4 Kasım 2010 Perşembe

THE AGE OF EMPIRES: After the Achaemenids

The Deeds of Darius the Great
-In the East: Adds the Indus Valley into the territories of the Empire.
-In the West: Attacks the Greek city-states in 499 B.C.  But in the Battle of Marathon (492 B.C.),
he is defeated and fails to take Athens.
-He builds an extensive system of royal roads.
-He regularizes the system of taxation and tribute and undertakes legal and economic reforms.
-Reorganizes the empire into a system of satrapies, each ruled by a satrap.
This system is adopted by later empires.
Satrapy System:
Satrap: Tax-collector for tribute to the center, administrative head, supreme judge, head of security
Council of Persians: consisting of Persian and local aristocracy
Royal Secretary: “Eye of the king”

Persepolis becomes the new capital

The Achaemenid Empire and the Greek City-States

Xerxes I (485-465 BC) and the Greco-Persian Wars
With a massive military force Xerxes goes through Macedonia and Thessaly all the way to Athens and sacks the city.
Is defeated at the Battle of Salamis.

Alexander the Great and the Achaemenids 
Below is the House of the Faun Alexander Mosaic (1st century) depicting
Alexander the Great againstAchaemenid Armies led by Darius III in the Battle of Issus

Alexander's Empire:

Post-Alexander Period
The Seleucid Empire (312-63 BC)
Named after Seleucus, a commander in chief to the Macedonian army.

The Parthian Empire (247 BC - 224 AD)

The region of Parthia was a satrapy in Iran, which rebelled against the Seleucids.
In the East: Rising importance of the Silk Road.
In the West: Rivalry with the Romans. General Marcus Antonius.
Parthian governance and religion amalgamated Persian, Hellenistic and local cultures. There are also Jews, Christians, Zororastrians, and Buddhists present.
The Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD)

 Ardashir I revolted against the Parthians and established the Sassanid rule.
In the East: Strong trade and cultural relations with the Chinese. They had a shared interest in protecting the Silk Road.
In the West: Rivalry first between the Roman Empire and later the Byzantine Empire. The Persians even reached the doors of Constantinople in 626 A.D., but failed to conquer the city. 
The Sassanid Period is marked by a very developed and sophisticated Persian cultural revival which influenced not only the polities around it, like Rome, China, India, but also the later Islamic cultures.

Sassanid Coinage with Zoroastrian symbolism (below)