Beautiful Africa


The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here. [...]: the Pasargadae, Maraphii, and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished; they contain the clan of the Achaemenids from which spring the Perseid kings. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Derusiaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Mardi, Dropici, Sagarti, being nomadic. —Herodotus, Histories 1.101 & 125 The Persian Empire is named after an Indo-European tribe called Parsua. The name Persia is a Latin pronunciation of the Indo-Iranian people Parsua who named their territorial borders Persis, after their tribal name, an area located north of the Persian Gulf and East of Tigris river referred to as Persis (or in Persian, Pars).[17] Despite its success and rapid expansion, Achaemenid empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by sixth century BCE another group of ancient Iranic people had already established the Median Empire.[17] The Medes had originally been the dominant Iranic group in the region, rising to power at the end of the 7th century BC and incorporating the Persians into their empire. The Iranic peoples had arrived in the region circa 1000 BC[18] and had initially fallen under the domination of the Assyrian Empire (911-609 BC). However, the Medes and Persians, (together with the Scythians and Babylonia) played a major role in the destruction of an Assyria riven by internal strife. The term Achaemenid is in fact the Latinized version of the Old Persian name Haxamanis (a bahuvrihi compound translating to "having a friend's mind"[19]), meaning in Greek "of the family of the Achaemenis." Despite the derivation of the name, Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh century ruler of the Anshan (Ansham o

Ansan) located in southwestern Iran.[17] It was not until the time of Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) a descendant of Achaemenes, that the Achaemenid empire developed the prestige of an empire, and set out to incorporate the existing empires of the ancient east, to become the vast Persian empire of which the ancient texts speak. At some point in 550 BCE, Cyrus the Great rose in rebellion against the Median empire (most likely due to the Medes' mismanagement of Persis), eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian empire. Cyrus the Great would utilize his tactical genius,[20] as well as his understanding of the socio-political equations governing his territories, to eventually incorporate into the Persian empire the neighbouring Lydian and Neo-Babylonian empires, and also leading the way for his successor, Cambyses II to venture into Egypt and defeat the Hittite Empire and the Egyptian Kingdom. Cyrus the Great would reflect his political acumen in the management of his newly formed empire, as the Persian empire became the first to attempt to govern many different ethnic groups, on the principle of equal responsibilities, and rights for all people, so long as subjects paid their taxes and kept the peace.[21] Additionally, the king would agree not to interfere with the local customs, religions, and trades of its subject states,[21] a unique quality that eventually won Cyrus the support of the Babylonians. This system of management would ultimately become an issue for the Persians, as with a larger empire came the need for order and control, leading to expenditure of resources and mobilization of troops, to quell local rebellions, weakening the central power of the king. By the time of Darius III, this disorganization had almost led to a disunified realm.