Introduction of Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire was one of the largest and most powerful empires that the ancient world saw. The lands of the Achaemenid Empire began in Anatolia and Egypt and continued to India and Central Asia. The Achaemenid Empire was formed after the great war conquered between the Medes and Cyrus Second, the king of Persia. The Medes were defeated in this war, and the Achaemenids seized power. They were under the rule of the Babylonian Empire. In 539 BC, at a place called Opis east of the Tigris River, Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army. When Cyrus enters Babylon, rebuilding the temples and freeing the political prisoners, he introduces himself as a king of justice who respects the customs and traditions of all. Cambyses, the son and successor of Cyrus, conquered Egypt in 525 BC. But due to a revolt in the Achaemenid capital, he was forced to return to Persia, where he passed away. At this time, a brave general named Darius I, or Darius the Great, killed those who had invaded the throne and re-established the conquests of Cyrus. Eventually, in 522 BC, Darius came to power.
During the reign of Darius the Great, he realized that he needed an efficient organization to continue the empire. So Darius divided the whole land into 20 satrapies or provinces, and each satrapy was controlled by a satrap or governor who was often related to Darius. Each area paid a fixed rate to pay homage to the government. In the time of Darius, the way of paying homage changed. It used to be money that was received to prevent problems, but Darius named it as a tax and used it to build a navy, as well as advancing, extensive government programs with it. The whole territory of the Achaemenid Empire was connected by a network of roads, through which messengers could exchange their horses at various stations for daily travel and continue on their way.
Darius added areas of northwestern India to the Persian Empire. He gathered artists from all over the empire to build magnificent royal structures in Susa and Persepolis, such as Persepolis in Persepolis, which was decorated with relief stones by Darius and his successors. Engraved, they were made to depict important events in the empire, such as the accession of kings to the throne. This structure was an idea that originated in the time of Cyrus empire, and Darius, as he estimated Cyrus’ achievements, began to present himself more justly. They liked it very much. He extended the empire from Macedonia to Pakistan and from the Caspian Sea to northern Libya, and before his death, Xerxes elected his son king.
After Darius, the government had problems in the Mediterranean. Revolts took place in Greece in 498 BC, which was suppressed by the Persians. Riots broke out in more strategic areas, such as Egypt. Darius’ son Xerxes tried to restore order throughout Egypt. He was even more dependent on his land than Darius but lacked his father’s cultural sensibilities. After him, Ardashir I became king, and after Ardashir, Darius II became king. Until this time, the Achaemenid Empire was the undisputed power on earth and had a direct influence on its neighbors.
After the death of Darius II, Ardashir II and Cyrus the Younger fought each other. Cyrus, the Younger, who had the help of Greek mercenaries, was defeated and killed, and Ardashir II ascended the throne. At this time, Egypt also became independent. After him, Ardashir III became king, but he was killed in the court very soon, and finally, Darius III became king. At this time, several satrapies became independent, but Darius III subdued them again.
During the reign of Darius III, Alexander the Great invaded Asia Minor and captured Syria. Darius III, who had gone to war with him, was defeated by Alexander in 333 BC at a place called Asus. The Persian corps were rebuilt but two years later suffered a final defeat at the hands of the invaders. Darius III was killed in 330 BC, and the Achaemenid dynasty became extinct.
Alexander, who called himself the Achaemenid king, plundered Persepolis and other areas of Achaemenid power and set Persepolis on fire to destroy the Achaemenid spirit.