Coin minted in Barca in the Achaemenid Empire, dated 475-435 BC
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Main railway station in Italian Barce.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Achaemenid king Darius I established Barcaean captives in a village in Bactria, which was still flourishing in Herodotus' time.

- Barca (ancient city)

Following the conquest of Egypt, the Libyans and the Greeks of Cyrene and Barca in present-day eastern Libya (Cyrenaica) surrendered to Cambyses and sent tribute without a fight.

- Achaemenid Empire

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Cyrenaica

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Eastern coastal region of Libya.

Eastern coastal region of Libya.

Satellite image of Libya with Cyrenaica on the right side, showing the green Mediterranean coast in the north and the large desert in the centre and south
Creta et Cyrenaica within the Roman Empire in the 2nd century
Map of and in the Roman era (Samuel Butler, 1907)
Roman ruins of Ptolemais, Cyrenaica
Emir Idris as-Senussi (left), and behind him (from left) Hussein Maziq, Muhammad Sakizli and Mustafa Ben Halim, formed the government of Cyrenaica in late 1940s
Littorio Palace in Benghazi was the seat of the Cyrenaican assembly
Flag of the short-lived emirate of Cyrenaica, 1949–1951.
The city of Benghazi was traditionally the centre of Cyrenaica

During the Islamic period, the area came to be known as Barqa, after the city of Barca.

In 525 BC, after conquering Egypt, the Achaemenid (Persian) army of Cambyses II seized the Pentapolis, and established a satrapy (Achaemenid Persian province) over parts of the region for about the next two centuries.

Libya

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Country in the Maghreb region in North Africa.

Country in the Maghreb region in North Africa.

Archaeological site of Sabratha, Libya
Leptis Magna
The Atiq Mosque in Awjila is the oldest mosque in the Sahara.
The Siege of Tripoli in 1551 allowed the Ottomans to capture the city from the Knights of St. John.
The USS Enterprise of the Mediterranean Squadron capturing a Tripolitan Corsair during the First Barbary War, 1801
A US Navy expedition under Commodore Edward Preble engaging gunboats and fortifications in Tripoli, 1804
Omar Mukhtar was a prominent leader of Libyan resistance in Cyrenaica against Italian colonization.
Italian propaganda postcard depicting the Italian invasion of Libya in 1911.
King Idris I of the Senussi order became the first head of state of Libya in 1951.
Gaddafi (left) with Egyptian President Nasser in 1969
Versions of the Libyan flag in modern history
The no-fly zone over Libya as well as bases and warships which were involved in the 2011 military intervention
Areas of control in the Civil War, updated 11 June 2020:
Location dot red.svg Tobruk-led Government Location dot lime.svg Government of National Accord Location dot blue.svg Petroleum Facilities Guard Location dot yellow.svg Tuareg tribes Location dot orange.svg Local forces
Libya has emerged as a major transit point for people trying to reach Europe
Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army, one of the main factions in the 2014 civil war.
A map of Libya
Libya map of Köppen climate classification
Libya is a predominantly desert country. Up to 90% of the land area is covered in desert.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague with Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, November 2013
Districts of Libya since 2007
Change in per capita GDP of Libya, 1950–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
A proportional representation of Libya exports, 2019
Pivot irrigation in Kufra, southeast Cyrenaica
Oil is the major natural resource of Libya, with estimated reserves of 43.6 billion barrels.
Libyan men in Bayda.
Al Manar Royal Palace in central Benghazi – the location of the University of Libya's first campus, founded by royal decree in 1955
A map indicating the ethnic composition of Libya in 1974
Mosque in Ghadames, close to the Tunisian and Algerian border.
Ancient Roman mosaic in Sabratha
Bazeen

Parts of Libya were variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians and Macedonians before the entire region becoming a part of the Roman Empire.

In 630 BC, the ancient Greeks colonized the area around Barca in Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene.

Bactria

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Ancient region in Central Asia.

Ancient region in Central Asia.

Bactria between the Hindu Kush (south), Pamirs (east), south branch of Tianshan (north).
Ferghana Valley to the north; western Tarim Basin to the east.
Xerxes I tomb, Bactrian soldier circa 470 BCE.
Pre-Seleucid Athenian owl imitation from Bactria, possibly from the time of Sophytes.
Gold stater of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides
Map of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom at its maximum extent, circa 180 BCE.
The founder of the Indo-Greek Kingdom Demetrius I (205–171 BCE), wearing the scalp of an elephant, symbol of his conquest of the Indus valley.
The treasure of the royal burial Tillia tepe is attributed to 1st century BCE Sakas in Bactria.
Zhang Qian taking leave from emperor Han Wudi, for his expedition to Central Asia from 138 to 126 BCE, Mogao Caves mural, 618–712 CE.
Kushan worshipper with Zeus/Serapis/Ohrmazd, Bactria, 3rd century CE.
Kushan worshipper with Pharro, Bactria, 3rd century CE.
Painted clay and alabaster head of a Zoroastrian priest wearing a distinctive Bactrian-style headdress, Takhti-Sangin, Tajikistan, Greco-Bactrian kingdom, 3rd-2nd century BC.

One of the early centres of Zoroastrianism and capital of the legendary Kayanian kings of Iran, Bactria is mentioned in the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great as one of the satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire; it was a special satrapy and was ruled by a crown prince or an intended heir.

During the reign of Darius I, the inhabitants of the Greek city of Barca, in Cyrenaica, were deported to Bactria for refusing to surrender assassins.