Team Members: Jasmine, Calvin, Jennifer

external image persia_banner.jpg

HISTORY

The Medes and the Persians, together, overthrew the Assyrian Empire in 612 B.C. Then, in 550 B.C., King Cyrus conquered several kingdoms and increased the Persian empire to over 2,000 miles. Cyrus led his men to victory by shooting arrows while riding ponies. With that strategy, he conquered the whole Fertile Crescent and most of Anatolia. King Cyrus died in 530 B.C., and his oldest son, Cambyses, took over. He is most famous for the conquering of Egypt, and died after having only 8 years of being king. Then Darius came into power. Darius used to be the king's bodyguard. Many of the smaller cities in Persia thought Darius and his army were invincible, so they obeyed all that he said out of fear. This King Darius is the same King Darius that appears in the book of Daniel in the Bible. After these 3 kings, the Persian empire now stretched for over 2,500 miles from east to west.

GEOGRAPHY

Persia was located east of the Fertile Crescent, where there were mountains, plateaus, and good farmland.
external image MAP_PERSIA.jpg
1a: "Map of Persia"

The Persian Empire went from the Mediterranean Sea to the west, India to the east, and to the Gulf of Oman to the north. Ancient Persia was filled with mountains. These mountains created easy access to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. People traveled in caravans through the gaps of the mountains. Also, Persia had no major river systems, so it was harder for them to trade with other civilizations.

CULTURE

Government

In 550 B.C. Persia's king was Cyrus. Unlike most rulers, he did not treat the lands he conquered cruelly. He did not allow his army to destroy cities. He treated every city with care and respect. Ironically, lands that were to be overthrown by Cyrus welcomed him. This way of governing is very clever. Even though some cities were being conquered by Cyrus, they did not really mind because Cyrus was like a friend to them. The violent Assyrians eventually fell because they made too many enemies that teamed up together to fight back the Assyrians.

external image cyrus.jpg
2a: "Cyrus"

Economy

Darius made his empire use metal coins for trading goods. They did not have to measure gold and silver anymore to buy things from others. The coins had a standard value and could be used by all the people of different religion and language in his empire. This way, the empire would become stronger and more united. The coins would make the economy much like our's today.

Religion

A Persian religion was developed by a man named Zoroaster because he wondered why the world had so much affliction and pain. To answer this question, Zoroaster began his teachings known as the Zoroastrian religion. In the Zoroastrian religion, two gods that led two different armies would try to win each person's soul. One leader was Ahura Mazda, "the god of truth and light," and the other leader was Ahriman, "the god of evil and darkness." Everyone had to make their own choice in the end. If one chose Ahura Mazda, then he or she would be in a heaven-like place. However, if one chose Ahriman, then he or she would live in anguish in a hell-like place.
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2b: "Zoroaster"
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2c: "Ahura Mazda"
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2d: "Ahriman"

Society

Under Darius's rule, his empire was divided into 20 provinces, each with its own governor, called a satrap, assigned by Darius. The provinces were designed to be like the homelands of the people living in them, where they could speak their own languages and follow a lot of their own laws. The people of each province could also practice their own religion. Each province also had an army leader and a tax collector, both of which were assigned by Darius.

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2e: "A satrap"


Thoughts and Learning

Under Darius, the Persians developed an alphabet with cuneiform. They had symbols that represented sounds and 'logograms' that represented commonly used words. The logograms were probably made so that the Persians didn't have to keep writing the same word several times a day.

external image persian_lgs.gif

2f: "Logograms"

Arts and Crafts

One of the many arts and crafts of Persia were carpets. A type of Persian carpet was the Isfahan carpet. The Isfahan carpet was named after the capital of Persia, Isfahan.The designs used in Islamic architecture are also used in these carpets. Many Ishafan carpet designs have a medallion as the centerpiece with animals and flowers as the background picture. Another type of Persian carpet was the Tabriz carpets, which is named after a city, Tabriz, in Persia. The Tabriz carpets are made of wool. Like the Isfahan carpet, the Tabriz carpet has a medallion as a centerpiece, but flowers and repeating patterns as the background.

external image isfahanc.jpg
2g: "Isfahan carpet"
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2h: "Tabriz carpet"


CREDITS

Calvin:
Topics: History and Geography
.o. Persian history information: http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/sirrobhitch.suffolk/portland%20state%20university%20greek%20civilization%20home%20page%20v2/docs/12/kingd.html
.+. 1a. Map of Persia picture: http://www.taxson.net/iraq/MAP_PERSIA.jpg
.o. Persian geography Information: http://www.ancientpersia.com/geo_f.htm
.o. History Info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p.92-93
.o. Geography Info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p. 92

Jasmine:
Topics: Government, Religion, Arts and Crafts
.+. 2a. Cyrus picture: http://www.american-pictures.com/genealogy/descent/photos/Cyrus.the.Great.jpg
.o. Government Info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p.92-93
.o. Religion Info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p.96
.+. 2b. Zoroaster picture: http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0Je5mxgZB9FxjAA2emjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTA4NDgyNWN0BHNlYwNwcm9m/SIG=12h63cgl5/EXP=1159771616/http%3awww.westminster.edu/staff/brennie/images/zoroaster.jpg
.+. 2c. Ahura Mazda picture: http://www-anw.cs.umass.edu/~khash/ahura-mazda1.gif
.+. 2d. Ahriman picture: http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0Je5mixZB9FizIAf1CjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTA4NDgyNWN0BHNlYwNwcm9m/SIG=12cgiqhha/EXP=1159771697/
http%3awww.askwhy.co.uk/christianity/ahrimanzurvan01.jpg
.+. 2g. Isfahan carpet picture: http://www.art-arena.com/Image/isfahanc.jpg
.+. 2h. Tabriz carpet picture: http://www.art-arena.com/Image/tabrizc.jpg
.o. Isfahan carpet info: http://www.art-arena.com/isfahanc.htm
.o. Tabriz carpet info: http://www.art-arena.com/tabrizc.htm

Jennifer:
Topics: Economy, Society, Thoughts and Learning
Organization, Ancient Persia Banner
.+. Ancient Persia banner picture: http://www.ancientpersia.com/images/persopolis.jpg
.o. Economy info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p.94
.o. Society info: World History: Patterns of Interaction, p. 94
.+. 2e. Satrap picture: http://www.livius.org/a/1/anatolia/satrap.JPG http://www.livius.org/sao-sd/satrap/satrap.htm
.o.Cuneiform Info: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/opcuneiform.htm
.+. 2f. Cuneiform logograms: http://www.omniglot.com/images/writing/persian_lgs.gif