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The Persian Empire
 Map of the Persian Empire (536-336 BC.) under Darius the Great.
(Enlarge) (PDF for Print) (Freely Distributed)

Map of the Achaemenid Persian Empire at its Greatest Extant (490 BC.)

This map reveals the Persian Empire in 580 BC under its greatest ruler Darius I. The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus in 536 BC., after they succeeded the Babylonian Empire. The first king of the Persian Empire was Cyrus, who issued the famous decree for the Jews to return to their homeland to rebuild their Temple. Under Darius the second Temple of Zerubbabel was completed; and under Xerxes, or Ahasuerus, the events recorded in the Book of Esther in the Bible happened; under Artaxerxes the Jewish state was reformed by Ezra, and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Nehemiah. The capital of the Persian Empire was Shushan. The Empire lasted about 200 years, and came to an end in 330 BC.

The Empire of Persia (The Largest Boundaries)

At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire encompassed approximately 3 million square miles spanning three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Turkey, parts of Central Asia, Pakistan, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Afghanistan, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is noted in Western history as the antagonist foe of the Greek city states during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting infrastructures such as a postal system, road systems, and the usage of an official language throughout its territories. The empire had a centralized, bureaucratic administration under the Emperor and a large professional army and civil services, inspiring similar developments in later empires.

The largest boundaries of the Empire of Persia around 490 BC were as follows:

1. The Northern Boundary were the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.

2. The Western Boundary was the edge of Greece.

3. The Eastern Boundary were the cities north of India.

4. The Southern Boundary went all the way to Libya and Egypt.

Image of Cyrus the Persian
Image of Cyrus "the Great"

History of the Persian Empire

Under Cyrus the Great and Darius the Great, the Persian Empire eventually became the largest and most powerful empire in human history up until that point. The Persian Empire represented the world's first global superpower and was based on a model of tolerance and respect for other cultures and religions that few powers have matched. The Silk Road, connecting Persia with China was significant not only for the development and flowering of the great civilizations of China, ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India and Rome, but also helped to lay the foundations of the modern world. Alexander the Great conquered Persia in 333 B.C.E. only to be followed shortly by two more vast and unified Iranian empires that shaped the pre-Islamic identity of Iran and Central Asia: the Parthian (250 B.C.E.–226 C.E.) and Sassanian (226–650 C.E.) dynasties. These latter dynasties defeated the Roman Empire at the height of its power on several occasions. - New World Encyclopedia

Persian Timeline
B.C.
625 The Medes under Cyaxares overthrow Assyria and become the leading power in Asia
558 Accession of Cyrus and supremacy of Persia
554 Subjugation of Lydia
550 Cyrus the Great overthrew Astages of Media
538 Capture of Babylon
529 Accession of Cambyses II
525 Conquest of Egypt by Cambyses II
521 Accession of Darius Hystaspes
498 Persian invasion of Greece
498-448 Greco-Persian Wars
336 Alexander the Great conquers Persia

Kings of Persia

(From 550-330 BC)

Cyrus the Great 550 BC - 530 BC
Cambyses 530 BC - 522 BC
Bardiya 522 BC - 522 BC
Darius I 522 BC - 486 BC
Xerxes I 485 BC - 465 BC
Artaxerxes I 465 BC - 424 BC
Xerxes II 424 BC - 423 BC
Darius II 423 BC - 404 BC
Artaxerxes II 404 BC - 358 BC
Artaxerxes III 358 BC - 338 BC
Artaxerxes IV 338 BC - 336 BC
Darius III 336 BC - 330 BC

Cyrus I the Great

Cyrus I in Wikipedia (Old Persian Kuruš), was King of Anshan in Persia from c. 600 to 580 BC or, according to others, from c. 652 to 600 BC. He should not be confused with his famous grandson Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus II. His name in Modern Persian is کوروش, while in Greek he was called Κύρος. Cyrus was an early member of the Achaemenid dynasty. He was apparently a grandson of its founder Achaemenes and son of Teispes, king of Anshan. Teispes' sons reportedly divided the kingdom among them after his death. Cyrus reigned as king of Anshan while his brother Ariaramnes was king of Parsa. The chronological placement of this event is uncertain. This is due to his suggested but still debated identification with the monarch known as "Kuras of Parsumas". Kuras is first mentioned c. 652 BC. At that year Shamash-shum-ukin, king of Babylon (668 - 648 BC) revolted against his older brother and overlord Ashurbanipal, of king of Assyria (668 - 627 BC). Cyrus is mentioned being in a military alliance with the former. The war between the two brothers ended in 648 BC with the defeat and reported suicide of Shamash-shum- ukin. Cyrus is mentioned again in 639 BC. At that year Ashurbanibal managed to defeat Elam and became overlord to several of its former allies. Kuras was apparently among them. His elder son "Arukku" was reportedly sent to Assyria to pay tribute to its King. Kuras then seems to vanish from historical record. His suggested identification with Cyrus would help connect the Achaemenid dynasty to the major events of the 7th century BC...

Cyrus in Easton's Bible Dictionary (Heb. Ko'resh), the celebrated "King of Persia" (Elam) who was conqueror of Babylon, and issued the decree of liberation to the Jews (Ezra 1:1, 2). He was the son of Cambyses, the prince of Persia, and was born about B.C. 599. In the year B.C. 559 he became king of Persia, the kingdom of Media being added to it partly by conquest. Cyrus was a great military leader, bent on universal conquest. Babylon fell before his army (B.C. 538) on the night of Belshazzar's feast (Dan. 5:30), and then the ancient dominion of Assyria was also added to his empire (cf., "Go up, O Elam", Isa.21:2). Hitherto the great kings of the earth had only oppressed the Jews. Cyrus was to them as a "shepherd" (Isa. 44:28; 45:1). God employed him in doing service to his ancient people. He may posibly have gained, through contact with the Jews, some knowledge of their religion. The "first year of Cyrus" (Ezra 1:1) is not the year of his elevation to power over the Medes, nor over the Persians, nor the year of the fall of Babylon, but the year succeeding the two years during which "Darius the Mede" was viceroy in Babylon after its fall. At this time only (B.C. 536) Cyrus became actual king over Israel, which became a part of his Babylonian empire. The edict of Cyrus for the rebuilding of Jerusalem marked a great epoch in the history of the Jewish people (2 Chr. 36:22, 23; Ezra 1:1-4; 4:3; 5:13-17; 6:3-5). This decree was discovered "at Achmetha [R.V. marg., "Ecbatana"], in the palace that is in the province of the Medes" (Ezra 6:2). A chronicle drawn up just after the conquest of Babylonia by Cyrus, gives the history of the reign of Nabonidus (Nabunahid), the last king of Babylon, and of the fall of the Babylonian empire. In B.C. 538 there was a revolt in Southern Babylonia, while the army of Cyrus entered the country from the north. In June the Babylonian army was completely defeated at Opis, and immediately afterwards Sippara opened its gates to the conqueror. Gobryas (Ugbaru), the governor of Kurdistan, was then sent to Babylon, which surrendered "without fighting," and the daily services in the temples continued without a break. In October, Cyrus himself arrived, and proclaimed a general amnesty, which was communicated by Gobryas to "all the province of Babylon," of which he had been made governor. Meanwhile, Nabonidus, who had concealed himself, was captured, but treated honourably; and when his wife died, Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, conducted the funeral. Cyrus now assumed the title of "king of Babylon," claimed to be the descendant of the ancient kings, and made rich offerings to the temples. At the same time he allowed the foreign populations who had been deported to Babylonia to return to their old homes, carrying with them the images of their gods. Among these populations were the Jews, who, as they had no images, took with them the sacred vessels of the temple.

Cyrus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Koresh, from the Persian kohr "the sun," as Pharaoh from phrah "the sun." Founder of the Persian empire. Represented as the son of Mandane, who was daughter of Astyages last king of Media, and married to Cambyses a Persian of the family of the Achaemenidae. Astyages, because of a dream, directed Harpagus his favorite to have the child Cyrus destroyed; but the herdsman to whom he was given preserved him. His kingly qualities, when he grew up, betrayed his birth. Astyages enraged served up at a feast to Harpagus the flesh of his own son. Harpagus in revenge helped Cyrus at Pasargadae near Persepolis, 559 B.C., to defeat and dethrone Astyages, and make himself king of both Medes and Persians. Afterward Cyrus conquered Croesus, and added Lydia to his empire. In 538 B.C. he took Babylon by diverting the course of the Euphrates into another channel, and entering the city by the dry bed during a feast at which the Babylonians were reveling, as Isaiah 21:44;Isaiah 21:27; Jeremiah 50:38; Jeremiah 51:57 foretell He finally fell in a battle against the Massagetae. (See BABYLON.)...

Cyrus in Hitchcock's Bible Names as miserable; as heir

Cyrus in Naves Topical Bible (King of Persia) -Issues a decree for the emancipation of the Jews and rebuilding the temple 2Ch 36:22,23; Ezr 1; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13,14; 6:3 -Prophecies concerning Isa 13:17-22; 21:2; 41:2; 44:28; 45:1-4,13; 46:11; 48:14,15

Cyrus in Smiths Bible Dictionary (the sun), the founder of the Persian empire --see 2Ch 36:22,23; Da 6:28; 10:1,13 --was, according to the common legend, the son of Cambyses, a Persian of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. When he grew up to manhood his courage and genius placed him at the head of the Persians. His conquests were numerous and brilliant. He defeated and captured the Median king B.C. 559. In B.V. 546 (?) he defeated Croesus, and the kingdom of lydia was the prize of his success. Babylon fell before his army, and the ancient dominions of Assyria were added to his empire B.C. 538. The prophet Daniel's home for a time was at his court. Da 6:28 The edict of Cyrus for the rebuilding of the temple, 2Ch 36:22,23; Ezr 1:1-4; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13,17; 6:3 was in fact the beginning of Judaism; and the great changes by which the nation was transformed into a church are clearly marked. His tomb is still shown at Pasargadae, the scene of his first decisive victory.

Darius I the Great

Darius I of Persia in Wikipedia Darius I was the third king of kings of the Achaemenid Empire. Darius held the empire at its peak, then including Egypt, and parts of Greece. The decay and downfall of the empire commenced with his death and the coronation of his son, Xerxes I.[1] Darius ascended the throne by assassinating the alleged usurper Gaumata with the assistance of six other Persian noble families; Darius was crowned the following morning. The new emperor met with rebellions throughout his kingdom, and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius' life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria and subjugate Greece (an attempt which failed). Darius expanded his empire by conquering Thrace and Macedon, and invading the Saka, Iranian tribes who had invaded Medes and even killed Cyrus the Great. [2] Darius organized the empire, by dividing it into provinces and placing governors to govern it. He organized a new monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Babylon, and Egypt. Darius created a codification of laws for Egypt. He also carved the cliff-face Behistun Inscription, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance...

Darius in Easton's Bible Dictionary the holder or supporter, the name of several Persian kings. (1.) Darius the Mede (Dan. 11:1), "the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes" (9:1). On the death of Belshazzar the Chaldean he "received the kingdom" of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus. During his brief reign (B.C. 538-536) Daniel was promoted to the highest dignity (Dan. 6:1, 2); but on account of the malice of his enemies he was cast into the den of lions. After his miraculous escape, a decree was issued by Darius enjoining "reverence for the God of Daniel" (6:26). This king was probably the "Astyages" of the Greek historians. Nothing can, however, be with certainty affirmed regarding him. Some are of opinion that the name "Darius" is simply a name of office, equivalent to "governor," and that the "Gobryas" of the inscriptions was the person intended by the name. (2.) Darius, king of Persia, was the son of Hystaspes, of the royal family of the Achaemenidae. He did not immediately succeed Cyrus on the throne. There were two intermediate kings, viz., Cambyses (the Ahasuerus of Ezra), the son of Cyrus, who reigned from B.C. 529-522, and was succeeded by a usurper named Smerdis, who occupied the throne only ten months, and was succeeded by this Darius (B.C. 521-486). Smerdis was a Margian, and therefore had no sympathy with Cyrus and Cambyses in the manner in which they had treated the Jews. He issued a decree prohibiting the restoration of the temple and of Jerusalem (Ezra 4:17-22). But soon after his death and the accession of Darius, the Jews resumed their work, thinking that the edict of Smerdis would be now null and void, as Darius was in known harmony with the religious policy of Cyrus. The enemies of the Jews lost no time in bringing the matter under the notice of Darius, who caused search to be made for the decree of Cyrus (q.v.). It was not found at Babylon, but at Achmetha (Ezra 6:2); and Darius forthwith issued a new decree, giving the Jews full liberty to prosecute their work, at the same time requiring the Syrian satrap and his subordinates to give them all needed help. It was with the army of this king that the Greeks fought the famous battle of Marathon (B.C. 490). During his reign the Jews enjoyed much peace and prosperity. He was succeeded by Ahasuerus, known to the Greeks as Xerxes, who reigned for twenty-one years. (3.) Darius the Persian (Neh. 12:22) was probably the Darius II. (Ochus or Nothus) of profane history, the son of Artaxerxes Longimanus, who was the son and successor of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). There are some, however, who think that the king here meant was Darius III. (Codomannus), the antagonist of Alexander the Great (B.C. 336-331).

Darius in Fausset's Bible Dictionary A common name of several Medo-Persian kings, from a Persian root darvesh, "restraint;" Sanskrit, dhari, "firmly holding." 1. Darius the Mede. (See DANIEL; BABYLON; BELSHAZZAR; CYRUS.) Daniel 5:31; Daniel 6:1; Daniel 9:1; Daniel 11:1. This Darius "received the kingdom" (Daniel 5:31) of Babylon as viceroy from Cyrus, according to G. Rawlinson, which may be favored by Daniel 9:1; "Darius, the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldaeans." He in this view gave up the kingdom to his superior Cyrus, after holding it from 538 to 536 B.C. Abydenus makes Nebuchadnezzar prophesy that a Persian and a Mede," the pride of the Assyrians," should take Babylon, i.e. a prince who had ruled over the Medes and Assyrians. Cyrus, having taken such a prince 20 years before Babylon's capture, advanced him to be deputy king of Babylon. Hence he retained the royal title and is called "king" by Daniel. Thus Astyages (the last king of the Medes, and having no issue, according to Herodotus, 1:73, 109,127) will be this Darius, and Ahasuerus (Achashverosh) = Cyaxares (Huwakshatra), father of Astyages. Aeschylus (Persae, 766, 767) represents Cyaxares as the first founder of the empire and a Mede, and Sir H. Rawlinson proves the same in opposition to Herodotus. Aeschylus describes Cyaxares' son as having "a mind guided by wisdom"; this is applicable both to Darius in Daniel 6:1-3, and to Astyages in Herodotus. The chronology however requires one junior to Astyages to correspond to Darius the Mede and Cyrus' viceroy, whether a son or one next in succession after Astyages, probably Cyaxares...

Darius in Hitchcock's Bible Names he that informs himself

Darius in Naves Topical Bible 1. The Mede, king of Persia Da 5:31; 6; 9:1 -2. King of Persia Emancipates the Jews Ezr 5; 6; Hag 1:1,15; Zec 1:1 -3. The Persian Ne 12:22

Darius in Smiths Bible Dictionary (lord), the name of several kings of Media and Persia. 1. DARIUS THE MEDE, Da 6:1; 11:1 "the son of Ahasuerus," Da 9:1 who succeeded to the Babylonian kingdom ont he death of Belshazzar, being then sixty-two years old. Da 5:31; 9:1 (B.C. 538.) Only one year of his reign is mentioned, Da 9:1; 11:1 but that was of great importance for the Jews. Daniel was advanced by the king to the highest dignity, Da 6:1 ff., and in his reign was cast into the lions' den. Dan. 6. This Darius is probably the same as "Astyages," the last king of the Medes. 2. DARIUS, the son of Hystaspes the founder of the Perso-Arian dynasty. Upon the usurpation of the magian Smerdis, he conspired with six other Persian chiefs to overthrow the impostor and on the success of the plot was placed upon the throne, B.C. 521. With regard to the Jews, Darius Hystaspes pursued the same policy as Cyrus, and restored to them the privileges which they had lost. Ezr 5:1 etc.; Ezra 6:1 etc. 3. DARIUS THE PERSIAN, Ne 12:22 may be identified with Darius II. Nothus (Ochus), king of Persia B.C. 424-3 to 405-4; but it is not improbable that it points to Darius III. Codomannus, the antagonist of Alexander and the last king of Persia, B.C. 336-330.

Darius in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE da-ri'-us: The name of three or four kings mentioned in the Old Testament. In the original Persian it is spelled "Darayavaush"; in Babylonian, usually "Dariamush"; in Susian(?), "Tariyamaush"; in Egyptian "Antaryuash"; on Aramaic inscriptions, d-r-y-h-w-sh or d-r-y-w-h-w-sh; in Hebrew, dareyawesh; in Greek, Dareios; in Latin, "Darius." In meaning it is probably connected with the new Persian word Dara, "king." Herodotus says it means in Greek, Erxeies, coercitor, "restrainer," "compeller," "commander." (1) Darius the Mede (Dan 6:1; 11:1) was the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of the seed of the Medes (Dan 9:1). He received the government of Belshazzar the Chaldean upon the death of that prince (Dan 5:30,31; 6:1), and was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans. From Dan 6:28 we may infer that Darius was king contemporaneously with Cyrus. Outside of the Book of Daniel there is no mention of Darius the Mede by name, though there are good reasons for identifying him with Gubaru, or Ugbaru, the governor of Gutium, who is said in the Nabunaid-Cyrus Chronicle to have been appointed by Cyrus as his governor of Babylon after its capture from the Chaldeans. Some reasons for this identification are as follows:...


Some Scriptures Mentioning Persia

Ezra 4:7 - And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter [was] written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.

Ezra 4:3 - But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Ezra 9:9 - For we [were] bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

Ezra 6:14 - And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished [it], according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

2 Chronicles 36:23 - Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah. Who [is there] among you of all his people? The LORD his God [be] with him, and let him go up.

Daniel 10:1 - In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

Ezra 1:2 - Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which [is] in Judah.

Esther 1:3 - In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him:

Ezra 3:7 - They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.

Ezra 4:24 - Then ceased the work of the house of God which [is] at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Daniel 10:20 - Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

Esther 10:2 - And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

Daniel 11:2 - And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than [they] all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

Esther 1:14 - And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom;)

Esther 1:18 - [Likewise] shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus [shall there arise] too much contempt and wrath.

Ezra 1:8 - Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.

2 Chronicles 36:20 - And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:

Ezra 7:1 - Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,

Ezekiel 27:10 - They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.

Daniel 8:20 - The ram which thou sawest having [two] horns [are] the kings of Media and Persia.

Ezekiel 38:5 - Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Ezra 1:1 - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,

2 Chronicles 36:22 - Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD [spoken] by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and [put it] also in writing, saying,

Ezra 4:5 - And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Daniel 10:13 - But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia
 

Ancient Persia
Ancient Persia in the Bible

Map of Ancient Persia


Persia in Easton's Bible Dictionary an ancient empire, extending from the Indus to Thrace, and from the Caspian Sea to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Persians were originally a Medic tribe which settled in Persia, on the eastern side of the Persian Gulf. They were Aryans, their language belonging to the eastern division of the Indo-European group. One of their chiefs, Teispes, conquered Elam in the time of the decay of the Assyrian Empire, and established himself in the district of Anzan. His descendants branched off into two lines, one line ruling in Anzan, while the other remained in Persia. Cyrus II., king of Anzan, finally united the divided power, conquered Media, Lydia, and Babylonia, and carried his arms into the far East. His son, Cambyses, added Egypt to the empire, which, however, fell to pieces after his death. It was reconquered and thoroughly organized by Darius, the son of Hystaspes, whose dominions extended from India to the Danube.

Persia in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 38:5. "Persia proper" was originally a small territory (Herodot. 9:22). On the N. and N.E. lay Media, on the S. the Persian gulf, Elam on the W., on the E. Carmania. Now Furs, Farsistan. Rugged, with pleasant valleys and plains in the mid region and mountains in the N. The S. toward the sea is a hot sandy plain, in places covered with salt. Persepolis (in the beautiful valley of the Bendamir), under Darius Hystaspes, took the place of Pasargadae the ancient capital; of its palace "Chehl Minar," "forty columns," still exist. Alexander in a drunken fit, to please a courtesan, burned the palace. Pasargadae, 40 miles to the N., was noted for Cyrus' tomb (Arrian) with the inscription, "I am Cyrus the Achaemenian." (See CYRUS.) The Persians came originally from the E., from the vicinity of the Sutlej (before the first contact of the Assyrians with Aryan tribes E. of Mount Zagros, 880 B.C.), down the Oxus, then S. of the Caspian Sea to India. There were ten castes or tribes: three noble, three agricultural, four nomadic; of the last were the "Dehavites" or Dali (Ezra 4:9). The Pasargadae were the noble tribes, in which the chief house was that of the Achaemenidae. Darius on the rock of Behistun inscribed: "from antiquity our race have been kings. There are eight of our race who have been kings before me, I am the ninth." frontELAM on its relation to Persia.) The Persian empire stretched at one time from India to Egypt and Thrace, including all western Asia between the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian, the Jaxartes upon the N., the Arabian desert, Persian gulf, and Indian ocean on the S. Darius in the inscription on his tomb at Nakhsh- irustam enumerates thirty countries besides Persia subject to him, Media, Susiana, Parthia, Aria, Bactria, Sogdiana, Chorasmia, Zarangia, Arachosia, Sattagydia, Gaudaria, India, Scythia, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, Cappadocia, Saparda, Ionia, the Aegean isles, the country of the Scodrae (European), Ionia, the Tacabri, Budians, Cushites, Mardians, and Colchians. The organization of the Persian kingdom and court as they appear in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, accords with independent secular historians. The king, a despot, had a council, "seven princes of Persia and Media which see his face and sit the first in the kingdom" (Esther 1:14; Ezra 7:14). So Herodotus (iii. 70-79) and Behistun inscription mention seven chiefs who organized the revolt against Smerdis (the Behistun rock W. of Media has one inscription in three languages, Persian, Babylonian, and Stythic, read by Grotefend). "The law of the Persians and Medes which alters not" (Esther 1:19) also controlled him in some measure. In Scripture we read of 127 provinces (Esther 1:1) with satraps (Esther 3:12; Esther 8:9; Xerxes in boasting enlarged the list; 60 are the nations in his armament according to Herodotus) maintained from the palace (Ezra 4:14), having charge of the revenue, paid partly in money...
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/P/Persia/

Persia in Hitchcock's Bible Names that cuts or divides; a nail; a gryphon; a horseman
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/P/Persia/

Persia in Naves Topical Bible An empire which extended from India to Ethiopia, comprising one-hundred and twenty-seven provinces Es 1:1; Da 6:1 -Government of, restricted by constitutional limitations Es 8:8; Da 6:8-12 -Municipal governments in, provided with dual governors Ne 3:9,12,16-18 -The princes were advisors in matters of administration Da 6:1-7 -Status of women in; queen sat on the throne with the king Ne 2:6 -Vashti was divorced for refusing to appear before the king's courtiers Es 1:10-22; 2:4 -Israel captive in 2Ch 36:20 -Captivity foretold Ho 13:16 -Men of, in the Tyrian army Eze 27:10 -Rulers of Ahasuerus Es 1:3 -Darius Da 5:31; 6; 9:1 -Artaxerxes I Ezr 4:7-24 -Artaxerxes II Ezr 7; Ne 2; 5:14 -Cyrus 2Ch 36:22,23; Ezr 1; 3:7; 4:3; 5:13,14,17; 6:3; Isa 41:2,3; 44:28; 45:1-4,13; 46:11; 48:14,15 -Princes of Es 1:14 -System of justice Ezr 7:25 -Prophecies concerning Isa 13:17; 21:1-10; Jer 49:34-39; 51:11-64; Eze 32:24,25; 38:5; Da 2:31-45; 5:28; 7; 8; 11:1-4
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Persia in Smiths Bible Dictionary (pure, splended), Per'sians. Persia proper was a tract of no very large dimensions on the Persian Gulf, which is still known as Fars or Farsistan, a corruption of the ancient appellation. This tract was bounded on the west by Susiana or Elam, on the north by Media on the south by the Persian Gulf and on the east by Carmania. But the name is more commonly applied, both in Scripture and by profane authors to the entire tract which came by degrees to be included within the limits of the Persian empire. This empire extended at one time from India on the east to Egypt and Thrace on the west, and included. besides portions of Europe and Africa, the whole of western Asia between the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian and the Jaxartes on the north, the Arabian desert the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean on the south. The only passage in Scripture where Persia designates the tract which has been called above "Persia proper" is Eze 38:5 Elsewhere the empire is intended. The Persians were of the same race as the Medes, both being branches of the great Aryan stock. 1. Character of the nation. --The Persians were a people of lively and impressible minds, brave and impetuous in war, witty, passionate, for Orientals truthful, not without some spirit of generosity: and of more intellectual capacity than the generality of Asiatics. In the times anterior to Cyrus they were noted for the simplicity of their habits, which offered a strong contrast to the luxuriousness of the Medes; but from the late of the Median overthrow this simplicity began to decline. Polygamy was commonly practiced among them. They were fond of the pleasures of the table. In war they fought bravely, but without discipline. 2. Religion. --The religion which the Persians brought with there into Persia proper seems to have been of a very simple character, differing from natural religion in little except that it was deeply tainted with Dualism. Like the other Aryans, the Persians worshipped one supreme God. They had few temples, and no altars or images. 3. Language. --The Persian language was closely akin to the Sanskrit, or ancient language of India. Modern Persian is its degenerate representative, being largely impregnated with Arabic. 4. History. --The history of Persia begins with the revolt from the Medes and the accession of Cyrus the Great, B.C. 558. Cyrus defeated Croesus, and added the Lydian empire to his dominions. This conquest was followed closely by the submission of the Greek settlements on the Asiatic coast, and by the reduction of Caria and Lycia The empire was soon afterward extended greatly toward the northeast and east. In B.C. 539 or 538, Babylon was attacked, and after a stout defence fell into the hands of Cyrus. This victory first brought the Persians into co...
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Persia in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE pur'-sha, (parats; Persia; in Assyrian Parsu, Parsua; in Achemenian Persian Parsa, modern Fars): In the Bible (2 Ch 36:20,22,23; Ezr 1:1,8; Est 1:3,14,18; 10:2; Ezek 27:10; 38:5; Dan 8:20; 10:1; 11:2) this name denotes properly the modern province of Fars, not the whole Persian empire. The latter was by its people called Airyaria, the present Iran (from the Sanskrit word arya, "noble"); and even now the Persians never call their country anything but Iran, never "Persia." The province of Persis lay to the East of Elam (Susiana), and stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Great Salt Desert, having Carmania on the Southeast. Its chief cities were Persepolis and Pasargadae. Along the Persian Gulf the land is low, hot and unhealthy, but it soon begins to rise as one travels inland. Most of the province consists of high and steep mountains and plateaus, with fertile valleys. The table-lands in which lie the modern city of Shiraz and the ruins of Persepolis and Pasargadae are well watered and productive. Nearer the desert, however, cultivation grows scanty for want of water. Persia was doubtless in early times included in Elam, and its population was then either Semitic or allied to the Accadians, who founded more than one state in the Babylonian plain. The Aryan Persians seem to have occupied the country in the 8th or 9th century BC.
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