They Assyrian and Persian Empires • A military state: Assyrians were in constant battle. This led them to become fierce warriors. • Assyrians used iron weapons and tools, which were stronger than bronze. • They learned iron working from the Hittites
Governing the Empire • The Assyrians divided the empire into about 70 smaller units of government called Provinces.
Babylon Restored • 604 BC Nebuchadnezzar II became king of Babylon. • Expanded power as far west as Egypt • Conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Jewish temple • Famous project: Hanging Gardens of Babylon: Built on Stone terraces.
Rise of Persian Empire • Persia formed east of Mesopotamia, current day Iran • 539 BC Babylon and Mesopotamia fell under the control of the Persian Empire • Cyrus the Great: Defeats the Medes who ruled the Persians, he inherits their empire. • Expands the empire to largest the world had ever seen • Success due to Standing Army • Army was made up of 10,000 elite soldiers known as Immortals
Darius the Great • Extended the Persian rule east to the Indus valley • West they defeated Thrace in Europe
Persia’s Government and Religion • Local Self-government: Divided empire into Satrapies, or provinces, and chose a leader for each one. • Allowed to keep their local laws and traditions
Central Control • Darius improved finances • Tribute: Payment made to show loyalty to a strong power. • Each province paid according to its wealth • Common Currency: Money that is used as a medium of exchange. • Gold coins printed with an image of himself • Built roads to improve trade and travel.
Religion Zoroaster: Taught that there was one supreme god, Ahura Mazda. Developed into Zoroastrianism religion Became official religion of Persian Empire Belief in Good and Evil People need to work to improve Good
Arts of Mesopotamia • Seals: Used carved stone seals to identify the owner of an object, esp. before cuneiform writing. • It left the owners personal mark • Sculptures: Carved statues with details, looked like real humans. • Created relief sculptures; a scene sticks out from the surface of the base material.