Persia emerged and developed into a great country. They were successful in every aspect of their civilization (this includes religion, technology, ruling, government, and how well they adapted to their geographical surroundings). Persia did a great amount of conquering other civilizations and they had a strategic government system that was very effective. Group #3 Period #7
Geography of Persia B.C. <ul><li>Persia is located in Southwest Asia. </li></ul><ul><li>It is surrounded by natural barriers. </li></ul><ul><li>The rulers Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius expanded the Persian Empire immensely. </li></ul>
EXPANSION OF THE PERSIAN EMPIRE <ul><li>Cyrus (the first king of Persia) conquered the entire Fertile Crescent and most of Anatolia. </li></ul><ul><li>Darius (Persian king) conquered part of Anatolia. He united Persia by making a road system called, “The Royal Road”. </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Road: The Royal Road is a road that extends 1,677 miles from Susa in Persia to Sardis in Anatolia. It had 111 stations spaced 15 miles apart. This road system helped establish faster ways of communication with different parts of the empire. The road also promoted trade through out the empire. </li></ul><ul><li>Darius also conquered Egypt, making the Persian Empire extend over 2,500 miles from east to west. </li></ul><ul><li>Ionia was an ancient region in Persia. “Ionia consisted of a coastal strip about 25 miles (40 km) wide that extended from Phocaea at the mouth of the Hermus River in the north to the territory of Miletus south of the Maeander River, thus extending for a north-south distance of about 100 miles (160 km). Its habitable area consisted principally of three flat river valleys, the Hermus (modern Gediz), Cayster (Küçük Menderes), and Maeander (Büyük Menderes), that led down between mountain ranges of 5,000–6,000 feet (1,500–1,800 m) to empty into deeply recessed gulfs of the Aegean coast.” </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/292873/Ionia </li></ul>
Compare the map of the Persian Empire with that of the Assyrian Empire. What areas did the Persians rule that the Assyrians did not? Figure 1 Figure 2 “http://z.about.com/d/ ancienthistory /1/0/k/T/2/786px-Persian_empire_490bc.jpg http://www. kidspast .com/images/ assyrian -empire.jpg ” <ul><li>The Persians expanded their empire further into southwestern Asia and the northern part of Africa. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ The climate ranges from humid subtropical lowlands along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea to hot, dry deserts.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lack of precipitation, strong or permanent winds or both, and high temperatures combine to create high potential evaporation and therefore extreme aridity in most parts of the country.” </li></ul><ul><li>( http://www. iranica .com/ newsite /articles/v8f1/v8f1132.html ) </li></ul><ul><li>Topography: The Persians were surrounded by a numerous amount of natural barriers ( the Caucasus Mountains, the Zagros Mountains, the Taurus Mountains, the Tigris River, the Persian Gulf, and the Mediterranean Sea). </li></ul>
How did each Persian ruler expand and better the Persian Empire? Persia’s government was a monarchy. Each ruler changed Persia’s civilization, whether extending the Empire or influencing the people’s feelings towards how Persia was led.
Cyrus <ul><li>Cyrus ruled from 550-539 B.C. He was a military genius. Using his talents, he extended the Persian Empire from the Indus River to Anatolia. </li></ul><ul><li>Cyrus was a very tolerant ruler. He respected other religions and customs. He let the Hebrews practice their own religion, and he was even written about in their bible, being depicted as an honored king. </li></ul><ul><li>Cyrus died fighting nomads who were invading the eastern side of his Empire. </li></ul>
Cambyses <ul><li>Cambyses was the son of Cyrus, and started ruling in 530 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>He didn’t have his father’s tolerance for other customs and beliefs. In fact, he despised them. He even burned images of the Egyptian gods when he conquered Egypt. </li></ul><ul><li>He died eight years into his reign, and was probably the most hated of the Persian kings. </li></ul>
Darius <ul><li>Darius was actually the guard of Cambyses before he died. A group of well-trained soldiers called the Ten Thousand Immortals helped him achieve power in 521 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>The first couple of years of his reign, he had to clean up what Cambyses has left behind; numerous uprisings from the Persian society. </li></ul><ul><li>One of Darius’s greatest accomplishments was the establishment of many provinces in the Persian Empire. </li></ul><ul><li>He was the first Persian emperor to use coins in trade. </li></ul>
The Provinces Darius broke the Persian Empire into many provinces, since it was too big to be governed by just one person. He appointed satraps or local rulers to each province. He also had a type of security checking in to see whether or not the satraps were following his lead, along with an army leader and a tax collector. Each province spoke their own language, had their own traditions, and practiced their own religions. This is what made the Persian Empire so different from others.
Religion Zoroastrianism was different from all other religions during ancient times and that difference has had a great influence on our society today. The religion ancient Persians practiced was called Zoroastrianism.
Zoroastrianism: <ul><li>It was created by a Persian prophet named Zarathustra who lived around 600 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>They were monotheistic. The supreme god they worshipped is Ahura Mazda, or “Wise Lord.” </li></ul><ul><li>Their main belief was that choices affect one’s fate. </li></ul><ul><li>-When a human dies, they are judged based on the decisions they had made in their human life and are sent to either heaven (Ahura Mazda) and live a happy spiritual life or are sent to hell (Ahriman, or “Destructive Spirit”) and suffer throughout their afterlife. Every Zoroastrian’s goal is to be united with Ahura Mazda. </li></ul><ul><li>They define life as the battle between truth and order versus falsehood and disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>They believed in free will. Their religion gave its people much freedom within their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>They also believed in the purity of the earth (enviromentalism) and equality between people. </li></ul><ul><li>Their sacred form of literature are the “Avestas.” It is divided into different books and sections: Yasna, Khorda, Visperad, and Venidad. </li></ul><ul><li>They were very tolerant of other religions. </li></ul>Fig. 1 Fig. 2
Influence of Zoroastrianism on other religions <ul><li>It is believed that Zoroastrianism influenced other monotheistic religions that came after it, such as Christianity and Judaism and the Islamic religion. </li></ul><ul><li>They introduced the idea of heaven and hell. </li></ul><ul><li>Although Christians were originally polytheistic, they got the idea of God from monotheism and Zoroastrianism. </li></ul><ul><li>Events such as baptism and communism relate and link back to Zoroastrianism rituals and ceremonies. Zoroastrians had ceremonies of purification with fire and water. They believed that fire and water were important aspects of rituals because they were life-sustaining. </li></ul><ul><li>Zoroasters wore black skull caps called “fentas” which influenced yarmulkes in Judaism and head coverings in the Islamic religion. </li></ul>
Zoroastrianism today Today, the Zoroastrianism population is rapidly decreasing. What used to be millions of followers is now a disappointing number of 124,000 Zoroastrians. There are many reasons as to why the number of Zoroastrians is declining. Many Zoroastrians intermarry, which often results in them following and adapting to the religion their spouse practices instead of their own. In addition, since there is much freedom in the Zoroastrian religion, women are not limited to being the housekeeper of the family and instead choose to take on professional jobs outside of home. This can lead to Zoroastrian women not having any children at all because they are so busy with their jobs. The rate of Zoroastrian children being born to the number of Zoroastrian priest deaths is 1:6. This explains why Zoroastrians today fear that in 100 years, there won’t be anyone to continue their religion anymore. Fig. 3 Fig. 4
Persian technology is divided into three categories: Weapons, art, and architecture. Because of Persia’s wealth in minerals and raw materials they were able to create new objects in each of these categories.
The earliest Persian armor, even back to nomadic times, consisted of short knives, lassos, bows and arrows, as well as a lance. By the time Persia had become a civilization under the rule of Darius, these weapons had evolved to become helmets, shields, bows and arrows, sling, knife, dagger, and lance. WEAPONS
The Persians got a lot of inspiration from the ancient Assyrians. In battle, they used Assyrian shields, clubs, axes, and pole-axes. They did, however, have a symbol different from the Assyrians. When Persia went into battle, the image of a golden eagle, placed on their main flag, went with them.
ART During the reigns of Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes, the Persians created their most beautiful artwork,The most famous of which was made by the three kings themselves.
This gold bowl has a Persian inscription on it of king Xerxes This piece of art is called the Oxus. It was created by king Cyrus, is made of silver and gold, and has a griffin head on the top.
Architecture Persia’s Architecture was mostly designed by Persia’s kings. King Darius designed many of Persia’s buildings, a few including the terrace of Persepolis, main royal audience hall, the Apadena, Persia’s largest building, and several palaces. However, although Darius designed most of these buildings, he did not live to see his drawings made into reality. He died before many of the buildings were completed and his son, Xerxes, finished all of them.
Persia was a great nation, and although they didn’t invent any major technological breakthroughs for their time, they did invent some incredibly beautiful artwork and architecture. The greatness of their civilization was immortalized by these art forms. Much of the credit can be directly attributed to the three kings Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. Below is a picture of the Apadena building, designed by Darius.
Conclusion: The Ancient Persian civilization made many great accomplishments. Although they had very different ways of doing things, they were a very successful society. Cambyses was very tolerant of other religions and created provinces for people to practice their own religions and cultures, which was something many ancient rulers did not accept. Ancient Persian kings designed some of the architecture. They also had the Royal Road, which greatly promoted trade. In addition, they practiced Zoroastrianism, which was the first monotheistic religion in ancient times and has heavily influenced later history. The different ways Ancient Persia enhanced their civilization is what made them very unique.
Bibliography <ul><li>Geography Section: </li></ul><ul><li>K. Kris Hirst: “The Royal Road”, www.about.com , November 23, 2008 http://archaeology.about.com/ od / rterms /qt/royal_road. htm </li></ul><ul><li>Author not found, Contents, www. iranica .com 1996-2008, no publication date found, http://www. iranica .com/ newsite /articles/v8f1/v8f1132.html </li></ul><ul><li>No author, The Assyrian Empire, http://www. google .com/ imghp (sponsor website) (No date of publication found) http://www. kidspast .com/images/ assyrian -empire.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>No author, The Persian Empire, www.about.com , (sponsor website) (No date of publication found) http://z.about.com/d/ ancienthistory /1/0/k/T/2/786px-Persian_empire_490bc.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>"Ionia." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 25 Nov. 2008 < http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/292873/Ionia>. </li></ul><ul><li>Government Section: </li></ul><ul><li>Image #1. Anonymous, Cyrus the Great, Olympic Park. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://en. wikipedia .org/ wiki /Cyrus_the_Great (Sydney, Australia: Olympic Park) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Image #2. Anonymous, Cambyses Carving, </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://upload. wikimedia .org/ wikipedia /en/thumb/7/73/Persia.jpg/200px-Persia.jpg </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Image #3. Anonymous, King Darius’ Relief, Behistun. http://en. wikipedia .org/ wiki /Darius_the_Great_of_Persia (Behistun, Iran) </li></ul>