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

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