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Persian Empires
 

Persian Empires

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A brief overview of the Achaemenid, Alexandrian, Seleucid, Parthian, Sassanid dynasties.

A brief overview of the Achaemenid, Alexandrian, Seleucid, Parthian, Sassanid dynasties.

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    Persian Empires Persian Empires Presentation Transcript

    • Persian Empires
    • Achaemenid, 539-330bce
       Founder: Cyrus "the Shepherd" (r. 558-530bce)
      Origins: Medes and Persians (SW Iran), pastoral nomads
      Darius (r. 521-486bce) conquerer and administrator.
      Xerxes (r. 486-451) got into war with Greeks.
      Downfall: Greeks, Macedonians
    • Achaemenid Dynasty
    • Achaemenid, 539-330bce
      satraps with overlapping supervision
      standardization: laws, coins (Croesus), taxes
      Persian Royal Road and postal couriers; qanat (underground irrigation canals)
      Herodotus: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
      Zoroastrianism: Zarathustra (7-6c bce).
      Strong State support, esp. Darius
      Ahura Mazda v. Angra Mainyu, 12,000 year struggle
      Moderation: Good words, good thoughts, good deeds."
    • Globalization, Part 1 (of many)
      India: gold, ivory, aromatic woods
      Iran/Central Asia: lapis lazuli, turquoise, etc.
      Mesopotamia/Iran: textiles, mirrors, jewelry: Finished goods
      Anatolia: gold, silver, iron, copper, tin
      Phoenicia: glass, cedar, timber, dyed wools
      Arabia: spices, aromatic woods
      Egypt: grain, linens, papyrus;
      transhipped from Nubia: gold, ebony, ivory
      Greece: oil, wine, ceramics
    • Alexander’s Empire and the Hellenistic World, c. 323 B.C.E.
    • Successor States
      Alexandrian/Seleucid (330-83 bce)
      Parthian (247 bce-224ce)
      Sasanid (224-651ce)
      Varying support for Zoroastrianism (Hostile, Tolerated, Revived)
      Varying centralization (weak, revived satraps, full Achaeminid)
      Border Wars with Mediterranean states (esp. Rome) and India
      Strong trade orientation
    • Sources
      Maps from Stearns, et al., World Civilizations: The Global Experience (6e, 2011)