Persian Empire Notes Essay
Persian Empire may refer to: * Achaemenid Empire (558–330 BC), also called “First Persian Empire” * Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD), adopted both Hellenistic and Iranian customs * Sassanid Empire (224–651 AD), also called “Neo-Persian Empire” and “Second Persian Empire” * Persia (1501-1979) under Safavid dynasty, Afsharid dynasty, Zand dynasty, Qajar dynasty and Pahlavi dynasty The Achaemenid Persian Empire (c. 550–330 BCE), sometimes known as First Persian Empire, was an Iranian empire in Western Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation.
It expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world which at around 500 BCE stretched from the Indus Valley in the east, to Thrace and Macedon on the northeastern border of Greece making it the biggest empire the world had yet seen. The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt as well. It was ruled by a series of monarchs who unified its disparate tribes and nationalities by constructing a complex network of roads. Calling themselves the Pars after their original Aryan tribal name Parsa, Persians settled in a land which they named Parsua (Persis in Greek), bounded on the west by the Tigris River and on the south by the Persian Gulf. This became their heartland for the duration of the Achaemenid Empire.  It was from this region that eventually Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) would advance to defeat the Median, the Lydian, and the Babylonian Empires, opening the way for subsequent conquests into Egypt and Asia minor. At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million km 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 centralised, bureaucratic administration under the Emperor and a large professional army and civil services, inspiring similar developments in later empires. Traditional view is that the Persian Empire’s vast size and its extraordinary ethnocultural diversity would prove to be its undoing as delegation of power to local governments would eventually weaken the king’s central authority, causing much energy and resources to be wasted in attempts to subdue local rebellions explaining why when Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) invaded Persia in 334 BCE he was faced by a disunified realm under a weak monarch, ripe for destruction. This viewpoint however is challenged by some modern scholars who argue that the Achaemenid Empire was not facing any such crisis around the time of Alexander, and that only internal succession struggles within the Achaemenid family ever came close to weakening the Empire. Alexander, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, would eventually cause the collapse of the empire and its disintegration around 330 BCE into what later became the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time.
The Iranian Culture of the central plateau, however, continued to thrive and eventually reclaimed power by the 2nd century BCE. * The historical mark of the Achaemenid Empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social, technological and religious influences as well. Many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by, or allied to the Persian kings. The impact of Cyrus the Great’s Edict of Restoration is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts and the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
Even Alexander the Great, the man who would set out to conquer this vast empire, would respect its customs, by enforcing respect for the royal Persian kings including Cyrus the Great, and even by appearing in proskynesis, a Persian royal custom, despite stern Macedonian disapproval. The Persian empire would also set the tone for the politics, heritage and history of modern Persia (now called Iran). The influence also encompasses Persia’s previous territories collectively referred to as the Greater Persia.
A notable engineering achievement is the Qanat water management system, the oldest and longest of which is older than 3000 years and longer than 44 miles (71 km. ) * In 480 BCE, it is estimated that 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire or about 44% of the world’s population at the time, making it the largest empire by population percentage. When they talk about the Persian Empire people usually just talk about how large their empire was and how wealthy they were with palaces larger than most could imagine and streets laden with gold.
But actually everyone knows that the Persians were one of the most influential empires of all times. The Persian Empire made advancements on all grounds and they left generations after generations stunned with how far they had gone. The Persian Empire accomplishments, achievements, contributions in short are as follows: 1. Persian Empire accomplishments in Architecture Of all the Persian Empire achievements the most magnificent and extravagant are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. They were taken to be one of the Wonders of the Old World and are still a mystery to us.
Other than this there is also a number of magnificent monuments and designs of unthinkable palaces that pays tribute to the architectural genius of the Persians. The domes that are today taken to be the pride of any building had its roots in Persian Architecture. 2. Persian Empire contribution in Mathematics One of the greatest Persian Empire contributions to the modern world is Algebra. This is a form of mathematics without which almost none of the modern day inventions or discovery would have been possible.
The one who made all this possible was a mathematician named Khwarizmi. Another man named Khayyam was a poet and a mathematician who contributed the concept of duality in numbers. These are concepts that form the basis of modern day mathematics and are now proven to be a Persian Empire accomplishment. 3. Persian Empire achievements in Music The Persian music has always enthralled the lovers of music because of its spirituality and the unique assortment of instruments that they used.
Overall accepted as a spiritual vessel, Persian Empire accomplishments in the field of music included the use of instruments such as the Tambour or the tambourine, the Sitar and many unique percussion instruments. Many Asian musical styles of classical fields owe their origins to the Persian style of music including Sufi and Indian Classical music. 4. Persian Empire achievements in Art Persian Empire achievements in painting styles have been praised one of the most influential till date.
The geometrically symmetrical and asymmetrical paintings seen in Asia today have its origin in Persian Art. 5. Persian Empire contribution in Legal and Government The first ever bill of rights, the religious equality and freedom and the first form of paper money were the Persian Empire contribution to the modern world. They had a fixed legal system and a constitution of a nation. This along with a Silk Route that stretched from them to China through India made it the prime trading grounds for silk and spice.
Prosperity was ample through the Persian Empire achievements. 6. Contribution of Persian Empire in Military The Persian Empire accomplishments on the field of battle need no tribute. They were feared as the largest and the most advanced. They had the first ever standard navy and their foot soldiers used gunpowder. They believed in an edge over their enemy through advancements. The Persian Empire accomplishments, achievements, contributions and greatness are beyond question as they were truly the first global empire that made a mark on the world map.