Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies A Brief History of Persian Empire The civilization on the Iranian plateau is very ancient; copper was smelted there about BC, and Elam in the lowlands lagged only slightly behind Sumer in the development of hieroglyphic writing 5, years ago. However, the Elamites adopted the written language of Akkadian as the most universal language of the area for two millennia.
Many historians, poets, and writers have been mesmerized by his conquests. But while most talk of his invasions and exploits, you rarely hear or read why he invaded the mighty Persian Empire in BC in the first place.
Portrait of Alexander the Great. Marble, Hellenistic artwork, 2nd-1st century BC.
Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt. Alexander addresses this in his letter to Darius stating: I, having been appointed commander and chief of the Greek, and wishing to take revenge on the Persians, crossed over into Asia, hostilities being begun by you.
All the same, it is rather odd that Alexander would all of a sudden decide to mount his horse and lead his army into the lands of Persia, especially since the war had been over for more than one-hundred years.
Statue of Alexander the Great - Skopje — Macedonia.
Apparently, Alexander gave a speech at Opis in BC when his men mutinied for a second time, and in it he furnishes us with an interesting statement as to why he declared war on Persia, that being money. With his death, Alexander was left with a semi-professional army, a fighting force paid directly by the king himself.
The Cold Case of Alexander the Great: The detail of the Alexander Mosaic showing Alexander the Great. Public Domain In order for Alexander to afford this army, he had to either disband a portion of it to save money, risking much in doing so, or go on the march to salvage his kingdom. Essentially, Alexander needed to pay the bills by conquering and confiscating Persia.
It was a risky investment to say the least.
As the early 20th century intellectual Randolph Bourne once stated: Instead, revenge was just a facade to expand political means in order to fill his coffers.
Once Alexander had enough means, and his treasuries overflowed, he could continue the unrelenting, perpetual war until the entire known world was his. Famous Alexander Mosaic, showing Battle of Issus. Alexander is depicted mounted, on the left.Introduction.
Few people today can boast a longer and prouder history than the Iranians, descendants of the ancient Persians. Not only did they build the greatest empire of the ancient Near East, but they also absorbed the ancient civilizations they ruled, in particular that of Mesopotamia.
At its height the Achaemenid Empire, with its power centered in this city, reached from the Nile and Greece eastward to India.
Dominating the major travel routes between East and West, it was the meeting ground of the great cultures of the ancient world. HISTORY OF IRAN (PERSIA) including Medes and Persians, Cyrus the Great, Darius, The Persian empire, The Persian army, Persian couriers, The architecture of empire, Persian .
The Persian empire: c BC The Persian system of taxation is tailored to each satrapy (the area ruled by a satrap, or provincial governor).
The start of the 5th century BCE was the peak of the Persian Empire—an empire containing nearly 50 million subjects (approximately 44% of the world’s total population at that time). The stage was set for the mighty struggle with the comparatively much smaller city-states of Greece. The Persian empire: c BC The Persian system of taxation is tailored to each satrapy (the area ruled by a satrap, or provincial governor). At differing times there are between 20 and 30 satrapies in the empire, and each is assessed according to its supposed productivity. The Persian Empire was the largest Empire that had ever been established. The Persian Empire spanned from Egypt in the west to Turkey in the north, and through Mesopotamia to the Indus River in the east.
At differing times there are between 20 and 30 satrapies in the empire, and each is assessed according to its supposed productivity. Around BCE, Cyrus II of Persia, who became known as Cyrus the Great, rose in rebellion against the Median Empire, eventually conquering the Medes to create the first Persian Empire, also known as the Achaemenid Empire.
The Persian empire had lost Egypt, but they had retained Asia. Imperial taxation was still oppressive, stimulating many revolts and uprisings by workers that were often put down by local tyrants, while newly minted coins indicated a growing wealthy class and economic development.