Chp 5 Greece and Iran 1000-30 BCE

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Chp 5: Greece and Iran 1000-30 B.C.E
Persian Empire 1000-500 B.C.E.
Political
Rulers
Laws
State structure
Cities
Wars
Rose when:
-Persia was small tributary territory of Median Empire
-Cyrus overthrew Median king and
built a larger Persian empire that included Medes and Persians
-Capital at Susa
Key Leaders:
-Cyrus: overthrew Median Empire, established Persian Empire
- took control of Anatolia and Mesopotamia
-religiously and culturally tolerant
-Cambyses II: defeated Egypt; decline in role of Medes as Persians asserted greater
dominance
-Darius I: expanded empire to Indus Valley and European Thrace, ruled by Zoroastrian mor
philosophy
Political system
-divided into 20 provinces governed by a satrap
-provinces paid annual tribute to central government managed by king
-created darics; standardized currency
-created Royal Road, long highway; was good for trade/transportation
-Xerxes: failed to defeat the Greeks
Fell when:
- Macedonia gained power, Alexander the Great takeover
(AFTER Persian Empire)
Hellenistic Age (323-30 B.C.E.): post Alexander's death, empire divided up into 3 kingdom
each ruled by Macedonian Dynasty: Seleucid Kingdom, Ptolemies, Antigonids controlle
Middle East
Interactions
Geography
Migrations
Environment
-surrounded by mountains, deserts, and the Persian Gulf
-mountains, salt deserts, plateau
-water scarce- irrigation networks
-copper, tin, iron, gold, silver, plentiful timber
Religion
Beliefs
Philosophy
-major religion Zoroastrianism: existence of a dualistic universe in which the god of good,
Ahuramazda, was locked in an epic struggle against the god of evil, Angra Mainyu
-Zoroastrianism dualism may have influenced Judaism/Christianity
New Ideas/
Shifts in Thinking
-believed to be created by Zoroaster
Arts
Literature
Culture
Writing
Technology
Intellectual
Innovations
Industries
Economy
Military
Trade
Commerce
Money
-Macedonia gained power, Alexander the Great takeover:
-King Philip of Macedonia strengthened army with technology and more soldiers
-Philip's son and heir Alexander (the Great) invaded Persia, defeated forces of the Persian
Empire
-Alexander built empire in which he maintained the administrative apparatus of the Persian
Empire, used Persian officials as well as Greeks and Macedonians, and began to present
himself as a successor to the Persian king
Society
Social classes
Gender roles
Lifestyle
-male-dominant society, but elite women had some political influence
Discussion Questions
From Chp 5 Outline
1. Compare the political systems of the Persian Empire and of Greece. What factors best
explain the differences between Persian and Greek political culture?
● Persian Empire always a monarchy, Greece
● City-states were self-governing, provinces answered to strong central government
2. How and why did the government of Greek city-states develop and change from the Archaic
through the Classical periods?
3. Why did the Persians and the Greeks come into conflict? What factors might explain the
outcome of the Persian Wars and Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire?
4. What role did environment and geography play in the political development of Greece as a
whole? What did these factors mean for the political, social and cultural evolution of Athens and
Sparta in particular?
5. How would you describe and explain the influence of the Persians and of the Greeks on
western Asia and Egypt?
6. In what ways could one describe the Hellenistic world as a ‘cosmopolitan” one?
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