies suddenly Generals divide empire, best part goes to Seleucus (r. 305-281 BCE) Attacked by rebellion in India, invasion of Parthians 8 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  9. 9. The Achaemenid and Selucid empires,558-83 B.C.E. 9 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  10. 10. Parthian Empire Seminomadic Parthians drive Seleucus out of Iran Federated governmental structure Especially strong cavalry Weakened by ongoing wars with Romans Fell to internal rebellion 10 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  11. 11. Sasanid Empire (224-651 CE) Claimed descent from Achaemenids Continual conflicts with Rome, Byzantium in the west, Kush in the east Overwhelmed by Arab conquest in 651 Persian administration and culture absorbed into local Islamic culture 11 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  12. 12. The Parthian and Sasanid empires, 247B.C.E.-651 C.E 12 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  13. 13. Persian Society Early steppe traditions  Warriors, priests, peasants  Family/clan kinship very important Creation of bureaucrat class with Empire  Tax collectors  Record keepers  translators 13 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  14. 14. Slave Class Prisoners of war, conquered populations Debtors Children, spouses also sold into slavery Principally domestic servitude  Some agricultural labor, public works 14 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  15. 15. Persian Economy Several areas exceptionally fertile Long-distance trade benefits from Persian road- building Goods from India especially valued 15 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  16. 16. Zoroastrianism Early Aryan influences on Persian religious traditions Zarathustra (late 7th-early 6th c. BCE) Prophet of Ahura Mazda, against Angra Mainu Priests of Zarathustra known as Magi Oral teachings until Sasanid period composed Gathas 16 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  17. 17. Fortunes of Zoroastrianism Under Alexander: Massacre of Magi, burning Zoroastrian temples Weak Parthian support Major revival under Sasanids, persecution of non- Zoroastrians Discrimination under Islam 17 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.
  18. 18. Other Religious Groups in the PersianEmpire Major Mesopotamian communities of Jews Composition of the Talmud, c. 500 CE  “constitution of Judaism” Buddhism, Christianity and Manichaeism also survived 18 Copyright © 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. Permission Required for Reproduction or Display.

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