Lecture7APersia - The Rise and Fall of the Persians We now...

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The Rise and Fall of the Persians We now move to the history of Persia. As you should have noted, we are moving forward in time as well as changing geographical location. As older empires decline, new empires and kingdoms are able to rise to power. The Persian Empire developed as the older Assyrian and Babylonian empires declined in power. We know a great deal about the Persians from archaeology and from ancient writings. The Greek historian Herodotus (died in 420 bce) is actually a good source sometimes. Not everything he wrote is true, but a great deal is and provides historians with some interesting information on ancient societies. He wrote The Persian Wars and captured the history of the whole eastern Mediterranean. He also wrote a book called Histories, which you can find on the internet if you are interested. Another Greek historian, Thucydides (d. 401 bce) later wrote a more complete history called The History of the Peloponnesian War that covers Persian interactions with the Greek city-states and the three decades of anarchy and warfare among the city-states of Greece that arose during and after these interactions. . We can trace the history of Persia to the 6 th century bce. The Persian Empire began to develop in the 6 th century bce in modern day Iran. The Persian Empire eventually included much of India, Egypt, Babylon, and dominated trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Here is a list of some key point: 1. Persians can trace their history to the Medes and Persians – two related peoples from central Asia – who migrated into Iran around 1000 bce. 2. These were Indo-European speaking people who left Asia as part of the wave of migrations such as those that brought the Aryans into India. 3. They were pastoralists who only practiced limited agriculture. 4. They were organized into clans the leaders of which collected taxes for tribute to the Mesopotamian rulers of the areas in which they settled. 5. The Medes and Persians had the horse domesticating and riding skills of most of the central Asian groups and were fierce warriors. They raided the borders of the Mesopotamian Empire on horseback displaying their superior archery skills. 6. When the Assyrians and Babylonians declined the Medes and Persians were set to develop an empire of their own. The Achaemenid Empire Cyrus the Achaemenid, also known as Cyrus the Great, (reigned 558-530 bce) established the base from which the Empire grew. He became the king of numerous Persian tribes and planned a successful rebellion against the Medians that by 548 bce gave him control over Iran. He expanded the kingdom by conquering the Lydians in Anatolia in 546 bce. He then took part in military campaigns in Bactria (Afganistan) and Asia. He conquered the weakened Babylonians in 539 bce and ruled in the name of their chief deity, keeping the priest and worshiping at the temple thereby earning the loyalty and support of this important political power block. He allowed the rulers he had conquered to
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2010 for the course SOCIOLOGY 120 taught by Professor Card during the Spring '10 term at Grossmont.

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Lecture7APersia - The Rise and Fall of the Persians We now...

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