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Empire: Persians and Greeks. Mrs. Hoff. What is an Empire?. A group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government: usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom. Common features of an empire.

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what is an empire
What is an Empire?
  • A group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government: usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom.
common features of an empire
Common features of an empire
  • All empires controlled large areas and populations.
  • All empires were brought together by conquest and funded in part by taking wealth from conquered peoples.
common features of an empire1
Common features of an empire
  • All empires stimulated the exchange of ideas, cultures, and values among the people they conquered.
  • All empires tried to make people more loyal to the leaders than local identities and loyalties.
  • All empires ultimately collapsed.
differences to look for
Differences to look for:
  • Some empires tried to rule through local elites; others sought to rule with more centralized power structures.
  • Some empires are new; some draw on older traditions.
  • Some last for longer periods than others.
  • Some assimilated conquered peoples more quickly and completely than others.
persian empire
Persian Empire
  • In 500 BCE, it was the largest and most impressive empire.
    • Persians originated in present day Iran.
    • Copied old system of government from former Mesopotamian civilizations.
    • Much larger and more splendid than past civilizations.
persian empire1
Persian Empire
  • Famous leaders:
    • Cyrus and Darius I expanded the empire from Egypt to India
    • Diverse empire with population of around 35 million people.
persian empire2
Persian Empire
  • Kingship
    • King rules by the will of Ahura Mazda, the god.
    • Absolute monarchy (means the king had unlimited power)

Dualistic Battle of Good vs. Evil

Ahura Mazda“Holy Spirit”

Ahriman“Destructive Spirit”

persian empire3
Persian Empire
  • To keep the empire together:
    • Violent punishments by the king
    • Effective administration system
      • Satraps governed the empire’s 23 provinces
      • Local officials answer to satraps
      • System of imperial spies
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Persian Empire
  • Respect for non-Persian cultural traditions
    • Cyrus allowed Jews to return from Babylonian exile and rebuild Jerusalem temple
    • Persians adopted foreign customs readily
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Persian Empire
  • Standardized coinage, predictable taxes
  • Immense wealth and power
  • Encouraged communication and commerce
    • Royal road 1,700 miles across the empire
    • Mail service for elites
greek empire
Greek Empire
  • Greece begins 750 BCE, lasts about 400 years.
  • Distinct culture
    • Population 2-3million people
    • Mountainous, causes development of hundreds of city-states and small settlements
      • City-state: sovereign state consisting of an autonomous city with its dependencies
    • Fiercely independent, frequent conflicts
greek empire1
Greek Empire
  • Shared a common language and common gods
  • Between 750 and 500 BCE colonized around the Mediterranean basin and Black Sea area.
  • Most distinctive feature: popular participation in politics!
  • Held the first Olympics 776 BCE
greek empire2
Greek Empire
  • Politics
    • Equality of all citizens (men) before the law
    • Extent of citizenship varied depending on time and city
      • Early Greek history: only wealthy and well-born were citizens.
      • Gradually expanded to middle- and lower-class men
      • Important to have the ability to fight for the city-state
greek empire3
Greek Empire
  • Tyrants (dictators) emerged in many areas, supported by the poorer classes against the rich.
  • Sparta gave most political authority to the Council of Elders
  • Athens was different, more democratic
greek empire4
Greek Empire
  • Athens:
    • Intense class conflict led to reforms by Solon in 594BCE. Rights of citizens continued to expand over time.
    • By 450 BCE, holders of public office were chosen by lottery and paid
    • Assembly was open to all citizens and the center of political life
greek empire5
Greek Empire
  • Differences between Athenian and modern democracy
    • Direct democracy, not representative
    • Women, slaves, and foreigners were all excluded.
consequences of the greco persian wars
Consequences of the Greco-Persian Wars
  • Persians: embarrassing, but the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece had very little impact on the Persian Empire
consequences of the greco persian wars1
Consequences of the Greco-Persian Wars
  • Greeks:
    • Defeating the Persians was a source of enormous pride for the Greeks.
    • Confirmed their view that Greek political systems were superior, Persian despotism was inferior.
      • Despot means a king or other ruler with absolute, unlimited power.
consequences of the greco persian wars2
Consequences of the Greco-Persian Wars
  • More men become citizens in Athens. Rowers in the navy insisted on full citizenship.
  • Golden Age of Greek culture
    • Parthenon built
    • Greek theatre born
    • Socrates begins his career as a philosopher.
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Consequences of the Greco-Persian Wars
  • Leads to a civil war, known as the Peloponnesian War when Athens tries to dominate the Greek city-states.
  • Eventually leads to Alexander the Great (from Macedonia) conquering Greece.