|History of Greater Iran|
|Empires of Persia · Kings of Persia|
The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenid Persian Empire (Persian: هخامنشیان IPA: [haχɒmaneʃijɒn]) (550–330 BC) was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran, and the second great Iranian empire (after the Median Empire). The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. The Seleucid Empire /sə'lusɪd/ ( 312 - 63 BC) was a Hellenistic empire i The Gr(aeco-Bactrian Kingdom was the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran The Kushan Empire (c 1st &ndash 3rd centuries) was a Bactrian state that at its cultural zenith Circa 105 &ndash 250 The Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty or Sassanian Dynasty (ساسانیان) is the name used for the third Iranian dynasty and the second Persian empire The Hephthalites or White Huns were a Central Asian Nomadic confederation whose precise origins and composition remain obscure The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656 led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual extirpation of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656 led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual extirpation of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia The Tahirid dynasty, (سلسله طاهریان Persian: ( 821 - 873) ruled the northeastern Persian Empire region The Saffarid dynasty ( Persian: سلسله صفاریان ruled a empire in Sistan, which is a historical region now in southeastern Iran and southwestern The Samanids (819–999 ( Sāmāniyān) were a Persian dynasty in Central Asia and Greater Khorasan, named after its founder Saman The Ziyarids, also spelled Zeyarids (زیاریان or آل زیار were an Iranian dynasty that ruled in the Caspian sea provinces of Gorgan The Buyids (آل بویه Āl-e Buye, Caspian: Bowyiyün also known as Buwaihids or Buyyids, were a Shī‘ah Iranian The Ghaznavid Empire was a Khorāṣānian Sunni Muslim state founded by a dynasty of Turkic Mamluk. The Ghurids (or Ghorids; self-designation Shansabānī) ( were a Persian Sunni - Ismaili Muslim dynasty in Khorasan The Great Seljuq Empire was a Medieval Sunni Muslim empire established by the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks that once controlled The Khwarezmian Empire, more commonly known as the empire of the Khwarezm Shahs ( Khwārezmšhāḥīān, "Kings of Khwarezmia " The Kartid Dynasty ( Karts, also known as Kurts) was a Persian dynasty that ruled over a large part of Khorassan during the 13th The Ilkhanate, also spelled Il-khanate or Il Khanate (Ил Хан улс Il Khan uls;) was a Mongol Khanate established in The Muzaffarids (آل مظفر in Persian were a Sunni family that came to power in Iran following the breakup of the Ilkhanate in the 14th century The Chupanids, also known as the Süldüz or the Chobanids (سلسله امرای چوپانی Amir Chupani) were descendants of a Mongol family The Jalayirids (آل جلایر were a Mongol dynasty which ruled over Iraq and western Persia after the breakup of the Mongol Khanate of Persia The Timurids, self-designated Gurkānī ( were a Persianate Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty The Kara Koyunlu or Qara Qoyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans ( Turkmen: Garagoýunly; Azeri: Qaraqoyunlu The Ak Koyunlu or Aq Qoyunlu, also called the White Sheep Turkomans ( Turkmen: Akgoýunly, Azeri: Ağqoyunlu, The Safavids ( صفوی) were an Iranian ref>Helen Chapin Metz The Mughal Empire ( Persian and self-designation گورکانی; مغلیہ سلطنت) was an Islamic imperial power which ruled most The Hotaki dynasty (1709-1738 was founded in 1709 by Mirwais Khan Hotak, an ethnic Pashtun ( Afghan) from the Ghilzai clan of Kandahar province The Afsharids (سلسله افشار were an Iranian dynasty of Turkic descent from Khorasan that ruled the Persian Empire in the 18th century The Republics of the Soviet Union were according to the Article 76 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, Sovereign Soviet Socialist states that had united with other Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, The Durrani Empire (also referred to as the Afghan Empire) was a large state based in modern Afghanistan and Pakistan and later included northeastern The European influence in Afghanistan refers to political social and sometimes Imperialistic influence various European nations have had on this historical development of the Amanullah Khan reigned in Afghanistan from 1919 achieving full independence from the British Empire shortly afterwards Reign of Mohammed Nadir Shah 1929-1933 Mohammed Nadir Shah quickly abolished most of Amanullah Khan 's reforms but despite his efforts to rebuild an army Mohammed Daoud Khan ( July 18, 1909 – April 28, 1978) was a politician in Afghanistan who overthrew the monarchy of Zahir Shah The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was a Soviet -backed government in Afghanistan between 1978 and 1992. See also Civil war in Afghanistan This article on the History of Afghanistan since 1992 covers the time period from the fall of the Najibullah government in 1992 This is a timeline of Afghanistan. To read about the background to these events see History of Afghanistan. Azerbaijan ( English; Azərbaycan officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan Respublikası is the largest and most populous country in the South This article is about the history of Azerbaijan. For the history of Iranian Azerbaijan, please see the History of Iran Azerbaijan or This article is about the history of Azerbaijan. For the history of Iranian Azerbaijan, please see the History of Iran Azerbaijan or The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic ( ADR; Azərbaycan Xalq Cümhuriyyəti was the first Democratic and Secular Republic in the Muslim world This article is about the former Soviet republic for other similar uses see Azerbaijan (disambiguation. Azerbaijan ( English; Azərbaycan officially the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan Respublikası is the largest and most populous country in the South The Kingdom of Bahrain (in مملكة البحرين,, literally Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Island country in the Persian Gulf Bahrain is a borderless Island country in the Persian Gulf. Although Bahrain became an independent country in 1971 the history of these islands starts Bahrain is a borderless Island country in the Persian Gulf. Although Bahrain became an independent country in 1971 the history of these islands starts The Kingdom of Bahrain (in مملكة البحرين,, literally Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Island country in the Persian Gulf For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. The Zand dynasty ( (سلسله زندیه ruled southern and central Iran ( 1750 &ndash 1794) in the eighteenth century The Qajar dynasty (also known as Ghajar or Kadjar ( ( - or دودمان قاجار) is a common term to describe Iran (then known as Persia) under The Iranian Revolution' (mostly known as the Islamic Revolution, Persian: انقلاب اسلامی Enghelābe Eslāmi was the Revolution that transformed The Interim Government of Iran ( 1979 - 1980) was the first government established in Iran after the Islamic Revolution. One of the most dramatic changes in government in Iran's history was seen with the 1979 Iranian Revolution where Shah ( king) Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. The Ottoman Empire (1299–1923 ( Old Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i Âliye-yi Osmâniyye, Late Ottoman and Modern Turkish This article includes an overview from prehistory to the present in the region of the current state of Iraq in Mesopotamia. This article includes an overview from prehistory to the present in the region of the current state of Iraq in Mesopotamia. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of The Emirate of Bukhara ( Buxoro Amirligi; Аморати Бухоро was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920 The Bukharan People's Soviet Republic (Бухарская Народная Советская Республика was the name of Uzbekistan from 1920 to 1925 The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Ўзбекистон Совет Социалистик Республикаси O`zbekiston Sovet Sotsialistik Respublikasi; Узбекская The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Республикаи Советии Социалистии Тоҷикистон Respublikai Sovetii Sotsialistii Tocikiston; Таджикская Tajikistan (təˈdʒɪkɨstæn or /təˈdʒiːkɨstæn/ Тоҷикистон tɔʤikɪsˈtɔn or, Persian تاجیکستان taajikestaan officially the Republic of Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly The Emirate of Bukhara ( Buxoro Amirligi; Аморати Бухоро was a Central Asian state that existed from 1785 to 1920 The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Ўзбекистон Совет Социалистик Республикаси O`zbekiston Sovet Sotsialistik Respublikasi; Узбекская Located in the heart of Central Asia between the Amu Darya (Oxus and Syr Darya (Jaxartes Rivers Uzbekistan has a long and interesting heritage Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan ( Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi or Ўзбекистон Республикаси is a doubly The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia Greater Iran (in Irān-e Bozorg, or fa ایرانزمین Irān-zamīn; the Encyclopedia Iranica uses the term The Iranian people are a collection of Ethnic groups defined along linguistic lines as speaking Iranian languages. At the height of its power, encompassing approximately 7. 5 million square kilometers, the Achaemenid Empire was territorially the largest empire of classical antiquity. Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural History centered on the Mediterranean It spanned three continents, including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black Thrace (Тракия Trakiya or "Trakija" or Trakia, Θράκη Thráki, Trakya is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe The Black Sea is an inland Sea bounded by southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Anatolian peninsula ( Turkey For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KSA ( المملكة العربية السعودية, al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya) or Suudi Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (الأردنّ al-Urdunn) is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Libya ( ليبيا ar-Latn Lībiyā; Libyan vernacular: Lībya; Amazigh:) officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language. A polis ( πόλις, pronunciation, in English-- plural poleis ( πόλεις, pronunciation, in English --is a City, a See also History of ancient Israel and Judah According to the Bible, the Israelites were the dominant group living in the Land of Israel. The Babylonian captivity, Babylonian exile, is the name typically given to the deportation and exile of the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Aramaic is a Semitic language with Because of the Empire's vast extent and long endurance, Persian influence upon the language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law and government of nations around the world lasts to this day.
The empire began as a tributary state of the Medes but ended up conquering and enlarging the Median empire to include Egypt and Asia Minor. The term vassal state commonly refers to any state that was subordinate to another in the pre-modern international system The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. Ancient Egypt was an Ancient Civilization in eastern North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black Under Xerxes, it came very close to conquering Ancient Greece. The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca The Achaemenids were overthrown by the conquest of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ'
The founder of this dynasty was supposedly Achaemenes: هخامنش (Old Persian Haxāmaniš "Of Friendly Mind"). This article is about Achaemenes, legendary founder of the first Persian dynasty He was succeeded by his son Teispes (Cišpi), who first took the title King of Anšān after seizing Anšān city from the Elamites. Teispes (𐎨𐎡𐏁𐎱𐎡𐏁 Cišpiš; Greek; died 640 BC was the son of Achaemenes and a King of Persia. Anshan ( Persian: انشان Anšan, modern Tall-i Malyan or Tepe Malyan, Iran) a site on the Iranian plateau Elam is the name of an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Inscriptions indicate that when Teispes died, two of his sons shared the throne as Cyrus (Kuruš), king of Anšān, and Ariaramnes (Ariyāramna, 'Having the Iranians at Peace'), king of Parsua (later called Pārsa, that is, Persia Proper). Cyrus I (Old Persian Kuruš) was King of Anshan from c 600 to 580 BC or according to others from c Ariaramnes ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎡𐎹𐎠𐎼𐎶𐎴 Ariyāramna, "He who brings peace to the Aryans quot was an uncle of Cyrus the Great Fars (pronounced/fɑː(ɹs ( Persian: فارس Fârs) is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. They were succeeded by their respective sons Cambyses I of Anshan (Kambūjiya, "the Elder"), and Arsames (Aršāma "Having a Hero's Might") of Iran (Persia). Cambyses I Old Persian Kambūjiya 'the Elder' (c 600 BC&ndash559 BC was King of Anshan from c Arsames (𐎠𐎼𐏁𐎠𐎶 Aršāma modern Persian: ارشام&lrm Greek:; &ndash ca Greater Iran (in Irān-e Bozorg, or fa ایرانزمین Irān-zamīn; the Encyclopedia Iranica uses the term
In 559 BCE, Cambyses I the Elder was succeeded as king of Anšān by his son Cyrus II the Great, who also succeeded the still-living Arsames as King of Persia, thus reuniting the two realms. Cyrus is considered to be the first true king of the Achaemenid dynasty, as his predecessors were subservient to Media. The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. Cyrus II conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylon. Defining Lydia Aside from a legend related by Herodotus, who states that the name Lydia came from king Lydus at the time of the fall of Troy Babylon was a City-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which can be found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq Cyrus was politically shrewd, modeling himself as the "savior" of conquered nations. To reinforce this image, he instituted policies of religious freedom, and restored temples and other infrastrcture in the newly acquired cities. (Most notably the Jews of Babylon, as recorded in the Cyrus Cylinder and the Tanakh). The Cyrus cylinder, also known as the Cyrus the Great cylinder, is a document issued by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the form of a clay See also Old testament, Septuagint, Targum, Peshitta The Tanakh (תַּנַ"ךְ (taˈnax or; also Tenakh or Tenak is It was the general policy of the Achaemenids to continue the Assyrian and Babylonian practice of transferring large populations between areas. This caused a great deal of cultural diffusion, blending many of the disparate clans together, and thus reducing previous tribal (and territorial) loyalties. As a result, the Achaemenid era was known as a relatively peaceful period in Middle Eastern history.
His immediate successors were less successful. Cyrus' son Cambyses II conquered Egypt, but died in July 522 BCE as the result of either accident or suicide, during a revolt led by a sacerdotal clan that had lost its power following Cyrus' conquest of Media. These priests, whom Herodotus called Magi, usurped the throne for one of their own, Gaumata, who then pretended to be Cambyses II's younger brother Smerdis (Pers. The Magi (singular Magus, from Latin via Greek μάγος; Old English: Mage; from Persian maguš and Kurdish Smerdis, Bardiya or Bardia (𐎲𐎼𐎮𐎡𐎹 Bardiya) was a son of Cyrus the Great whose name was allegedly usurped by an impostor a Bardiya), who had been assassinated some three years earlier. Owing to the despotic rule of Cambyses and his long absence in Egypt, "the whole people, Perses, Medes and all the other nations," acknowledged the usurper, especially as he granted a remission of taxes for three years (Herodotus iii. 68).
It is important to note that the claim that Gaumata had impersonated Smerdis, is derived from Darius. Historians are divided over the possibility that the story of the impostor was invented by Darius as justification for his coup . Darius made a similar claim when he later captured Babylon, announcing that the Babylonian king was not, in fact, Nebuchadnezzar III, but an impostor named Nidintu-bel. 
According to the Behistun Inscription, pseudo-Smerdis ruled for seven months before being overthrown in 522 BCE by a member of a lateral branch of the Achaemenid family, Darius I (Old Persian Dāryavuš "Who Holds Firm the Good", also known as Darayarahush or Darius the Great). The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون; Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the god's Darius I the Great (c 549 BC&ndash486 BC 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 Dārayavahuš: "Possessing goodness" Having ascended to power amidst controversy and bloodshed The Magi, though persecuted, continued to exist, and a year following the death of the first pseudo-Smerdis (Gaumata), had a second pseudo-Smerdis (named Vahyazdāta) attempt a coup. The coup, though initially successful, failed.
According to Herodotus, the native leadership then debated the best form of government for the Empire. Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek Historian who lived in the 5th century BC ( 484 BC&ndash He reports that it was decided that oligarchy would divide them against one another, and democracy would bring about mob rule resulting in a charismatic leader resuming the monarchy. Oligarchy' ( Greek, Oligarkhía) is a Form of government where Political power effectively rests with a small elite segment Ochlocracy ( Greek: οχλοκρατία or okhlokratía; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a mass of people Therefore, they decided a new monarch was in order, particularly since they were in a position to choose him. Darius I was chosen monarch from among the leaders. He was cousin to Cambyses II and Smerdis, claiming Ariaramnes as his ancestor.
Darius I 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 in 490, he was forced to pull the limits of his empire back to Asia Minor. The Battle of Marathon ( Greek: Μάχη τοῡ Μαραθῶνος Machē tou Marathōnos) during the Greco-Persian Wars took place in 490 Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black
The Achaemenids thereafter consolidated areas firmly under their control. It was Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great who, by sound and farsighted administrative planning, brilliant military maneuvering, and a humanistic world view, established the greatness of the Achaemenids and, in less than thirty years, raised them from an obscure tribe to a world power. Darius I the Great (c 549 BC&ndash486 BC 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 Dārayavahuš: "Possessing goodness" Having ascended to power amidst controversy and bloodshed It was during the reign of Darius I that Persepolis was built (518–516 BCE) and which would serve as capital for several generations of Achaemenid kings. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial Events and trends 519 BC — Zhou Jing Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. Events and trends 519 BC — Zhou Jing Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. Ecbatana (Hagmatāna "City of Gatherings", modern Hamadan) in Media was greatly expanded during this period and served as the summer capital. Ecbatana ( Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, written Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, Agámtanu by Nabonidos Hamedān or Hamadān ( Persian: همدان, Old Persian: Hagmatana Hebrew: המזיין Ancient Greek: Ecbatana)
Nonetheless, by the 5th century BCE the Achaemenid kings ruled over territories roughly encompassing today's Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Bulgaria, many parts of Greece, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Caucasia, Central Asia, Libya, and northern parts of Arabia. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, Turkey (Türkiye known officially as the Republic of Turkey ( is a Eurasian Country that stretches The state of Bulgaria (България transliterated bg-Latn ''Balgaria'' The country preserves the traditions (in ethnic name language and alphabet of the First Bulgarian Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Syria ( سوريّة or) officially the Syrian Arab Republic (Arabic ar الجمهورية العربية السورية Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (الأردنّ al-Urdunn) is an Arab country in Southwest Asia spanning the southern For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. The West Bank (الضفة الغربية, הגדה המערבית Hagadah Hamaaravit) also referred to in Israel as " Judea and Samaria The Gaza Strip (قطاع غزة, רצועת עזה Retzu'at 'Azza) is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt on the south-west Lebanon (ˈlɛbənɒn Arabic: ar لبنان Lubnān) officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic (ar الجمهورية اللبنانية Central Asia is a region of Asia from the Caspian Sea in the west to central China in the east and from southern Russia in the north to northern Pakistan in the south Libya ( ليبيا ar-Latn Lībiyā; Libyan vernacular: Lībya; Amazigh:) officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab The Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية šibh al-jazīra al-ʻarabīya or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻarab) The empire eventually became the largest empire of the ancient world. This article provides a list of the largest Empires in world history.
Xerxes I (485–465 BCE, Old Persian Xšayārša "Hero Among Kings"), son of Darius I, organised a massive expedition aiming to conquer Greece. Xerxes I of Persia was a King of Persia (reigned 485–465 BC of the Achaemenid dynasty. Darius I the Great (c 549 BC&ndash486 BC 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 Dārayavahuš: "Possessing goodness" Having ascended to power amidst controversy and bloodshed Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία His army entered Greece from the north, meeting little or no resistance through Macedonia and Thessaly, but was held by a small Greek force for three days at Thermopylae. Macedonia ( Μακεδονία, Makedonía,) is a geographical and historical region of Greece in southeastern Europe Thessalia redirects here For the Butterfly Genus, see Thessalia (butterfly. A simultaneous naval battle at Artemisium was tactically indecisive as large storms destroyed ships from both sides. The battle was stopped prematurely when the Greeks received news of the defeat at Thermopylae and retreated. The battle was a strategic victory for the Persians, giving them uncontested control of Artemisium and Aegean Sea.
Following his victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes sacked the evacuated city of Athens and prepared to meet the Greeks at the strategic Isthmus of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. In the Battle of Thermopylae, which occurred in August 480 BC (and was detailed almost entirely by Herodotus) an alliance of Greek City-states fought Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's The Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow landbridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the mainland of Greece, near the city of Corinth The Saronic Gulf ( Greek: Σαρωνικός κόλπος Saronikós kólpos) or Gulf of Aegina in Greece forms part of the In 480 BCE the Greeks won a decisive victory at the Battle of Salamis and forced Xerxes to retire to Sardis. The Battle of Salamis ( Ancient Greek:) was a decisive naval battle between the Greek City-states and Persia in September 480 BC in the Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in The army which he left in Greece under Mardonius was destroyed in 479 BCE at the Battle of Plataea. This page is about the historical figure for the Millipede Genus, see Mardonius (genus Mardonius (d The Battle of Plataea was the final major Battle of the Greco-Persian Wars in southern Greece. The final defeat of the Persians at Mycale encouraged the Greek cities of Asia to revolt, and marked the end of the Greco-Persian Wars, along with Persian expansion to Europe. The Battle of Mycale, Ancient Greek, grc-Latn Mache tes Mycales, was one of the two major battles that ended the Persian invasion of Greece during the
Xerxes I was followed by Artaxerxes I (465–424 BCE), who moved the capital from Persepolis to Babylon. The lion ( Panthera leo) is a member of the family Felidae and one of four Big cats in the Genus Panthera. Artaxerxes I (Latin Greek Ἀρταξέρξης Persian اردشیر یکم (Ardeshir corruption of Old Persian 𐎠𐎼𐎭𐎧𐎨𐏁𐎨 Artaxšacā It was during this reign that Elamite ceased to be the language of government, and Aramaic came into prominence. Elamite is an Extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. It was probably during this reign that the solar calendar (based on the Babylonian one) was introduced as the national calendar. The Babylonian calendar was a Lunisolar calendar with years consisting of 12 Lunar months each beginning when a new crescent moon was first sighted low Under Artaxerxes I, [[Zo
Artaxerxes I died in Susa, and his body was brought to Persepolis for interment in the tomb of his forebears. Artaxerxes I was immediately succeeded by his eldest son Xerxes II, who was however assassinated by one of his half-brothers a few weeks later. Darius II was then in Babylon, where he rallied support for himself. He marched eastwards, desposed and put to death the assassin and was crowned in his stead.
From 412 Darius II (423–404 BCE), at the instance of the able Tissaphernes, gave support then to Athens, then to Sparta, but in 407, Darius' son Cyrus the Younger was appointed to replace Tissaphernes and aid was given entirely to Sparta which finally defeated Athens in 404. Cyrus (Kuruš the Younger, son of Darius II of Persia (Dārayavahuš and Parysatis, was a Persian prince and General. In the same year, Darius fell fatally ill and died in Babylon. At his deathbed, his Babylonian wife Parysatis pleaded with Darius to have her second eldest son Cyrus (the Younger) crowned, but Darius refused. Parysatis was the 5th century BCE illegitimate daughter of Artaxerxes I, Emperor of Persia and Andia of Babylon.
Darius was then succeeded by his eldest son Artaxerxes II Memnon. Artaxerxes II Mnemon ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçrā, Ἀρταξέρξης (ca Plutarch relates (probably on the authority of Ctesias) that the displaced Tissaphernes came to the new king on his coronation day to warn him that his younger brother Cyrus (the Younger) was preparing to assassinate him during the ceremony. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ( Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος c Ctesias of Cnidus ( Greek) was a Greek Physician and Historian from Cnidus in Caria. Artaxerxes had Cyrus arrested and would have had him put to death if their mother Parysatis had not intervened. Cyrus was then sent back as Satrap of Lydia, where he prepared an armed rebellion. Cyrus and Artaxerxes met in the Battle of Cunaxa in 401 BCE, where Cyrus was killed. The Battle of Cunaxa was fought in 401 BC between Cyrus the Younger and his elder brother Arsaces who had inherited the Persian throne as Artaxerxes
Artaxerxes II (404–358 BCE), was the longest reigning of the Achaemenid kings and it was during this 45-year period of (relative) peace and stability that many of the monuments of the era were constructed. Artaxerxes II Mnemon ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçrā, Ἀρταξέρξης (ca Artaxerxes moved the capital back to Persepolis, which he greatly extended. Also the summer capital at Ecbatana was lavishly extended with gilded columns and roof tiles of silver and copper (Polybius, 10. 27. 12). The extraordinary innovation of the Zoroastrian shrine cults can also be dated to his reign, and it was probably during this period that Zoroastrianism was disseminated throughout Asia Minor and the Levant, and from there to Armenia. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black See also Names of the Levant The Levant (lə'vænt is a geographical term that denotes a large area in Western Asia, roughly bounded on the north by the Armenia (Հայաստան transliterated: Hayastan,) officially the Republic of Armenia (Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն Hayastani The temples, though serving a religious purpose, were however not a purely selfless act: they also served as an important source of income. From the Babylonian kings, the Achaemenids had taken over the concept of a mandatory temple tax, a one-tenth tithe which all inhabitants paid to the temple nearest to their land or other source of income (Dandamaev & Lukonin, 1989:361–362). A share of this income called the quppu ša šarri, "kings chest"—an ingenious institution originally introduced by Nabonidus—was then turned over to the ruler. Nabonidus ( Akkadian Nabû-nāʾid) was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, reigning from 556-539 BCE In retrospect, Artaxerxes is generally regarded as an amiable man who lacked the moral fibre to be a really successful ruler. However, six centuries later Ardeshir I, founder of the second Persian Empire, would consider himself Artaxerxes' successor, a grand testimony of the importance of Artaxerxes to the Persian psyche. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia
According to Greek sources, Artaxerxes' successor Artaxerxes III (358 BC–338 BCE) came to the throne by bloody means, ensuring his place upon the throne by the assassination of eight of his half-brothers. Artaxerxes III of Persia ( Ca 425 BC &ndash 338 BC ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 transliterated as Artaxšaçrā) was the Great In 343 BCE Artaxerxes III defeated Nectanebo II, driving him from Egypt, and made Egypt once again a Persian satrapy. Nectanebo II (ruled 360 - 343 BC also known by the name Nakhthoreb, was the third and last king of the Thirtieth dynasty of Egypt and also the last native In 338 BCE, the very year that Philip of Macedon united the Greek states (by force) and so paved the way for Alexander, Artaxerxes III died of natural causes (according to cuneiform sources) but according to the Greek historian Diodorus, Artaxerxes was murdered by his minister, Bagoas. Philip II of Macedon, ( Greek: Φίλιππος Β' ο Μακεδών &mdash φίλος = friend + ίππος = Horse Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' 
Artxerxes III was succeeded by Artaxerxes IV Arses, who before he could act was also poisoned by Bagoas. Artaxerxes (Artaxšacā IV Arses, King of Persia between 338 BC and 336 BC Bagoas is further said to have killed not only all Arses' children, but many of the other princes of the land. Bagoas then had Darius III (336–330 BCE), a nephew of Artaxerxes IV, placed on the throne. Darius III ( Artashata) (c 380&ndash330 BC Persian داریوش Dāriūš dɔːriˈuːʃ was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of
Darius III, although previously Satrap of Armenia, had no training in governing the empire, but in his first year as emperor he personally forced Bagoas to swallow poison. The Orontid Dynasty (in Armenian: Երվանդունիների հարստություն was the first known Armenian dynasty In 334 BCE, when Darius was just succeeding in subduing Egypt again, Alexander and his battle-hardened Macedonian troops attacked Asia Minor.
At two different times, the Achaemenids ruled Egypt although the Egyptians twice regained temporary independence from Persia. This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. After the practice of Manetho, Egyptian historians refer to the periods in Egypt when the Achaemenid dynasty ruled as the twenty-seventh dynasty of Egypt, 525–404 BCE, until the death of Darius II, and the thirty-first dynasty of Egypt, 343–332 BCE, which began after Nectanebo II was defeated by the Persian king Artaxerxes III. Manetho (or Manethon) was an Egyptian Historian and Priest from Sebennytos ( Ancient Egyptian: Tjebnutjer) who The History of Ancient Egypt spans the period from the early predynastic settlements of the northern Nile Valley to the Roman conquest in 30 Nectanebo II (ruled 360 - 343 BC also known by the name Nakhthoreb, was the third and last king of the Thirtieth dynasty of Egypt and also the last native Artaxerxes III of Persia ( Ca 425 BC &ndash 338 BC ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 transliterated as Artaxšaçrā) was the Great
This second Persian occupation of Egypt ended in 332 when Alexander the Great, withdrawing from his attempted conquest of Nubia which was rebuffed by the Candace of Meroë, entered Egypt instead, where he was welcomed as a liberator in Persian-occupied Egypt. This article is about the region in Africa for other uses see Nubia (disambiguation. Candace of Meroe was the queen of Nubia at the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Ptolemaic Egypt began when Ptolemy I Soter declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt in 305 BC and ended with the death of queen Cleopatra
Alexander defeated western Satraps at the battles of Issus (332 BCE), and the Gaugamela (331 BCE). The Battle of Issus (or more commonly The Battle at Issus) occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' Art History Mosaics of the 4th century BC are found in the Macedonian palace-city of Aegae, and they enriched the floors of Hellenistic Naples ( Napoli, Neapolitan: Nàpule) is a historic City in southern Italy, the Capital of the The Battle of Issus (or more commonly The Battle at Issus) occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The Battle of Gaugamela (ˌgɔːgəˈmiːlə (Γαυγάμηλα took place in 331 BC between Alexander the Great of Macedonia and Darius III
Next, Alexander marched on Susa, which likewise, capitulated and surrendered vast treasure. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Alexander then went eastward to Persepolis which surrendered in early 330 BCE. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial From Persepolis, Alexander headed north to Pasargadae where he treated the tomb of Cyrus II with respect. From there he headed to Ecbatana, where Darius III had sought refuge. Ecbatana ( Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, written Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, Agámtanu by Nabonidos
The Persian king was taken prisoner by Bessus, his Bactrian satrap and kinsman. Bessus (died summer 329 BC was a Persian nobleman and Satrap of Bactria, and later contender king of Persia "Bactrian" redirects here For the camel see Bactrian camel. See also the related deity Satrapes. Satrap (Persian ساتراپ was the name given to the governors of the Provinces of ancient As Alexander approached, Bessus had his men murder Darius and then declared himself Darius' successor, as Artaxerxes V, before retreating into Central Asia to launch a guerrilla campaign against Alexander. They left the body of Darius in the road to delay Alexander, who took his body to Persepolis for an honorable interment.
The Achaemenid empire was succeeded by the Seleucid empire, that is, by the generals of Alexander and their descendants, who ruled Persia. The Seleucid Empire /sə'lusɪd/ ( 312 - 63 BC) was a Hellenistic empire i They in turn would be succeeded by the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia in North-Eastern Iran, who, quite spuriously, would claim Artaxerxes II for their ancestor. Parthia ( Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân) was an Iranian civilization situated in the northeastern part of modern Iran
Istakhr, one of the vassal kingdoms of the Arsacids would be overthrown by Papak, a priest of the temple there. Papak's son, Ardašir I, who named himself in remembrance of Artaxerxes II, revolted against the Parthians, defeated them and went on to establish the second Persian Empire, 556 years after the end of the first. Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, was ruler of Istakhr (206-241 subsequently Persia
The Achaemenids were absolutists who allowed a certain amount of regional autonomy in the form of the satrapy system. The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون; Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the god's Darius I the Great (c 549 BC&ndash486 BC 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 Dārayavahuš: "Possessing goodness" Having ascended to power amidst controversy and bloodshed See also the related deity Satrapes. Satrap (Persian ساتراپ was the name given to the governors of the Provinces of ancient A satrapy was an administrative unit, usually organized on a geographical basis. A satrap (governor) administered the region, a general supervised military recruitment and ensured order, and a state secretary kept official records. See also the related deity Satrapes. Satrap (Persian ساتراپ was the name given to the governors of the Provinces of ancient The general and the state secretary reported directly to the central government.
Accomplishments of Darius' reign included codification of the data, a universal legal system upon which much of later Iranian law would be based, and construction of a new capital at Persepolis, where vassal states would offer their yearly tribute at the festival celebrating the spring equinox. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial
The practice of slavery in Achaemenid Persia was generally banned, although there is evidence that conquered and/or rebellious armies were sold into captivity.  Zoroastrianism, the de facto religion of the empire, explicitly forbids slavery, and the kings of Achaemenid Persia followed this ban to varying degrees, as evidenced by the freeing of the Jews at Babylon, and the construction of Persepolis by paid workers.
The twenty three satrapies were linked by a 2,500-kilometer highway, the most impressive stretch being the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis, built by command of Darius I. The Persian Royal Road was an ancient highway reorganized and rebuilt by the Persian king Darius I of Achaemenid Empire in the 5th Century BC Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in Relays of mounted couriers could reach the remotest of areas in fifteen days. Despite the relative local independence afforded by the satrapy system, royal inspectors, the "eyes and ears of the king," toured the empire and reported on local conditions. The king also maintained a personal bodyguard of 10,000 men, called the Immortals. The Achaemenid Persian Immortals also known as the Persian Immortals or The Immortals were an elite force of Persian soldiers who performed the dual roles of
Darius revolutionized the economy by placing it on a silver and gold coinage system. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial Trade was extensive, and under the Achaemenids 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 Achaemenid Empire, which at the height of its glory had more than 20 nations under its control, was built on the most basic principles - that of truth and justice, which formed the bases of the Achaemenid culture. The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون; Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the god's The meaning of the word truth extends from Honesty, Good faith, and Sincerity in general to agreement with Fact or Reality JUSTICE is a Human rights and law reform organisation based in the United Kingdom. Based on the Zoroastrian doctrine, it was the strong emphasis on honesty and integrity that gave the ancient Persians credibility to rule the world, even in the eyes of the people belonging to the conquered nations. Herodotus in his mid-5th century BCE account of Persian residents of the Pontus recorded that the most disgraceful thing in the world [the Perses] think, is to tell a lie; the next worst, to owe a debt: because, among other reasons, the debtor is obliged to tell lies. Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek Historian who lived in the 5th century BC ( 484 BC&ndash Herodotus also reports that Persian youths, from their fifth year to their twentieth year, were instructed in three things - to ride a horse, to draw a bow, and to speak the Truth. Truth for the sake of truth, was the universal motto and the very core of the Achaemenid culture that was followed not only by the great kings, but even the ordinary Persians, who made it a point to adhere to this code of conduct.
In Achaemenid Iran, the lie, druj, is considered to be a cardinal sin, and it was punishable by death in some extreme cases. Tablets discovered by archaeologists in 1930s at the site of Persepolis give us adequate evidence about the love and veneration for the culture of truth during the Achaemenian period. Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial These tablets contain the names of ordinary Iranians, mainly traders and warehouse-keepers.  According to Professor Stanley Insler of Yale University, as many as 72 names of officials and petty clerks found on these tablets contain the word truth.  Thus, says Insler, we have Artapana, protector of truth, Artakama, lover of truth, Artamanah, truth-minded, Artafarnah, possessing splendour of truth, Artazusta, delighting in truth, Artastuna, pillar of truth, Artafrida, prospering the truth and Artahunara, having nobility of truth. It was Darius the Great, who laid down the ordinance of good regulations during his reign. King Darius' testimony about his constant battle against the lie is found in cuneiform inscriptions. Carved high up in the Behistun mountain on the road to Kermanshah, Darius testifies:
Darius had his hands full dealing with large-scale rebellion which broke out throughout the empire. After fighting successfully with nine traitors in a year, Darius records his battles against them for posterity and tells us how it was the lie that made them rebel against the empire. At Behistun, Darius says:
Then an advice to his son Xerxes, who is to succeed him as the great king:
During the reign of Cyrus and Darius, and as long as the seat of government was still at Susa in Elam, the language of the Achaemenid chancellory was Elamite. Susa ( Biblical שושן ( Shushan) also Greek: Σοῦσα Transliterated as Sousa; Latin Susa) Elam is the name of an ancient civilization located in what is now southwest Iran. Elamite is an Extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. This is primarily attested in the Persepolis fortification and treasury tablets that reveal details of the day-to-day functioning of the empire.  In the grand rock-face inscriptions of the kings, the Elamite texts are always accompanied by Akkadian and Old Persian inscriptions, and it appears that in these cases, the Elamite texts are translations of the Old Persian ones. It is then likely that although Elamite was used by the capital government in Susa, it was not a standardized language of government everywhere in the empire. The use of Elamite is not attested after 458 BC.
Following the conquest of Mesopotamia, the Aramaic language (as used in that territory) was adopted as the "vehicle for written communication between the different regions of the vast empire with its different peoples and languages. Aramaic is a Semitic language with The use of a single official language, which modern scholarship has dubbed Official Aramaic or Imperial Aramaic, can be assumed to have greatly contributed to the astonishing success of the Achaemenids in holding their far-flung empire together for as long as they did. Aramaic is a Semitic language with " In 1955, Richard Frye questioned the classification of Imperial Aramaic as an "official language", noting that no surviving edict expressly and unambiguously accorded that status to any particular language.  Frye reclassifies Imperial Aramaic as the "lingua franca" of the Achaemenid territories, suggesting then that the Achaemenid-era use of Aramaic was more pervasive than generally thought. A lingua franca (from Italian, literally meaning Frankish language, see etymology under Sabir and Italian below is any Language widely Many centuries after the fall of the empire, Aramaic script and - as ideograms - Aramaic vocabulary would survive as the essential characteristics of the Pahlavi writing system. 
Although Old Persian also appears on some seals and art objects, that language is attested primarily in the Achaemenid inscriptions of Western Iran, suggesting then that Old Persian was the common language of that region. However, by the reign of Artaxerxes II, the grammar and orthography of the inscriptions was so "far from perfect" that it has been suggested that the scribes who composed those texts had already largely forgotten the language, and had to rely on older inscriptions, which they to a great extent reproduced verbatim. 
Herodotus mentions that the Persians were given to great birthday feasts, which would be followed by many desserts, a treat which they reproached the Greeks for omitting from their meals. Likewise, he observed that the Persians drank wine in large quantities and used it even for counsel, deliberating on important affairs when drunk, and deciding the next day, when sober, whether to act on the decision or set it aside.
On their methods of greeting, he asserts that equals kissed on the lips, persons of some difference in rank kissed on the cheek, and the lowest ranks would prostrate on the ground to the upper ranks. It is known that men of high rank practiced polygamy, and were reputed to have a number of wives and a greater number of concubines. The term polygamy (a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriage" is used in related ways in Social anthropology, Sociobiology, and On their same-sex relations, high ranked men kept favorites, such as Bagoas who was one of Darius III's favorites and who later became Alexander's eromenos. Bagoas (in Old Persian Bagoi) was a Eunuch in the Persian Empire in the 4th Century BCE Darius III ( Artashata) (c 380&ndash330 BC Persian داریوش Dāriūš dɔːriˈuːʃ was the last king of the Achaemenid Empire of Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' In the pederastic tradition of Classical Athens, the eromenos ( Greek ἐρώμενος pl Persian pederasty and its origins were debated even in ancient times. Pederasty or paederasty refers to an erotic relationship sexually expressed or not between an adolescent boy and an adult male outside his immediate family Herodotus claimed they had learned it from the Greeks, however, Plutarch asserts that the Persians used eunuch boys to that end long before contact between the cultures. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus ( Greek: Μέστριος Πλούταρχος c 
Also from Herodotus we learn that the Persians had a very high regard for truth, teaching the respect of truth to their children and despising nothing so much as a lie. On the education of the children, we learn that from the age of five until twenty they were taught to ride, shoot the bow, and speak the truth. Until the age of five children spent all their time among the women and never met the father, so that, should they die in infancy, he would not sorrow over their loss. (Herodotus, The History, passim)
It was during the Achaemenid period that Zoroastrianism reached South-Western Iran, where it came to be accepted by the rulers and through them became a defining element of Persian culture. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings The religion was not only accompanied by a formalization of the concepts and divinities of the traditional (Indo-)Iranian pantheon but also introduced several novel ideas, including that of free will, which arguably, is Zoroaster's greatest contribution to religious philosophy. A pantheon (from Greek Πάνθειον - pantheion, literally "a temple of all gods " neut Free will might be a good model for a longer lead--> Free will in theology is an important part of the debate on Free will in general Zoroaster ( Latinized from Greek variants) or Zarathushtra (from Avestan Zaraθuštra) also referred to as Zartosht (زرتشت
Under the patronage of the Achaemenid kings, and by the fifth century BCE as the de-facto religion of the state, Zoroastrianism would reach all corners of the empire.
For in the mid-fifth century BCE, that is, during the reign of Artaxerxes I and Darius II, Herodotus wrote "[the Perses] have no images of the gods, no temples nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of folly. This comes, I think, from their not believing the gods to have the same nature with men, as the Greeks imagine. " He claims the Persians offer sacrifice to: "the sun and moon, to the earth, to fire, to water, and to the winds. These are the only gods whose worship has come down to them from ancient times. At a later period they began the worship of Urania, which they borrowed from the Arabians and Assyrians. In Greek mythology, Urania (Οὐρανία jʊˈreɪnɪə in English which means "heavenly" was the Muse of Astronomy and Astrology Mylitta is the name by which the Assyrians know this goddess, whom the Arabians call Alitta, and the Persians Anahita. In Sumerian mythology, Ninlil (𒀭𒊩𒌆𒆤 D NIN.LÍL"lady of the open field" or "Lady of the Air" first called A goddess is a Female Deity. Many Cultures have goddesses Often deities are part of a polytheistic system that includes several deities ae Aredvi Sura Anahita ( ae Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā) is the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian Cosmological figure venerated as the divinity " (The original name here is Miθra, which has since been explained to be a confusion of Anahita with Mithra, understandable since they were commonly worshipped together in one temple). This article is about the Zoroastrian Yazata Mithra (Miθra For other divinities with related names see the general article Mitra.
From the Babylonian scholar-priest Berosus, who—although writing over seventy years after the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemon—records that the emperor had been the first to make cult statues of divinities and have them placed in temples in many of the major cities of the empire (Berosus, III. Artaxerxes II Mnemon ( Old Persian: 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 Artaxšaçrā, Ἀρταξέρξης (ca This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice 65). Berosus also substantiates Herodotus when he says the Persians knew of no images of gods until Artaxerxes II erected those images. On the means of sacrifice, Herodotus adds "they raise no altar, light no fire, pour no libations. " This sentence has been interpreted to identify a critical (but later) accretion to Zoroastrianism. An altar with a wood-burning fire and the Yasna service at which libations are poured are all clearly identifiable with modern Zoroastrianism, but apparently, were practices that had not yet developed in the mid-fifth century. Yasna ( Avestan: 'oblation' or 'worship' is the name of the primary liturgical collection of texts of the Avesta as well as the name of the Boyce also assigns that development to the reign of Artaxerxes II (fourth century BCE), as an orthodox response to the innovation of the shrine cults.
Herodotus also observed that "no prayer or offering can be made without a magus present" but this should not be confused with what is today understood by the term magus, that is a magupat (modern Persian: mobed), a Zoroastrian priest. The Magi (singular Magus, from Latin via Greek μάγος; Old English: Mage; from Persian maguš and Kurdish Nor does Herodotus' description of the term as one of the tribes or castes of the Medes necessarily imply that these magi were Medians. They simply were a hereditary priesthood to be found all over Western Iran and although (originally) not associated with any one specific religion, they were traditionally responsible for all ritual and religious services. Although the unequivocal identification of the magus with Zoroastrianism came later (Sassanid era, third–seventh c. AD), it is from Herodotus' magus of the mid-fifth century that Zoroastrianism was subject to doctrinal modifications that are today considered to be revocations of the original teachings of the prophet. Also, many of the ritual practices described in the Avesta's Vendidad (such as exposure of the dead) were already practiced by the magu of Herodotus ' time. The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language. Towers of Silence are circular raised structures used by Zoroastrians for exposure of the dead
Achaemenid art, like Achaemenid religion, was a blend of many elements. Ecbatana ( Old Persian: Haŋgmatana, written Agbatana in Aeschylus and Herodotus, Agámtanu by Nabonidos The National Museum of Iran (in Persian: موزه ملي ايران Mūze-ye Millī-ye Irān, or موزه ایران باستان Muze-ye Irân-e Bâstân Just as the Achaemenids were tolerant in matters of local government and custom, as long as Persians controlled the general policy and administration of the empire, so also were they tolerant in art so long as the finished and total effect was Persian. At Pasargadae (Pāsargad), the capital of Cyrus II and Cambyses II, and at Persepolis, the neighboring city founded by Darius the Great and used by all of his successors, one can trace to a foreign origin almost all of the several details in the construction and embellishment of the architecture and the sculptured reliefs; but the conception, planning, and overall finished product are distinctly Persian. Pasargadae (پاسارگاد was a city in ancient Persia, and is today an Archaeological site and one of only five of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Persepolis ( Old Persian: Pārsa, Modern Persian: تخت جمشید/پارسه Takht-e Jamshid or Chehel Minar) was the ceremonial
Moreover, when Cyrus chose to build Pasargadae, he had a long artistic tradition behind him that probably was distinctly Iranian already and that was in many ways the equal of any. The columned hall in architecture can now be seen as belonging to an architectural tradition on the Iranian Plateau that extended back through the Median period to at least the beginning of the first millennium BC. The rich Achaemenid gold work, which inscriptions suggest may have been a specialty of the Medes, was in the tradition of the delicate metalwork found in Iron Age II times at Hasanlu and still earlier at Marlik. Gold (ˈɡoʊld is a Chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and Atomic number 79 This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age for the mythological Iron Age see Ages of Man. Teppe Hasanlu or Tappeh Hassanlu (Persian تپه حسنلو is an archeological site of an ancient Mannaean city which was destroyed by Urartu in Marlik is an ancient site near Roudbar in north Iran. The artefacts found in this site date back to 3 thousand years ago
This Achaemenid artistic style is particularly evident at Persepolis: with its carefully proportioned and well-organized ground plan, rich architectural ornament, and magnificent decorative reliefs, the palace there is one of the great artistic legacies of the ancient world. The lion ( Panthera leo) is a member of the family Felidae and one of four Big cats in the Genus Panthera. In its art and architecture, Persepolis celebrates the king and the office of the monarch and reflected Darius' perception of himself as the leader of a conglomerate people to whom he had given a new and single identity. The Achaemenids took the art forms and the cultural and religious traditions of many of the ancient Middle Eastern peoples and combined them into a single form.
In describing the construction of his palace at Susa, Darius records that "The cedar timber from there (a mountain by name Lebanon) was brought, the yaka timber was brought from Gandara and from Carmania. Yaka may refer to Yaka (ethnic group Yaka Central African Republic Yaka Togo List of Star Wars Kermān is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the south-east of the country The gold was brought from Sardis and from Bactria . Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in "Bactrian" redirects here For the camel see Bactrian camel. . . the precious stone lapis-lazuli and carnelian . . . was brought from Sogdiana. History Hellenistic period The Sogdian Rock or Rock of Ariamazes a fortress in Sogdiana was captured in 327 BC by the forces of Alexander the Great The turquoise from Chorasmia, the silver and ebony from Egypt, the ornamentation from Ionia, the ivory from Ethiopia and from Sind(Pakistan) and from Arachosia. Khwarezm were a series of States centered on the Amu Darya River delta of the This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Geography Physical Ionia was of small extent not exceeding 90 geographical miles in length from north to south with a breadth varying from 40 to 55 miles but to this NOTE This intro is the result of careful NPOV work Please do not make potentially controversial edits to it without first discussing on the talk page Sindh ( Sindhī: سنڌ Urdu: سندھ is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhis. Arachosia (ˌærəˈkoʊʒə, Arakhōsia) or Arachotae (əˈrækəˌtiː, Arakhōtai) is the latinized form of Greek name of an Achaemenid The stone-cutters who wrought the stone, those were Ionians and Sardians. Sardis, also Sardes ( Lydian: Sfard, Greek: Σάρδεις, Persian: Sparda) modern Sart in The goldsmiths were Medes and Egyptians. The Medes were an ancient Iranian people who lived in the northwestern portions of present-day Iran. This article is about the contemporary North African ethnic group The men who wrought the wood, those were Sardians and Egyptians. The men who wrought the baked brick, those were Babylonians. The men who adorned the wall, those were Medes and Egyptians. "
This was an imperial art on a scale the world had not seen before. Materials and artists were drawn from all the lands ruled by the great kings, and thus tastes, styles, and motifs became mixed together in an eclectic art and architecture that in itself mirrored the empire and the Achaemenid understanding of how that empire ought to function.