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April 28    Scripture

Ancient Persia: History
Ancient History of the Persians

Achaemenians Hakhamanesh Persian History The 6th century BC was witness to the establishment of these Persians in the present-day region of Fars. Fars (or Persis to the Greeks) was a recognizable district of the Assyrian Empire like the neighboring but greater Media. Persian rulers, claiming descent from one Achaemenes (or Hakhamanesh), took over the rule of Media from Astyages in the middle of the 6th century BC. In an amazingly short time Cyrus could extend his conquests from Elam and Media west and north. He pushed into Asia Minor and, upon defeating the Lydians, established the greatest Persian Empire, which was to endure long under his successors, the Achaemenians.
http://www.irantour.org/Iran/history/The%20Achaemenians.html


Achaemenid Persia Introduction. Persia is an alternate, though unofficial name for the country of Iran, its people, its art and its ancient empire. The early Persians were one of several Aryan tribes that settled in the Iranian plateau. The Persians settled into the southern region of the plateau, while the Medes occupied the north western portion. Herodotus tells us the Persian nation was made up of many tribes. The principal ones being the Pasargadae, the Maraphians, and the Maspians, of whom the Pasargadae were the noblest. The Achaemenidae, from which spring all the Persian kings, being one of their clans. The other Persian tribes being the Panthialaeans, the Derusiaeans, the Germanians, were engaged in husbandry; the Daans, the Mardians, the Dropicans, and the Sagartians, who were nomads.
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~ancientpersia/intro_frm.html


Alexander the Great - The End of Persia The Ten-Horned Beast? Alexander the Great "“ The End of Persia Alexander the Great (*356; r. 336-323): the Macedonian king who defeated his Persian colleague Darius III Codomannus and conquered the Achaemenid Empire. During his campaigns, Alexander visited a.o. Egypt, Babylonia, Persis, Media, Bactria, the Punjab, and the valley of the Indus. In the second half of his reign, he had to find a way to rule his newly conquered countries. Therefore, he made Babylon his capital and introduced the oriental court ceremonial, which caused great tensions with his Macedonian and Greek officers.
http://www.livius.org/aj-al/alexander/alexander10.html


Ancient Persia History The early history of man in Iran goes back well beyond the Neolithic period, it begins to get more interesting around 6000 BC, when people began to domesticate animals and plant wheat and barley. The number of settled communities increased, particularly in the eastern Zagros mountains, and handmade painted pottery appears. Throughout the prehistoric period, from the middle of the sixth millennium BC to about 3000 BC, painted pottery is a characteristic feature of many sites in Iran.
http://www.ancientpersia.com/history/hist_f.htm


Ancient Persia Religion The Persians, like other Indo-European groups such as the Medes and Scythians were originally polytheists. They worshipped numerous gods associated with natural phenomena such as the moon and the sun, fire, wind and water. Their religious practices included, animal sacrifice, a reverence for fire and the drinking of a natural intoxicant made from the juice of the haoma plant. Around 600 B.C. the prophet and teacher Zoroaster, founded a new religion, Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster, also known by the Greek name Zarathrustra, wrote down his beliefs in a sacred book known as the "Zend Avesta".
http://www.ancientpersia.com/religion/rlg_f.htm


Ancient Soul of Iran - National Geographic Persia: Ancient Soul of Iran "“ National Geographic Magazine Iran Archaeology. What's so striking about the ruins of Persepolis in southern Iran, an ancient capital of the Persian Empire that was burned down after being conquered by Alexander the Great, is the absence of violent imagery on what's left of its stone walls. Among the carvings there are soldiers, but they're not fighting; there are weapons, but they're not drawn. Mainly you see emblems suggesting that something humane went on here instead"”people of different nations gathering peace fully, bearing gifts, draping their hands amiably on one another's shoulders. In an era noted for its barbarity, Persepolis, it seems, was a relatively cosmopolitan place"”and for many Iranians today its ruins are a breathtaking reminder of who their Persian ancestors were and what they did.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/08/iran-archaeology/del-giudice-text


ANE History: Persia The first mention we have of the Persians is on a tablet recording the expedition of Shalmanesser III into a country called Parsua, in the mountains of Kurdistan around 837 BC. There, it seems that twenty-seven chieftain-kings ruled over twenty-seven states thinly populated by a people called Amadai, Madai, or Medes. They were Indo-European and had probably come from around the Caspian Sea into Western Asia about 1000 BC. The Zend-Avesta, the sacred scriptures of the Persains, idealized the racial memory of their ancient homeland and described it as a paradise. Not likely, since if it was so nice, why would they have ever left? In any case, scenes of our youth and the past are often wonderful and pleasant -- if we don't have to live in them again.
http://www.theology.edu/lec24.htm


Art, Culture and History of the Ancient Middle East Ancient Persia "“ The Art, Culture and History of the Ancient Middle East The early history of man in Iran goes back well beyond the Neolithic period, it begins to get more interesting around 6000 BC, when people began to domesticate animals and plant wheat and barley. The number of settled communities increased, particularly in the eastern Zagros mountains, and handmade painted pottery appears. Throughout the prehistoric period, from the middle of the sixth millennium BC to about 3000 BC, painted pottery is a characteristic feature of many sites in Iran.
http://www.ancientweb.org/Persia/index.htm


Aryans Aryans: name of the ancestors of the Persian elite of the Achaemenid empire. (Not to be confused with Arians.)
http://www.livius.org/arl-arz/aryans/aryans.html


Catholic Encyclopedia: Persia The history, religion, and civilization of Persia are offshoots from those of Media. Both Medes and Persians are Aryans; the Aryans who settled in the southern part of the Iranian plateau became known as Persians, while those of the mountain regions of the north-west were called Medes. The Medes were at first the leading nation, but towards the middle of the sixth century, B.C. the Persians became the dominant power, not only in Iran, but also in Western Asia.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11712a.htm


CIA - The World Factbook: Iran Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile... Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority vested in a learned religious scholar referred to commonly as the Supreme Leader who, according to the constitution, is accountable only to the Assembly of Experts. US-Iranian relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987 and 1988.
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html


Culture of Iran History; Culture & Art; Celebrations; Religion; Codes of Behavior; and Gender Relations in Iran
http://www.cultureofiran.com/


Cyrus Takes Babylon (530 BCE): Cyrus Cylinder In October 539 BCE, the Persian king Cyrus took Babylon, the ancient capital of an oriental empire covering modern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. In a broader sense, Babylon was the ancient world's capital of scholarship and science. The subject provinces soon recognized Cyrus as their legitimate ruler. Since he was already lord of peripheral regions in modern Turkey and Iran (and Afghanistan?), it is not exaggerated to say that the conquest of Babylonia meant the birth of a true world empire. The Achaemenid empire was to last for more than two centuries, until it was divided by the successors of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great. A remarkable aspect of the capture of Babylon is the fact that Cyrus allowed the Jews (who were exiled in Babylonia) to return home. In this text, a clay cylinder now in the British Museum, Cyrus describes how he conquers the old city. Nabonidus is considered a tyrant with strange religious ideas, which causes the god Marduk to intervene. That Cyrus thought of himself as chosen by a supreme god, is confirmed by Second Isaiah; his claim that he entered the city without struggle corroborates the same statement in the Chronicle of Nabonidus.
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon05.html


Cyrus Takes Babylon: Daniel and Prayer of Nabonidus The final redaction of the biblical book of Daniel (called after a Jewish sage at the court of Belshazzar, i.e. Nabonidus' crown prince BĂŞlsharusur) took place in the second century BCE, but it contains some older elements. Probably, no less than four authors have contributed to the text. The resulting text can not be taken as history. Too many elements are too incredible (e.g., about every personal name is wrong). However, chapter four contains a bit of information that is corroborated by a text known as the Prayer of Nabonidus. According to Daniel's story, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar suffers from a mental illness, and lives isolated for seven years, until he acknowledges the power of the one God. From cuneiform texts, nothing is known about Nebuchadnezzar's mental health. The original story must have centered on another royal patient: Nabonidus, about whom rumors like this did circulate (see the Verse account). Moreover, several details return in the Prayer, where Nabonidus is the sad hero: the period of seven years, the isolation, the ultimate recognition of the power of the supreme God. Since the authors of Daniel consistently avoid mentioning Nabonidus, it is likely that one of them is responsible for the change of names.
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon04.html


Cyrus Takes Babylon: Herodotus The Histories by the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus (fifth century BCE) are the world's first historical study. The account of the Fall of Babylon -which is here presented in the translation by George Rawlinson- proves beyond all reasonable doubt that the author never spoke a Babylonian about the event. Only two details he has right: that Cyrus entered Babylonia at Opis, where a battle was fought, and that he finally took the ancient city.
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon07.html


Cyrus Takes Babylon: Second Isaiah & Ezra 'Second Isaiah' or 'Deutero-Isaiah' is the name of the chapters 40-55 of the Biblical book of Isaiah, which were added to the 'real' text of Isaiah. The second prophet predicts the coming of king Cyrus, who will liberate the Jews from their Babylonian Exile and will bring them to the Promised Land. It may be noted that Cyrus was considered by the Jews a monotheist, an opinion that was more or less correct, since many Persians venerated the 'wise lord' Ahuramazda who was the eternal enemy of an evil god named Angrya Manyu. Persian religion also stressed that people should be honest and righteous, and it is possible that these ideas about a wise Lord with an ethical message influenced the lines 45.7-8 quoted below.
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon06.html


Cyrus Takes Babylon: The Nabonidus Chronicle The Chronicle of Nabonidus tells us the story of the rule of the last king of independent Babylonia. The text is badly damaged and contains many lacunas. However, it makes clear that the rise of Cyrus was not unexpected. We meet him for the first time in Nabonidus' sixth year (=550 BCE), when he defeats the Median leader Astyages. A second reference can be found in year nine, when he defeats the king of a country that can not be identified (547 BCE).
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon02.html


Cyrus Takes Babylon: The Verse Account The question what Nabonidus was doing in Temâ will probably remain unsolved for ever. From the following text, we may deduce that during his life time, there were strong rumors that the king suffered from a mental illness and proposed a religious reform (preferring the Moon god Sin to all other gods). These rumors were used by the author of theVerse account to explain Nabonidus' stay abroad: being mad, he ignored the supreme god Marduk and went away. We will discuss the truth of the allegations below. Nabonidus' devotion to the Moon is a historical fact, proven by an inscription found in Harran (in 1956). That he blasphemed against Marduk, however, must be an exaggeration.
http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon03.html


Earth and Water Earth and water: symbol of surrender in the ancient Achaemenid empire. The Persian custom to demand "earth and water" from subject people is known from the Histories by the Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus. It is tempting to think that those who surrendered gave up everything: their land and the liquids they needed. In other words, surrender was unconditional, and the Persian king was able to grant life to his new subjects. After the exchange of earth and water and the acknowledgement of Persian superiority, negotiations could begin about obligations and benefits.
http://www.livius.org/ea-eh/earth/earthandwater.html


Epic Literature of Ancient Iran The most significant literary heritage of ancient Iran, however, is the heroic poetry which eventually evolved into the Iranian national epic. The core of this poetry belongs to a heroic age of remote antiquity, that of the Kayanians. Under this dynasty, whose history is wrapped in legend, the ancestors of the Avestan people offered worship and sacrifice to a broad range of deities who often symbolized the forces of nature. Grappling with the hazards of a cold, frost-stricken climate, beset by demons of drought, and harassed by marauding neighbors, they struggled to overcome the physical and social challenges of their environment. The institution of kingship had already developed among them; the worship of tribal gods and ancestral spirits had given way to a common worship of universal gods and the spirits of protective, departed heroes. The first adumbration of the major legends of the Iranian epic are found in the Yashts of the Avesta, where Kayanian kings offer sacrifice to the gods in order to earn their support and gain strength in the perpetual struggle against their enemies, the Turanians. As the major concern of the Kayanians, this bitter, never-ending feud with the Turanians constitutes the main theme of the Iranian epic. Zoroastrianism adopted these legends of the past and extended its blessing to their protagonists.
http://www.art-arena.com/epic.htm


Flags of Persia and Iran Flags of glorious Ancient Iranian Empires(Pre-Islamic period)
http://www.geocities.com/rooyintan/Flags_Persia.html


Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia The British Museum. Magnificent palaces, glittering gold life-like carvings: the wealth and power of ancient Persia "“ modern Iran is legendary. Two thousand years ago, this vast and powerful empire stretched from the Mediterranean to the River Indus. Great kings created the breathtaking cities of Persepolis, Susa and Pasargadae, which now lie in ruins. Follow the links to rediscover the riches of a forgotten empire...
http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/forgottenEmpire/


Glory of Persia The essence of Persian culture, history and civilization.
http://www.gloryofpersia.com/


Glory of Persia - Five Stages of Iran History When it comes to the history of Iran, you will find five distinct stages which shaped the future of the country. Those broad stages often include the early, pre-historic, the pre-Islamic statehood, the Middle Ages, the early modern era, and modern day (recent history).
http://www.gloryofpersia.com/the-five-stages-of-iran-history.html


History of Iran: Parthian Empire The Parthian empire was the most enduring of the empires of the ancient Near East. After the Parni nomads had settled in Parthia and had built a small independent kingdom, they rose to power under king Mithradates the Great (171-138 BCE). The Parthian empire occupied all of modern Iran, Iraq and Armenia, parts of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and -for brief periods- territories in Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Israel. The end of this loosely organized empire came in 224 CE, when the last king was defeated by one of their vassals, the Persians of the Sassanid dynasty.
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/parthians/parthians.php


History of Persia From the Medes and the Persians of 9th Century BC. Of the two main Indo-European tribes moving south into Iran, it is at first the Medes who play the dominant role. With a capital at Ecbatana (modern Hamadan), they establish themselves as powerful neighbours of Assyria. In 612 they combine with Babylon to sack the Assyrian capital at Nineveh. Their spoils are northern Assyria and much of Anatolia, where the Halys river becomes the border between themselves and Lydia. The Medes already control much of Iran including Fars, in the southwest. This is the heartland of the Parsa or Persians, whose king is a vassal of the Medes.
http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=629&HistoryID=aa65


History of Persian Ceramics Pottery making in the Iranian Plateau dates back to the Early Neolithic Age (7th millennium BCE) with the production of coarse, unglazed wares. Later wares were made from earthenware clays with a layer of white slip (engobe). They were covered by transparent lead glazes and colors were added with oxides. Persian ceramics matured with time into more elaborate styles and techniques.
http://research.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/persia/history.htm


Iran Before the Iranians The Elamite civilization in Iran, first developed in the Susian plain, under the influence of nearby Sumeria and Mesopotamia in the Tigris-Euphrates valley. Around 3500 B.C., animal drawn wheeled carts were in use in Sumeria. They also used ploughs to till their land, and oars to propel their ships on the Euphrates river. The Sumerians were the most advanced and complex civilization in the world at that time, and by 3100 B.C. they had invented a system of writing which was the first of its kind in the world.
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/iran1.html


Iran Chamber Society: When Persia became Iran In 1935 the Iranian government requested those countries which it had diplomatic relations with, to call Persia "Iran," which is the name of the country in Persian. The suggestion for the change is said to have come from the Iranian ambassador to Germany, who came under the influence of the Nazis. At the time Germany was in the grip of racial fever and cultivated good relations with nations of "Aryan" blood. It is said that some German friends of the ambassador persuaded him that, as with the advent of Reza Shah, Persia had turned a new leaf in its history and had freed itself from the pernicious influences of Britain and Russia, whose interventions in Persian affairs had practically crippled the country under the Qajars, it was only fitting that the country be called by its own name, "Iran." This would not only signal a new beginning and bring home to the world the new era in Iranian history, but would also signify the Aryan race of its population, as "Iran" is a cognate of "Aryan" and derived from it.
http://www.iranchamber.com/geography/articles/persia_became_iran.php


Iran in the Bible What the Bible Says About Persia and Persians "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of The Lord spoken by Jeremiah, The Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "The Lord, The God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a Temple [see Temples] for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Anyone of his people among you - may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build The Temple of The Lord, The God of Israel, The God who is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:1-3)
http://www.farsinet.com/iranbibl/


Iran The Country, General Facts Always known as Iran to its people, the country for centuries was referred to as Persia by the Europeans. Both names are widely used today. Its position as a vast natural fortress, with mountain ranges, enabled the Persians to preserve their individuality in spite of the conquests by the Arabs (7th century), the Turks (10th century), and the Mongols (13th to 15th centuries). Today, Iran remains a country rich in traditions, very hospitable, home to ancient cities, labyrinthine bazaars, and elegant mosques. Its culture has had a great influence on other countries, both in Central Asia, and throughout the world.
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/country.htm


Islamic Beginnings in Ancient Persia The Iranian plateau, much of the territory of present-day Iran, was first populated in the 9th century BCE, when the Medes people migrated there from Central Asia. The Medes were followed by the Persians in the 8th century BCE, and these two groups laid the foundation for a series of empires that arose on the Iranian plateau over the next thousand years. Around 750 BCE the Medes people formed their own kingdom, called Media, in the northwest plateau, becoming powerful enough by 612 BCE to defeat the older Assyrian Empire to the west. In 550 BCE, however, the Persian leader Cyrus the Great led the Persians into battle against the ruling Medes people, resulting in the unification of the two groups under the name of the victor, the Persians. Cyrus also captured the city of Babylon on the Euphrates River and freed the Jewish captives there, earning himself a place in the Book of Isaiah. The first Persian Empire, the Achaemenid, emerged from Cyrus' victories, and lasted until the 2nd century BCE. The Achaemenid Empire was the largest empire yet seen in the ancient world, extending at its height as far east as the Hindu Kush mountains in present-day Afghanistan. Economically, the Achaemenids established an efficient trade system throughout their empire. Persian words for many commodities spread throughout the region as a result of this commercial activity, some of which are still used in English today. Examples include bazaar, shawl, sash, turquoise, tiara, orange, lemon, melon, peach, spinach, and asparagus.
http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/islam/beginnings/persia.html


Parthia Parthia (Old Persian Parthava): satrapy of the ancient Achaemenid empire, the north-east of modern Iran. The borders of Parthia were the Kopet Dag mountain range in the north (today the border between Iran and Turkmenistan) and the Dasht-e-Kavir desert in the south. In the west was Media, in the northwest Hyrcania, in the northeast Margiana, in the southeast Aria. (The road from Media through Parthia to Margiana is the famous Silk road.) On the other side of the southern desert was Persia proper. The country south of the Kopet Dag is fertile and was well-irrigated in Antiquity. There were large forests.
http://www.livius.org/pan-paz/parthia/parthia01.html


Parthian Empire The Parthian empire was the most enduring of the empires of the ancient Near East. After the Parni nomads had settled in Parthia and had built a small independent kingdom, they rose to power under king Mithradates the Great (171-138). The Parthian empire occupied all of modern Iran, Iraq and Armenia, parts of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and -for brief periods- territories in Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Israel. The end of this loosely organized empire came in 224, when the last king was defeated by one of their vassals, the Persians of the Sasanian dynasty.
http://www.livius.org/pan-paz/parthia/parthia02.html


Persia in the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Persia
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook05.html


Persian Art Through the Centuries The long prehistoric period in Iran, is known to us mostly from excavation work carried out in a few key sites, which has led to a chronology of distinct periods, each one characterised by the development of certain types of pottery, artefacts and architecture. Pottery is one of the oldest Persian art forms, and examples have been unearthed from burial mounds (Tappeh), dating back from the 5th millennium BC.
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/hpart.html


Persian Empire The later years of the Achaemenid dynasty were marked by decay and decadence. The mightiest empire in the world collapsed in only eight years, when it fell under the attack of a young Macedonian king, Alexander the Great.
http://www.crystalinks.com/persia2.html


Persian Empire, Persepolis The early history of man in Iran goes back well beyond the Neolithic period, it begins to get more interesting around 6000 BC, when people began to domesticate animals and plant wheat and barley. The number of settled communities increased, particularly in the eastern Zagros mountains, and handmade painted pottery appears. Throughout the prehistoric period, from the middle of the sixth millennium BC to about 3000 BC, painted pottery is a characteristic feature of many sites in Iran.
http://www.crystalinks.com/persia.html


Persian Period in Anatolia and Asia Minor Medes and Persians who, in the 13th C. BCE, entered Northwest Persia via Caucasus were of Indo-European origin. Medes settled first in the Ecbatana region (today's Hamadan), and Persians settled in the mountainous Zagros region later they moved to another area called Parthia. Medes and Persians were first mentioned in the annals of Assyrians in about 843 and 835 BCE... Medes, towards the end of 8th C. BCE., gathered and built the foundations of their first kingdom. About 715 BCE the Median chieftain Dayaukku, led the Medes in an unsuccessful rebellion against the Assyrian king Sargon II (reigned 722-705 BCE). The later rulers of Media considered Dayaukku the founder of the Median dynasty.
http://www.ancientanatolia.com/historical/persian_period.htm


Persian Rug History A Persian rug has a wide variety designs and styles, and trying to organize them in to a category is a very difficult task. With the passage of time, the materials used in carpets, including wool and cotton, decay. Therefore archaeologists are not able to make any particularly useful discoveries during archaeological excavations, save for special circumstances. What has remained from early times as evidence of carpet-weaving is nothing more than a few pieces of worn-out rugs. And such fragments do not help very much in recognizing the carpet-weaving characteristics of pre-Seljuk period (13th and 14th centuries AD) in Persia. The advanced weaving technique used in the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in this art. Most experts believe that the Pazyryk carpet is a late achievement of at least one thousand years of technique evolution and history. According to this theory the art of carpet-weaving in Iran is at least 3500 years old.
http://www.persian-carpet.info/


Persians Around 1200 BC, some new people invaded West Asia from the north. These people were called the Persians and the Medes. Both of them were Indo-European people, distantly related to the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Siberia with their horses and their cattle, and grazed the cattle and the horses on the great fields of grass there. Usually they lived well enough this way.
http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/westasia/history/persians.htm


Seleucid Empire History of Iran: Seleucid Empire The Hellenistic period is one of the most controversial in the history of Iran. The Greek or Macedonian dynasties were never fully accepted as more than occupants, and in hindsight their reign has been neglected. In the West, where the Hellenistic kings were defeated by Rome, most historians tend to look down on them as degenerated tyrants. The criticism is not wholly unfounded, but in many aspects the kingdoms of the age were vital and dynamic states with an eclectic and progressive view of the different cultures they embraced. The Seleucid Empire was by far the largest of them and its ambition was no less than to maintain the great empire of Alexander in the east.
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/seleucids/seleucids.php


The Achaemenians The Persians achieved unity under the leadership of Achaemenes, whose descendant Cyrus brought the Achaemenian Empire onto the centre stage of world history. Cyrus was the descendant of a long line of Persian kings and should be referred to as Cyrus II, having been named after his grandfather... According to the writings of Herodotus, the last ruler of the Medes, Astyages (585 - 550 B.C.) was defeated and captured by Cyrus in 549 B.C.. In all probability Cyrus had the support of the Babylonian sovereign Nabonidus. The Persian king overthrew the Median empire and seized Ecbatana (Place of Assembly), which became his capital. He spared the defeated ruler, preferring not to indulge in the mass killings, which until then had been a feature of Assyrian victories. On the contrary he brought nobles and civilian officials, both Median and Persian, into the government of his kingdom.
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/achaem.html


The Achaemenid Empire, 550 - 420 B.C. The Persian Empire grew in the vacuum left by Assyria's destruction of the Kingdom of Elam. Prince Teispes captured Anshan, once a stonghold of the Elamites and began to call himself "King of the City of Anshan". His father, Achaemenes 681 BC, a warrior chief, is apparently responsible for training and organising the early Persian army and it is his name that begins the royal line of Achaemenian Kings.
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~ancientpersia/hist_frm.html


The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550 - 330 B.C.) The Achaemenid Persian empire was the largest that the ancient world had seen, extending from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia. Its formation began in 550 B.C., when King Astyages of Media, who dominated much of Iran and eastern Anatolia (Turkey), was defeated by his southern neighbor Cyrus II ("the Great"), king of Persia (r... 559"“530 B.C.). This upset the balance of power in the Near East. The Lydians of western Anatolia under King Croesus took advantage of the fall of Media to push east and clashed with Persian forces. The Lydian army withdrew for the winter but the Persians advanced to the Lydian capital at Sardis, which fell after a two-week siege. The Lydians had been allied with the Babylonians and Egyptians and Cyrus now had to confront these major powers. The Babylonian empire controlled Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. In 539 B.C., Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at the site of Opis, east of the Tigris. Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch, restoring temples and releasing political prisoners. The one western power that remained unconquered in Cyrus' lightning campaigns was Egypt. It was left to his son Cambyses to rout the Egyptian forces in the eastern Nile Delta in 525 B.C. After a ten-day siege, Egypt's ancient capital Memphis fell to the Persians.
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/acha/hd_acha.htm


The History of Medicine in Ancient Persia By Hedieh Ghavidel, Press TV, Tehran The history of medicine in Iran is as old and as rich as its civilization. In the Avesta, science and medicine rise above class, ethnicity, nationality, race, gender and religion. Some of the earliest practices of ancient Iranian medicine have been documented in the Avesta and other Zoroastrian religious texts. During the Achaemenid era (559-330 BCE), the 21 books of Avesta encompassing 815 chapters were an encyclopedia of science consisting of medicine, astronomy, law, social science, philosophy, general knowledge, logic and biology.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=40689§ionid=3510304


The Medes During the second millennia B.C., successive Indo-European (Aryan) invaders broke through into the Iranian plateau, either from the Caucasus, or through Central Asia. Those who settled in Iran were divided into tribes that were distinguished from each other by their different dialects. The most famous of these tribes were the Persians (Parsa), and the Medes (Mada).
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/medes.html


The Parthian Empire Under Mithridates I (171-138 B.C.), the Parthians continued their conquests and annexed Media, Fars, Babylonia and Assyria, creating an empire that extended from the Euphrates to Herat in Afghanistan. This in effect was a restoration of the ancient Achaemenian Empire of Cyrus the Great.
http://www.artarena.force9.co.uk/part.html


Three Treaties Between Sparta and Persia In the first phase of the Peloponnesian War, the Archidamian War, the Spartans had been unable to achieve their aim: dissolving the Delian League. However, after the catastrophic losses that Athens had suffered during the Sicilian Expedition, the balance of power had changed and Sparta renewed the war: the Decelean or Ionian War. Moreover, the Athenians had supported a rebel in the Persian Empire, Amorges, an act that broke the (tacit or official) agreement between the Achaemenid king and the Delian League not to interfere in each other's sphere of influence. So, Sparta and Persia shared a dislike of Athens and had something to offer to each other. In 412, they concluded an agreement, which was later revised.
http://www.livius.org/pb-pem/peloponnesian_war/war_t11.html


Women in Ancient Persia, 559–331 BC Questia. Book by Maria Brosius; Clarendon Press,1998, 260 pgs. This book discusses Greek attitudes towards the royal women of the Achaemenid court ( 559-331 BC). It also attempts to look at the position of royal and non-royal women from a Near Eastern view point by examining the evidence of the Fortification texts from Persepolis and Neo-Babylonian texts.
http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=59181013


Women's Lives in Ancient Persia History of Iran: Women's Lives in Ancient Persia By: Massoume Price. Any analysis of women's lives and status in ancient times is a very complicated task and needs time and space. This very brief article intends to provide much needed basic information based on archaeological evidence and will primarily deal with women in Achaemenid times. The material is based on Fortification and Treasury texts discovered at Persepolis (509-438 BC) and documents recovered at Susa Babylonia and other major Mesopotamian cities of the period. These texts provide us with a unique insight into the social and economic situation of both the royal and non-royal women at the time. In the texts individual women are identified, payments of rations and wages for male and female workers are documented and sealed orders by the royal women themselves or their agents gives us valuable information on how these powerful women managed their wealth.
http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/women_in_ancient_persia.php


WWW-VL History Index - Iran List of research tools about the study of Iran
http://www.parstimes.com/history/VL/middle_east/iran.html


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