Thursday, June 24, 2010

Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid (uh-kee-muh-nid) Empire (Old Persian: Hakhāmanishiya) was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire with high cultural and economical achievements during its highest power [After Achaemenes, legendary ancestor of Cyrus II the Great, founder of the dynasty.] At the height of their power, around 500 BC, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly encompassing today's Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Bulgaria, eastern parts of Greece, Egypt, Syria, much of what is now Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Caucasia, Central Asia, Libya, and northern parts of Arabia. The empire ruled by Persia eventually became the largest empire of the ancient world.

Darius I was the first to speak of Achaemenes, who he claimed was an ancestor of Cyrus the Great, (ca. 576 - 529 BC) and therefore the progenitor of the entire line of Achaemenid rulers. However, some scholars hold that Achaemenes was a fictional character used to legitimize Darius' rule, and that Darius the Great usurped the Persian throne.


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