Beautiful Africa

Darius I

Darius I (Persian: ?, Old Persian: Darayava(h)us; 550486 BCE) was the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Romania-Pannonia), portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt (Mudraya),[1] eastern Libya, coastal Sudan, Eritrea, as well as most of Pakistan, the Aegean Islands and northern Greece/Thrace-Macedonia. Darius is also mentioned in the Biblical canon of 1 Esdras. It has also been assumed that Darius was Emperor Gustasp of Turkestan.[2][3] Sir Isaac Newton also believed that Darius and Emperor Gustasp may have been the same person or Gustasp might have been the father of Darius.[4][5] Darius ascended the throne by overthrowing the alleged magus usurper of Bardiya with the assistance of six other Persian noble families; Darius was crowned the following morning. The new king met with rebellions throughout his kingdom and quelled them each time. A major event in Darius's life was his expedition to punish Athens and Eretria for their aid in the Ionian Revolt and subjugate Greece. Darius expanded his empire by conquering Thrace and Macedon and invading Scythia, home of the Scythians, nomadic tribes who invaded Media and had previously killed Cyrus the Great. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius also worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon and Egypt. Darius devised a codification of laws for Egypt. He also had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved, an autobiography of great modern linguistic significance. Darius also started many massive architectural projects, including magnificent palaces in Persepolis and Susa. The Achaemenid Persian Empire (pron.: /ki?m?n?d/; Old Persian: Parsa, name of ruling dynasty: Haxamanisiya) (c. 550330 BCE), also known as the First Persian Empire or First Iranian Empire , was

an Iranian empire in Western Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation. It expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world which at around 500 BCE stretched from the Indus Valley in the east, to Thrace and Macedon on the northeastern border of Greece, making it the biggest empire the world had yet seen.[4] The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt as well. It was ruled by a series of monarchs who unified its disparate tribes and nationalities by constructing a complex network of roads. Calling themselves the Pars after their original Aryan tribal name Parsa, Persians settled in a land which they named Parsua (Persis in Greek), bounded on the west by the Tigris River and on the south by the Persian Gulf. This became their heartland for the duration of the Achaemenid Empire.[4] It was from this region that eventually Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) would advance to defeat the Median, the Lydian,and the Babylonian Empires, opening the way for subsequent conquests into Egypt and Asia Minor. At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million km2[5] spanning three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Turkey, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, much of Central Asia, Afghanistan, northern Saudi Arabia and parts of western Pakistan. It is noted in Western history as the antagonist foe of the Greek city states[4] during the Greco-Persian Wars, for emancipation of slaves including the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting infrastructures such as a postal system, road systems, and the usage of an official language throughout its territories. The empire had a centralised, bureaucratic administration under the Emperor and a large professional army and civil services, inspiring similar developments in later empires.