Slide #1.

Ancient Persia
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Slide #2.

Persian Empire • • • • Politics: “King of Kings” & satraps Economics: trade, tribute, taxes Military: 10,000 Immortals Religion: Zoroastrianism • Often seen through Greek eyes….
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Slide #3.

Persian Empire (ancient)
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Slide #4.

“King of Kings” Cyrus (559-530 BC) Cambyses (530-525 BC) Darius (521-486 BC) Xerxes (486-465 BC) King Darius
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Slide #5.

“King of Kings”
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Slide #7.

Persepolis Persepolis Darius I began the elaborate citadel; his son, Xerxes, continued its construction; and his grandson, Artaxerxes I, completed the magnificent city of Persepolis, which was a confluence of styles--Median, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek. Only portions of the audience hall remain. (George Holton/Photo Researchers, Inc.)
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Slide #8.

Persian military • 10,000 Immortals • Meritocracy • Very large army Cataphracts = Persian knight
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Slide #9.

Trade, tribute, & taxes in Persia
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Slide #10.

Persian economy • Gold daric & silver shekels standardized • Royal Road: • 1700 miles from Sardis to Susa • “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness…” (Herodotus) • International trade
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Slide #11.

Silver rhyton Silver rhyton This Achaemenid Persian silver rhyton (drinking vessel) is in the shape of a griffin, a mythological animal that is part lion and part eagle. Persian rulers commanded the talents of western Asia's best artists and craftsmen, silversmiths among them. (Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum)
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Slide #12.

Zoroastrianism • Zoroaster (6th c. BC) • Reformer against sacrifice, intoxicants • Ahura Mazda vs. Ahriman (dualism) • Alternatively known as Parsiism. • Magi Farohars are powerful, holy guardian spirits who aid the god Ahura Mazda since His creation of the universe. Somewhat akin to angels. Farohars can also curse when they are offended.
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Slide #13.

Stone relief of Persian Magi Stone relief of Persian Magi This stone relief from Dascylium, headquarters of the Persian governor in northwest Anatolia, shows two magi wearing veils over their mouths and holding bundles of sticks used in the ceremony of sacrifice. The Persian kings and their subordinates were Zoroastrians, and it is likely that Zoroastrianism spread to the provinces, where significant numbers of Persians lived, and influenced the beliefs of other peoples. (Archaeological Museums of Istanbul)
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Slide #14.

Zoroastrian Magus
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