The Achaemenid Persian Empire was one of the largest empires ever seen in the world. It extended all the way from the Anatolia and Egypt going across the Western Asia to the Northern India and the Central Asia. The formation of the empire was established in 550 BC under King Astyages of the Media who occupied Iran and Eastern Anatolia nowadays known as Turkey. The King of Persia, however, defeated him between 559-530 BC (Lane, The Birth of Politics). After the defeat, there was an imbalance in the media, and therefore, the Lydians who were the inhabitants of Western Anatolia seized the Media and pushed east further which made them clash with the Persians forces.
After the Persians had taken over, they started to improve in the capital city of Sardis, but they were not successful as the city fell after the siege that lasted for only two weeks. The Lydian, on the other hand, liaised with the Babylonians and Egyptians, which made Cyrus, make efforts in confronting the major powers. Babylonians were the only ones in charge of the control in the Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. In 539 BC, there was victory among the Persians as the Babylonian army was defeated and Cyrus took over Babylon (Lane, The Birth of Politics). After ten days siege in Egypt, the Persians were able to gain control of the ancient capital Memphis. Egypt was left to Cyruss son, but after a crisis, he went back to Persia where he died and Darius I emerged the King.
In 498 BC, the Eastern Greek Ionian cities with the support from the Athens revolted. The Persian took four years to suppress and curb that rebellion, but the attack against Greece was repulsed at Marathon in 490 B.C,. Xerxes, who was Darius sons, made an attempt to make people acknowledge the Persians power, but Sparta and Athens could hear none of it and the Greece won the Persian navy in the straits of Salamis. Xerxes left Greece to crush the Babylonian, but the Greeks defeated the army he left at the Battle of Plataea (Aeschylus, the Persians). Xerxes was assassinated and Artaxerxes I who was his son succeeded him.
There were numerous revolts under Artaxerxes II and the claim of independence for Egypt with the reign of Artexerxes III. Egypt was re-conquered with the assassination of Artexerxes III, and Artexerxes IV was crowned king. He was also assassinated, and the reign was taken back to Darius III, who faced the army of the Great Alexander II of Macedon (Aeschylus, the Persians). Alexander claimed the Persian Empire after his army knocked down and assassinate King Darius III. The whole event was a demonstration of the solidarity and unity of the Persians despite the repeated intrigues.
Alexander the Great was born in Pella the Macedonian capital when his father became the king of Macedonia. He was sixteen when he was left in charge of the Macedonia while his father went forward with the campaigns in Bytzantium (Lane, Alexander the Great). He was able to crush a rebellious tribe without his father assistance. In 343, Philip invited Aristotle to become the royal tutor and at that time, Alexander was thirteen.
Philip was taught by the philosopher for three years while Alexander became inspired with the Iliad. Philip led a campaign in 340 which provoked Athens and Thebes to take Macedonia and the 18-year-old Alexander led the cavalry. Philip became the leader of Greek states with an acknowledgment from Corinth, but Philip was murdered during his daughters wedding by one of his courtiers. Alexander was therefore elected, and he storms Thebes, where he managed to carry out 6000 killings (Lane, Alexander the Great). After the division of Theban and the ruthless authority, Alexander prepared to leave Macedonia with a thought that Greece will be in peace. Alexander led a troupe that settled an old score between the Persians and the Macedonian (Abbott, Alexander the Great). The Persians were defeated and taken back to Macedonia in the chain as slaves. He was also able to defeat an army that was led by Darius III, who was the Persian emperor, but he did not mistreat the mother, wife and children and this gained him respect. Alexander the Great died in Babylon in 323 B.C.E (Abbott, Alexander the Great). His aftereffects lasted longer than his 13-year reign and the greatest impacts were felt by his soldiers.
The Parthians took Iran from the Seleucids by 140 BCE, and afterward the Sasanians followed. The Parthians followed the Persians closely as the Sasanians were interested in experimenting with the Persians customs (Craig, The Heritage of World Civilizations). The Parthians were the ruling dynasty of Iran who was able to defeat the Secludes and took over the territory. They are known for their heavily armored cavalry, and they were seen as a threat to the Roman Empire.
The Sasanians defeated the Parthians in 224-651 C.E and ruled for more than four centuries. Iran was later conquered by the Islamic conquest who introduced the issues of innovations, such as royal land and the support from the government. Although the Parthians were Zoroastrians, they allowed their subjects to practice their religion, unlike their successor who saw difficulties in managing the religious diversity of their subjects (Craig, The Heritage of World Civilizations). In the third century, there was the emergence of two religions; Christianity and Manichaeism but the Sasanians could not condone it as they saw the religions as a threat since their rituals could be resisted. The Sasanians ruled until 651 when the capital at Ctesiphon fell, and the Islamic armies took over.
Abbott, Jacob. Alexander the Great. Place of publication not identified: Henry Altemu, 1900. Print.
Aeschylus, . The Persians. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC, 2013. Internet resource.
Craig, Albert M. The Heritage of World Civilizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print.
Lane, Fox R. Alexander the Great. Camberwell, Victoria: Penguin, 2004. Internet resource.
Lane, M S. The Birth of Politics: Eight Greek and Roman Political Ideas and Why They Matter. , 2014. Internet resource.
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