04 - Greece and Iran, 1000 - 30 B.C.E.

04 - Greece and Iran, 1000 - 30 B.C.E. - CHAPTER 5 Greece...

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CHAPTER 5 Greece and Iran, 1000–30 B . C . E .. I0. Ancient Iran, 1000–30 B . C . E . A0. Geography and Resources 10. Iran’s location, bounded by mountains, deserts, and the Persian Gulf, left it open to attack from Central Asian nomads. The fundamental topographical features included high mountains on the edges, salt deserts in the interior, and a sloping plateau crossed by mountain streams. 20. Iran had limited natural resources. Water was relatively scarce, and Iran’s environment could only support a limited population. Because of the heat, irrigation networks had to use underground tunnels. Construction and maintenance of underground irrigation networks was labor-intensive and advanced under a strong central authority. Iran had mineral resources—copper, tin, iron, gold, and silver—and plentiful timber. B0. The Rise of the Persian Empire 10. The Median kingdom in northwestern Iran helped to destroy the Assyrian Empire in the late seventh century B . C . E . The Persian Achaemenid dynasty was related to the Median court by marriage, and in 550 B . C . E ., Cyrus overthrew the Median king and built a larger Persian empire that included Medes and Persians. 20. The Persian Empire was built up by a series of three kings: Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius I. Cyrus captured the kingdom of Lydia (546 B . C . E .), thus bringing all of Anatolia under his control, and later took Mesopotamia (539 B . C . E .) 30. Cambyses defeated Egypt and sent expeditions to Nubia and Libya. Under Darius I, the role of the Medes declined as the Persians asserted greater dominance. Darius extended the empire east to the Indus valley and west to European Thrace. C0. Imperial Organization and Ideology 10. From Darius on, the empire was divided into twenty provinces; a satrap who was related or connected to the royal court administered each province. The position of satrap tended to become hereditary. Satraps in distant provinces had considerable autonomy. 20. Provinces were required to pay annual tribute. The central government tended to hoard so much gold and silver that these metals became scarce and more expensive. The provinces were crossed by a system of well-maintained roads that converged on the capital city of Susa (in southwestern Iran), and garrisons were installed at key locations. 30. The Persian kings developed a style of kingship in which they were held aloof and majestic, masters of all their subjects and nobles. Kings owned and administered vast tracts of “king’s land” in areas around the empire. 40. Kings acted as lawgivers, but allowed each people of the empire to live in accordance with its own traditions. Kings managed a central administration at the capital of Susa and also performed ceremonies at Persepolis, in the Persian homeland.
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04 - Greece and Iran, 1000 - 30 B.C.E. - CHAPTER 5 Greece...

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