Apadana relief showing Armenians bringing gifts for Darius during Nowruz Ceremony at Persepolis ceremonial capital of Achaemenid Empire 500 BC. 

The Armenians are wearing horseman’s dresses and cloaks. Their tribute consists of a/o a bridled stallion, which more or less confirms the statement by the Greek geographer Strabo of Amasia that the Armenians paid 20,000 colts. The detail is a relief of Armenian tribute bearer carrying a metal vessel with griffin handles. From the eastern stairs of the Apadana in Persepolis.

"For a short time there ensued a hand-to-hand fight; but when the Macedonian cavalry, commanded by Alexander himself, pressed on vigorously, thrusting themselves against the Persians and striking their faces with their spears…all things together appeared full of terror to Darius, who had already long been in a state of fear, so that he was the first to turn and flee." -Arrian of Nicomedia

October 1, 331 BC- Alexander the Great inflicts his final defeat on Darius III and his Persian army at the Battle of Gaugamela. As Darius fled east to raise another army, he was murdered by Bessus, one of his satraps, ending the 220 year old Achaemenid Empire. 

Picture- Battle of Gaugamela, unknown artist, 18th century


history meme | 9 kings/queens [1/9] - Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great and also known as Cyrus the Elder, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia and the Caucasus. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. He also proclaimed what has been identified by scholars and archaeologists to be the oldest known declaration of human rights, which was transcribed onto the Cyrus Cylinder sometime between 539 and 530 BC. This view has been criticized by some as a misunderstanding of what they claim to be the Cylinder’s generic nature as a traditional statement of the sort that new monarchs may make at the beginning of their reign.

Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. It is said that in universal history, the role of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus. What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration (actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion where because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the Jewish Bible as Messiah (Isaiah 44:24, 26–45:3, 13) and is the only non-Jew to be called so:

So said the Lord to His anointed one, to Cyrus
—Yeshayahu, Isa 45:1-7

Persian conquests and the fact that the empire united dozens of peoples helped its subjects to broaden their intellectual and geographical horizons. The Achaemenid period was one of intensive ethnic mingling and syncretism in cultures and beliefs. The prime reason was that contacts between different parts of the empire had become more regular than in the previous period. More specifically, the sources report frequent visits by state functionaries from Arachosia, Haraiva, Gandh¯ara, Bactria and other eastern Iranian or Central Asian countries to Susa and Persepolis.

Iran, which had since time immemorial acted as an intermediary in East-West cultural exchange, maintained its historical role under the Achacmenids. At the same time, the Iranians created their own original and sophisticated civilization. One of its achievements was the adaptation of the cuneiform script for writing Old Persian. The chief official written language was Aramaic; under the Achaemenids, standard formulae were devised to render Aramaic terms and clerical expressions into the different Iranian languages; and from the official written Aramaic of the Achaemenids, the later written forms of Parthian, Middle Persian, Sogdian and Chorasmian were derived. It was in this period that the peoples of Central Asia first became acquainted with Aramaic script. This, too, was the period when a number of Old Iranian words – chiefly socio-economic, military and administrative terms – were borrowed by Indian languages.

Among the outstanding achievements of Old Iranian civilization was Achaemenid art, which is known above all from the monuments of Pasargadac, Persepolis and Susa, the Bisutun rock reliefs, the Persian royal tombs at Naqsh-i Rustam, and from large quantities of metal and stone carvings. The subjects may be military triumphs or hunting exploits by Persian kings and warriors, combat between heroic monarchs and various monsters symbolizing vil, or palace and religious rituals. It was the characteristics of this art that took shape at the turn of the sixth and fifth centuries b.c.

—  History of Civilizations of Central Asia Volume II: The Development of Sedentary and Nomadic Civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250

The Throne Of Jamshid (Persian: Takhte Jamshid) was part of Persepolis which was one of the four capitals of the ancient Persian Empire. Persepolis was the spring capital and the center of of all the celebrations in the empire. The palaces have been burnt down by Alexander The Great and not much of it remains, so I had to do lots of digging before even start painting. Many thanks to Pascal Coste’s reconstruction of the place, since I photo referenced his work in my painting and that saved me a good 20 hours of extra work. So this is actually quite historically accurate, I did lots of research for the color pallet which I used and the overall structure of the palace, however I did make some changes for the sake of composition, but the overall picture is accurate and precise. And I have to say with all the research it took forever to finish, by my standards which is maximum of 2 hours for a painting. 

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Golden necklace with Bes 

This necklace is decorated with an image of the god Bes in the center but the style is Achaemenid. The other animals are horses. It is 85.6cm long (14 1/8 inch.) 

Achaemenid, from Iran, 600 - 400 BC. 

Source: Metropolitan Museum

The Nereid Monument

Lykian, about 390-380 BC
From Xanthos, (modern Günük, south-western Turkey)

The daughters of the sea-deities Nereus and Doris are known as Nereids. Numbering between 50 and 100, they were popular figures in Greek literature. They were believed to be personifications of the waves of the ocean, and benign toward humanity. The best known of the Nereids were Amphitrite, consort of Poseidon (a sea and earthquake god); Thetis, wife of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and mother of the hero Achilles; and Galatea.

(Source: The British Museum)