achaemenid empire

“Excavation of Persepolis (Iran): Throne Hall, Southern Wall, West Jamb of Western Doorway: View of Uppermost Register Picturing Enthroned King Giving Audience under the Winged Symbol with Partly Encircled Figure of Ahuramazda”

1923-1928

glass negative from the Ernst Herzfeld Papers

Freer and Sackler Archives

Cyrus the Great 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. 

Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Paeonia and Thrace-Macedonia) and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. 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.

“Excavation of Persepolis (Iran): Gate of All Lands, Colossal Sculptures Depicting Man-Bulls: View before Excavation, Looking North-West”

1923-1928

glass negative from the Ernst Herzfeld Papers

Freer and Sackler Galleries

Altdorfer’s The Battle of Alexander at Issus.

Battle of Issus, (333 bce), conflict early in Alexander the Great’s invasion of Asia in which he defeated a Persian army under King Darius III. This was one of the decisive victories by which Alexander conquered the Achaemenian Empire. Issus is a plain on the coast of the Gulf of İskenderun, in present-day southern Turkey.

The Macedonian forces, with an infantry phalanx in the centre and cavalry on the sides, approached the army of Darius, which was drawn up on the opposite bank of the Pinarus River (possibly present-day Yakacık Çayı or Deli Çayı). Alexander led the charge across the river, shattering the Persian left wing before turning against the Greek mercenaries who formed the Persian centre.

His army in confusion, Darius escaped, but his family was captured. Arrian, Alexander’s biographer (2nd century ce), claimed the Macedonians lost only 450 men, with Alexander himself being wounded. Most of the Persians retreated to safety while the Macedonians sacked Darius’s camp.

Underside of a green jasper scarab-amulet, depicting a ruler holding a staff before lotus plants, with a crescent moon above.  Thought to be Mesopotamian (either Neo-Babylonian or Achaemenid Persian), but incorporating Egyptian elements (e.g. the was-scepter held by the ruler).  Artist unknown; ca. 600-400 BCE.  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.

“average ancient greek general founded 3 cities named after himself” factoid actualy just statistical error. the median greek general founded 0 cities named after himself. Alexander the Great, who conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire and founded over 10,000 Alexandrias in his lifetime, was a statistical outlier adn should not have been counted

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Monday’s picture: a travel to Pasargadae, Iran 

estimated reading time: 3 min.

Once capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the city of Pasargadae was constructed under the reign of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC). Located in ancient Persia, near the city of Shiraz, it is today one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites…

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