11 The Persian empire

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THE PERSIAN EMPIRE
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The Persian Empire was enormous, stretching from Anatolia
(Turkey) and Egypt, to India and Central Asia. It lasted from
550-330 B.C.
The rise of Persia
◦ The Persian Empire,
also called
Achaemenid
Empire, began as
semi-nomadic
tribes who raised
sheep, goats, and
cattle on the
Iranian plateau.
Persian Kings
◦Cyrus (559-530 BC)
◦Cambyses (530-525 BC)
◦Darius (521-486 BC)
◦Xerxes (486-465 BC)
Cyrus the Great founds an empire
◦ The empire was founded by Cyrus the Great. Cyrus first conquered the Median Empire in
550 BC and then the Lydians and the Babylonians. Under later kings, the empire would grow
to Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey. Its borders would stretch over 5,000 km.
Cyrus the Great
◦ Cyrus the Great defeated the
Medians. He led his army to major
conquests.
◦ He defeated the Lydians of western
Anatolia. In 539 BC he defeated the
Babylonians.
◦ Cyrus is known for his respect of
different tribes and peoples.
◦ As long as conquered peoples paid
their taxes, he let them maintain their
religion and local customs.
◦ Cyrus let the Jews return home to
Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon.
Cambyses
◦ Cambyses II was the son of
Cyrus the Great and ruled
Persia from 529 to 521 BC.
◦ He killed his brother in order
to gain the throne.
◦ He invaded Egypt in 525 BC,
defeating and sacking the
cities.
◦ His plans of conquest in
Africa were frustrated.
◦ Cambyses died possibly by
suicide.
Darius
◦ Darius built roads throughout the
empire for communication and
trade.
◦ He created the system of governors
called satraps.
◦ Darius also conquered the northern
part of India, then built a new
capital city called Persepolis.
◦ His son Xerxes I succeeded him as
king.
Provinces and satraps
◦Under King Darius,
the empire was
divided into 20
provinces. Each
province was ruled
by a governor,
called a SATRAP.
The Royal Road
◦ The empire was connected by many roads and a postal system.
The most famous road was the Royal Road built by King Darius the
Great. This road stretched around 1,700 miles from Turkey to Susa.
Zoroaster’s
teachings
◦The Persians followed the
teaching of the prophet
Zoroaster. This religion was
called Zoroastrianism and
believed in one main god
called Ahura Mazda.
Fall of the Persian Empire
◦The Persian Empire was
conquered by the Greeks led by
Alexander the Great. In the year
334 BC, he conquered the
Persian Empire from Egypt all the
way to the borders of India.
1. What is another name for the First Persian Empire?
a. The Achaemenid Empire
b. The Macedonian Empire
c. The Assyrian Empire
d. The Babylonian Empire
e. The Akkadian Empire
6. About how long was the Royal Road built by King Darius?
a. 5 miles
b. 100 miles
c. 300 miles
d. 700 miles
e. 1,700 miles
2. Who was the king who first formed the Persian Empire?
a. Darius I
b. Darius II
c. Xerxes
d. Cyrus the Great
e. Artaxerxes
7. Who defeated King Darius at the Battle of Marathon?
a. The Babylonians
b. The Assyrians
c. The Egyptians
d. The Greeks
e. The Romans
3. What was unique about the rule of the Persians under Cyrus the Great?
a. He forced all peoples to believe in his religion
b. He allowed people to keep their local customs and religions
c. He moved peoples to new lands so they could not rebel as easy
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
8. What ruler conquered the Persian Empire?
a. Julius Caesar
b. Sargon the Great
c. Alexander the Great
d. Cleopatra VII
e. Philip of Macedonia
4. What was the name of the Persian ruler of each province or state?
a. King
b. Governor
c. Satrap
d. Baron
e. Lord
9. What king of Persia ruled the longest and during a time of peace and prosperity?
a. Xerxes I
b. Cyrus the Great
c. Darius I
d. Artaxerxes II
e. Darius II
5. What religion did the Persians follow?
a. Same as the Sumerians
b. Zoroastrianism
c. Judaism
d. Greek Mythology
e. Same as the Babylonians
10. What was the capital city of the Persian Empire?
a. Persopolis
b. Athens
c. Babylonia
d. Nineveh
e. Alexandria
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