The civilization on the Iranian plateau is very ancient; copper was smelted there about 5500 BC, and Elam in the lowlands lagged only slightly behind Sumer in the development of hieroglyphic writing 5,000 years ago……
The name Iran derives from the word “Aryan,” and in the first half of the first millennium BC Iranian-speaking peoples moved gradually into the area of the Zagros mountains, the largest groups being the Medes and the Persians. More effective use of iron tools and irrigation from the ninth to the seventh centuries BC enabled the Iranians to farm more successfully and increase population in the plains. The Aryans brought horses and chariots, and their use of cavalry stimulated the Assyrians to do the same…….
After seizing a great empire Darius endeavored to judge it by establishing laws. The empire was divided into twenty provinces, each ruled by a Persian satrap and a commander-in-chief. The Persians were exempted from taxation, and India’s gold provided nearly a third of the total annual tribute valued at 14,500 talents of silver. Inspectors called “the ears of the king” kept him informed and had their own armed forces. The laws were intended to keep the stronger from destroying the weak. Judges were appointed for life unless they were removed for miscarriage of justice.
Darius claimed that he loved what is right and hated lies and what is wrong, that he was not angry but restrained those who were angry. Those who injured he punished. Those who did not speak the truth he did not trust, believing that anyone who lies destroys.
He even withdrew a death sentence when he realized that he had violated his own law not to execute anyone for only one crime, but in weighing the man’s services against his crime ended up making him a governor. However, the death penalty was used for offenses against the state or the royal family, and mutilation was common for lesser crimes…..
In 490 BC Darius sent envoys to Greek cities demanding the earth and water of submission. The trading island of Aegina cooperated, but Sparta and Athens were determined to resist. The Persian attack was led by Datis. When the people of Naxos fled to the interior, the city was burned. Eretrians were divided but decided only to defend themselves, not to attack. After the Persians had assaulted Eretria for six days, two democrats betrayed the city hoping their party would gain power; but the Persians made the moral mistake of destroying the temples and enslaving the people. This stimulated the Athenians to attack the Persians on the plain of Marathon, defeating them so badly that the Persians fled for home…..
In 465 BC Xerxes was assassinated in the royal bedchamber by a conspiracy led by Artabanus, Megabyzus, and the eunuch chamberlain Aspamitres. ….
In 394 BC the Persian navy manned by Phoenicians and Greeks defeated the Spartan navy off Cnidus. The old alliance of Persia and Athens established democracies in numerous Asian cities under the auspices of the Persian empire. Only Abydos and Sestos resisted. The Persians and Athenians even ravaged European Laconia and established a Persian garrison on the island of Cythera threatening the Peloponnese…..
Alexander married the daughter of Darius III and had 10,000 of his men marry Persian girls, hoping to breed an army for his new empire…
May I suggest that one should become acquainted with this ancient history if we are to combat the ignorance of modern society [Read the full article here] and Thank You for A Brief History of Persian Empire.
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