Chapter 4 Notes Greece and Iran 1000 – 30 B.C.E. ⅠAncient Iran

Chapter 4 Notes
Greece and Iran 1000 – 30 B.C.E.
ⅠAncient Iran 1000 - 500 B.C.E
• Also known as the Persian Empire.
• Little written materials are left.
A. Geography and Resources
• Northwest Iran was more open to attacks by the nomads of Central Asia.
• Irrigation in the first millennium B.C.E. enabled people to move to open plains so they could plant.
• Under ground irrigation channels.
• Human survival depended on a delicate ecological balance.
B. The Rise of the Persian Empire
• “Iranians” spread out across western and central Asia.
• Medes was the first group to achieve a complex level of political organization.
• Medes settled in the northwest and came under the influence of the ancient centers in Mesopotamia and Urartu.
• Achaemendis (Persian rulers) cemented their relationship with the Median court through marriage.
• 3 social classes: warriors, priests, and peasants.
C. Imperial Organization and Ideology
• Empire of Darius I was the largest in the world at that time.
• Known as the second founder of the Persian Empire, after Cyrus.
• Darius was divided into 20 provinces and supervised by a Persian satrap, or governor.
• Satrap’s duty was to collect and send tribute to the king.
• Roads were secure and guarded.
• Persian elite women were politically influential, possessed substantial property, traveled, and were prominent on
public occasions.
• Kings traveled and had an entourage of people; noblemen, wives, children, sons of aristocrats, central
administration, royal bodyguard, countless courtiers and slaves.
• King owned vast tracts of land and got some donated to him and those who donated got military service.
• The Persepolis Treasury and Fortification Texts, written in Elamite cuneiform on clay tablets, show that
government officials gave out food and other essentials to workers.
• Darius was a lawgiver who created a body of “laws of the king”.
• Vast empire that had an abundance of resources and in which all the peoples willingly cooperated.
• Ahuramazda is the great god of a religion called Zoroastrianism which was practiced by Darius and his
successors, was one of the great religions of the ancient world.
ⅡRise of the Greeks 1000 – 500 B.C.E
A. Geography and Resources
• Near Aegean Sea
• Mainland farmers depended entirely on rainfall.
• Sheep, goats, cattle and horses.
• Sea transport was cheaper and faster than overland transport.
B. The emergence of the Polis
• First flowering was largely an adaptation of the imported institutions of Middle Eastern palace – dominated states
to the Greek terrain.
• Greece isolation ended around 800 B.C.E. when Phoenician ships began to visit the Aegean.
• Phoenicians gave the Greeks a writing system that had 22 symbols to represent the consonants in their language
leaving only 2 vowels.
• First true alphabet
• Widespread literacy and explosion of population
• Intensive use of land as farming replaced herding.
• Greece, at the time, consisted of hundreds of independent political entities.
• The Greek Polis (city-state) was made of an urban center and the rural territory that it controlled.
• Hoplites – heavily armored infantrymen who fought in close formation.
• Sent people to establish new “colonies” some went willingly and some were forced.
• Tyrant – person who seized and held power in violation of the normal political institutions and traditions of the
• Democracy – the exercise of political power by all free adult males.
• Sacrifice, which was the central ritual of Greek religion, was performed at altars in front of temples.
C. New Intellectual Currents.
• Growing emphasis on the individual
• Families mattered
• The advanced theory of the atoms
• Logographers wrote in everyday language.
• Herodotus published his Histories.
D. Athens and Sparta
• 2 preeminent Greek city-sates of late Archaic and Classical periods were Athens and Sparta.
• Ancestors of Spartans migrated into Peloponnesus.
• Sparta was a military camp.
• Athens was the opposite of Sparta.
• Athens had more rights for the lower class.
• Pericles took the last steps in the evolution of Athenian democracy.
Ⅲ The struggle of Persia and Greece 546 – 323 B.C.E.
A. Early Encounters
• Ionian Revolt was a great uprising of Greeks and other subject peoples on the western frontier in 499 B.C.E.
• The failed revolt led the Persian Wars, 2 Persian attacks on Greece in the early 5th Century B.C.E.
• Eretria (city) had Persian fighters come and the survivors were permanently exiled.
• Athenians had Persian fighters come too but Athens had hoplites that defeated the Persian fighters.
• Athens refused to submit to the Persian king.
B. The height of Athenian Power
• Athens became an imperial power.
• Delian League demanded contributions and wouldn’t let anyone leave.
• Trireme – row ship used for war
• Democracy in Athens
• Athens had a form of taxes.
• Sophists – traveling teachers
• Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
C. Inequality in Classical Greece
• Slaves were non-Greek who were “living pieces of property” but were mostly treated humanely because they
formed relationships with their owners.
• Women in Sparta had rights and were outspoken and had public visibility.
• Women of Athens had arranged marriages and were kept indoors and were only there to produce sons and take
care of the house and the children, they would be allowed out sometimes to visit female relatives, funerals and
certain festivals.
• Bisexuality was common among men.
D. Failure of the City-state and Triumph of the Macedonians
• Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C.E. between the Athenian and Spartan alliance.
• The war ended in a naval battle in 404 B.C.E. with Sparta winning.
• Transforming Macedonia into premier military power.
• Improvements on hoplites formation.
• Alexander (king and son of Philip, a.k.a. Alexander the Great) defeated the Persian King Darius Ⅲ.
Ⅳ The Hellenistic Synthesis 323 – 30 B.C.E.
Alexander died a sudden death which sent a half-century of chaos.
Hellenistic Age – epoch ushered in by the conquests of Alexander
Ptolemies – dynasty that ruled Egypt and sometimes laid claim to Syria-Palestine
The people of Egypt were only one ethnic group and easily controlled because they were mostly farmers.
Antigonid dynasty ruled the Macedonian homeland and parts of northern Greece.
Alexandria (made by Alexander) had a royal compound, palace, administrative buildings, mausoleum, library,
research institutions, doctors, and scientists.
Ⅴ Conclusion
Achaemenid Persians – largest empire yet to appear in the world
Persia was flexible and tolerant in laws, customs, and beliefs of subject peoples.
Persian kings put an end to the ancient centers of power in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Egypt.
Peloponnesian War
Greek alphabet for writing