A report on Achaemenid Empire and Satrap

The Herakleia head, probable portrait of an Achaemenid Empire Satrap of Asia Minor, end of 6th century BCE, probably under Darius I
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
A dignitary of Asia Minor in Achaemenid style, circa 475 BC. Karaburun tomb near Elmalı, Lycia
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Coin of Themistocles, a former Athenian general, as Achaemenid Empire Satrap of Magnesia, circa 465–459 BC
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Coinage of Tiribazos, Satrap of Achaemenid Lydia, 388–380 BC
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Achaemenid Satrap Autophradates receiving visitors, on the Tomb of Payava, circa 380 BC
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.
Banquet scene of a Satrap, on the "Sarcophagus of the Satrap", Sidon, 4th century BC
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The satraps appointed by Alexander the Great during his campaign
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
Bagadates I (Minted 290–280 BC), the first indigenous satrap to be appointed by the Seleucid Empire
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
Coin of "Western Satrap" Nahapana, circa 120 CE
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

A satrap was a governor of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires.

- Satrap

The Achaemenid Empire is known for imposing a successful model of centralized, bureaucratic administration via the use of satraps; its multicultural policy; building infrastructure, such as road systems and a postal system; the use of an official language across its territories; and the development of civil services, including its possession of a large, professional army.

- Achaemenid Empire

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Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic

Alexander the Great

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King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Alexander III riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Map of The Kingdom of Macedon in 336 BC, birthplace of Alexander
Roman medallion depicting Olympias, Alexander's mother
Archaeological Site of Pella, Greece, Alexander's birthplace
Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father
Battle plan from the Battle of Chaeronea
Pausanius assassinates Philip II, Alexander's father, during his procession into the theatre
The emblema of the Stag Hunt Mosaic, c. 300 BC, from Pella; the figure on the right is possibly Alexander the Great due to the date of the mosaic along with the depicted upsweep of his centrally-parted hair (anastole); the figure on the left wielding a double-edged axe (associated with Hephaistos) is perhaps Hephaestion, one of Alexander's loyal companions.
The Macedonian phalanx at the "Battle of the Carts" against the Thracians in 335 BC
Map of Alexander's empire and his route
Gérard Audran after Charles LeBrun, 'Alexander Entering Babylon,' original print first published 1675, engraving, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, DC.
Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot (1767) by Jean-Simon Berthélemy
Name of Alexander the Great in Egyptian hieroglyphs (written from right to left), c. 332 BC, Egypt. Louvre Museum.
Site of the Persian Gate in modern-day Iran; the road was built in the 1990s.
Administrative document from Bactria dated to the seventh year of Alexander's reign (324 BC), bearing the first known use of the "Alexandros" form of his name, Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents
The Killing of Cleitus, by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Silver tetradrachm of Alexander the Great found in Byblos (ca 330-300 bc.) (BnF 1998–859; 17,33g; Byblos, Price 3426b)
The Phalanx Attacking the Centre in the Battle of the Hydaspes by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Alexander's invasion of the Indian subcontinent
Porus surrenders to Alexander
Asia in 323 BC, the Nanda Empire and the Gangaridai of the Indian subcontinent, in relation to Alexander's Empire and neighbours
Alexander (left) and Hephaestion (right): Both were connected by a tight friendship
Alexander at the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1796)
A Babylonian astronomical diary (c. 323–322 BC) recording the death of Alexander (British Museum, London)
19th-century depiction of Alexander's funeral procession, based on the description by Diodorus Siculus
Detail of Alexander on the Alexander Sarcophagus
Kingdoms of the Diadochi in 301 BC: the Ptolemaic Kingdom (dark blue), the Seleucid Empire (yellow), Kingdom of Pergamon (orange), and Kingdom of Macedon (green). Also shown are the Roman Republic (light blue), the Carthaginian Republic (purple), and the Kingdom of Epirus (red).
A coin of Alexander the Great struck by Balakros or his successor Menes, both former somatophylakes (bodyguards) of Alexander, when they held the position of satrap of Cilicia in the lifetime of Alexander, circa 333-327 BC. The obverse shows Heracles, ancestor of the Macedonian royal line and the reverse shows a seated Zeus Aëtophoros.
The Battle of the Granicus, 334 BC
The Battle of Issus, 333 BC
Alexander Cameo by Pyrgoteles
Alexander portrayal by Lysippos
Alexander (left), wearing a kausia and fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail); late 4th century BC mosaic, Pella Museum
A Roman copy of an original 3rd century BC Greek bust depicting Alexander the Great, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
A mural in Pompeii, depicting the marriage of Alexander to Barsine (Stateira) in 324 BC; the couple are apparently dressed as Ares and Aphrodite.
The Hellenistic world view: world map of Eratosthenes (276–194 BC), using information from the campaigns of Alexander and his successors
Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC
Dedication of Alexander the Great to Athena Polias at Priene, now housed in the British Museum
Alexander's empire was the largest state of its time, covering approximately 5.2 million square km.
The Buddha, in Greco-Buddhist style, 1st to 2nd century AD, Gandhara, northern Pakistan. Tokyo National Museum.
This medallion was produced in Imperial Rome, demonstrating the influence of Alexander's memory. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Alexander in a 14th-century Armenian manuscript
Alexander in a 14th-century Byzantine manuscript
Alexander conquering the air. Jean Wauquelin, Les faits et conquêtes d'Alexandre le Grand, 1448–1449
Folio from the Shahnameh showing Alexander praying at the Kaaba, mid-16th century
Detail of a 16th-century Islamic painting depicting Alexander being lowered in a glass submersible
A Hellenistic bust of a young Alexander the Great, possibly from Ptolemaic Egypt, 2nd-1st century BC, now in the British Museum
A fresco depicting a hunt scene at the tomb of Philip II, Alexander's father, at the Archaeological Site of Aigai, the only known depiction of Alexander made during his lifetime, 330s BC

In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Persian Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted for 10 years.

Among them were Artabazos II and his daughter Barsine, possible future mistress of Alexander, who resided at the Macedonian court from 352 to 342 BC, as well as Amminapes, future satrap of Alexander, or a Persian nobleman named Sisines.

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator

Seleucid Empire

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Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

Greek state in West Asia that existed during the Hellenistic period from 312 BC to 63 BC. The Seleucid Empire was founded by the Macedonian general Seleucus I Nicator, following the division of the Macedonian Empire originally founded by Alexander the Great.

The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
"Chandra Gupta Maurya entertains his bride from Babylon": a conjectural interpretation of the "marriage agreement" between the Seleucids and Chandragupta Maurya, related by Appian
The Seleucid Empire (light blue) in 281 BC on the eve of the murder of Seleucus I Nicator
Coin of Seleucus I Nicator
In Bactria, the satrap Diodotus asserted independence to form the Greco-Bactrian kingdom c. 245 BC.
Drachm of the Frataraka ruler Vahbarz (Oborzos), thought to have initiated the independence of Persis from the Seleucid Empire. The coin shows on the reverse an Achaemenid king slaying an armoured, possibly Greek or Macedonian, soldier. This possibly refers to the events related by Polyainos (Strat. 7.40), in which Vahbarz (Oborzos) is said to have killed 3000 Seleucid settlers.
Silver coin of Antiochus III the Great.
The Seleucid Empire in 200 BC (before expansion into Anatolia and Greece).
The reduced empire (titled: Syria, Kingdom of the Seleucids) and the expanded states of Pergamum and Rhodes, after the defeat of Antiochus III by Rome. Circa 188 BC.
The Hellenistic Prince, a bronze statue originally thought to be a Seleucid, or Attalus II of Pergamon, now considered a portrait of a Roman general, made by a Greek artist working in Rome in the 2nd century BC.
Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Seleucid Syria in early 124 BC under Alexander II Zabinas, who ruled the country with the exception of the city of Ptolemais
Seleucid Kingdom in 87 BC
Bagadates I (Minted 290–280 BC) was the first native Seleucid satrap to be appointed.
Seleucid Bronze Coin depicting Antiochus III with Laureate head of Apollo Circa. 200 BCE
Price of barley and dates per tonne
Episodes of Seleucid dispoliation from Michael J. Taylor's Sacred Plunder

After receiving the Mesopotamian region of Babylonia in 321 BC, Seleucus I began expanding his dominions to include the Near Eastern territories that encompass modern-day Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, all of which had been under Macedonian control after the fall of the former Persian Achaemenid Empire.

The empire was put under the authority of a regent, Perdiccas, and the vast territories were divided among Alexander's generals, who thereby became satraps at the Partition of Babylon, all in that same year.

The Nike of Samothrace is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Hellenistic art.

Hellenistic period

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The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.

The Hellenistic period spans the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt the following year.

The Nike of Samothrace is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Hellenistic art.
Hellenistic period. Sculpture of Dionysus from the Ancient Art Collection at Yale.
Alexander fighting the Persian king Darius III. From the Alexander Mosaic, Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Alexander's empire at the time of its maximum expansion.
The distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian Empire after the Settlement in Babylon (323 BC).
The Kingdoms of Antigonos and his rivals c. 303 BC.
The major Hellenistic kingdoms in 240 BC, including territories controlled by the Seleucid dynasty, the Ptolemaic dynasty, the Attalid dynasty, the Antigonid dynasty, and independent poleis of Hellenistic Greece
Philip V, "the darling of Hellas", wearing the royal diadem.
Greece and the Aegean World c. 200 BC.
Painting of a groom and bride from the Hellenistic Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak, near the ancient city of Seuthopolis, 4th century BC.
Gallo-Greek inscription: "Segomaros, son of Uillū, citizen (toutious) of Namausos, dedicated this sanctuary to Belesama"
A silver drachma from Massalia (modern Marseille, France), dated 375–200 BC, with the head of the goddess Artemis on the obverse and a lion on the reverse
Seleucus I Nicator founded the Seleucid Empire.
The Hellenistic world c. 200 BC.
The Dying Gaul is a Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic work of the late 3rd century BC. Capitoline Museums, Rome.
Bust of Mithridates VI sporting a lion pelt headdress, a symbol of Herakles.
Tigranes the Great's Armenian Empire
Coin of Phraates IV with Hellenistic titles such as Euergetes, Epiphanes and Philhellene (fond of Greek [culture])
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, Turkmenistan, 2nd century BC
Al-Khazneh in Petra shows the Hellenistic influences on the Nabatean capital city
Model of Herod's Temple (renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum
The Greco-Bactrian kingdom at its maximum extent (c. 180 BC).
Silver coin depicting Demetrius I of Bactria (reigned c. 200–180 BC), wearing an elephant scalp, symbol of his conquests of areas in the northwest of South Asia, where Afghanistan and Pakistan are today.
Indo-Greek Kingdoms in 100 BC.
Heracles as protector of Buddha, Vajrapani, 2nd-century Gandhara.
Greco-Scythian golden comb, from Solokha, early 4th century, Hermitage Museum
Statuette of Nike, Greek goddess of victory, from Vani, Georgia (country)
Carthaginian hoplite (Sacred Band, end of the 4th century BC)
Eastern hemisphere at the end of the 2nd century BC.
Perseus of Macedon surrenders to Paullus. Painting by Jean-François Pierre Peyron from 1802. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.
The Library of Alexandria in the Ptolemaic Kingdom, here shown in an artist's impression, was the largest and most significant library of the ancient world.
The Rosetta Stone, a trilingual Ptolemaic decree establishing the religious cult of Ptolemy V
One of the first representations of the Buddha, and an example of Greco-Buddhist art, 1st-2nd century AD, Gandhara: Standing Buddha (Tokyo National Museum).
Bull capital from Rampurva, one of the Pillars of Ashoka, Maurya Empire, 3rd century BC. Located in the Presidential Palace of Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The subject matter is Indian (zebu), the global shape is influenced by Achaemenid styles, and the floral band incorporates Hellenistic designs (flame palmettes).
Bust of Zeus-Ammon, a deity with attributes from Greek and Egyptian gods.
Cybele, a Phrygian mother Goddess, enthroned, with lion, cornucopia and Mural crown.
Relief with Menander and New Comedy Masks (Roman, AD 40–60). The masks show three New Comedy stock characters: youth, false maiden, old man. Princeton University Art Museum
Zeno of Citium founded Stoic philosophy.
One of the oldest surviving fragments of Euclid's Elements, found at Oxyrhynchus and dated to c. AD 100 (P. Oxy. 29). The diagram accompanies Book II, Proposition 5.
The Antikythera mechanism was an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions.
Ancient mechanical artillery: Catapults (standing), the chain drive of Polybolos (bottom center), Gastraphetes (on wall)
Head of an old woman, a good example of realism.
Sculpture of Cupid and Psyche, an example of the sensualism of Hellenistic art. 2nd-century AD Roman copy of a 2nd-century BC Greek original.
Kingdoms of the Diadochi after the battle of Ipsus, c. 301 BC.
Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander
Kingdom of Lysimachus
Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator

After Alexander the Great's invasion of the Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC and its disintegration shortly after, the Hellenistic kingdoms were established throughout south-west Asia (Seleucid Empire, Kingdom of Pergamon), north-east Africa (Ptolemaic Kingdom) and South Asia (Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, Indo-Greek Kingdom).

When Alexander the Great died (10 June 323 BC), he left behind a sprawling empire which was composed of many essentially autonomous territories called satraps.

The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))

Parthian Empire

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The Parthian Empire in 94 BC at its greatest extent, during the reign of Mithridates II ((r. 124 – 91))
The silver drachma of Arsaces I (r. c. 247–211 BC) with the Greek language inscription ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ "of Arsaces"
Parthia, shaded yellow, alongside the Seleucid Empire (blue) and the Roman Republic (purple) around 200 BC
Drachma of Mithridates I, showing him wearing a beard and a royal diadem on his head. Reverse side: Heracles/Verethragna, holding a club in his left hand and a cup in his right hand; Greek inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the Great King Arsaces the Philhellene"
Drachma of Mithridates II (r. c. 124–91 BC). Reverse side: seated archer carrying a bow; inscription reading "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Philhellene."
Han dynasty Chinese silk from Mawangdui, 2nd century BC, silk from China was perhaps the most lucrative luxury item the Parthians traded at the western end of the Silk Road.
Bronze statue of a Parthian nobleman from the sanctuary at Shami in Elymais (modern-day Khūzestān Province, Iran, along the Persian Gulf), now located at the National Museum of Iran. Dated 50 BC-150 AD, Parthian School.
A Roman marble head of the triumvir Marcus Licinius Crassus, who was defeated at Carrhae by Surena
Roman aurei bearing the portraits of Mark Antony (left) and Octavian (right), issued in 41 BC to celebrate the establishment of the Second Triumvirate by Octavian, Antony and Marcus Lepidus in 43 BC
Drachma of Phraates IV (r. c. 38–2 BC). Inscription reading ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΑΡΣΑΚΟΥ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΟΥ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ ΦΙΛΕΛΛΗΝΟΣ "of the King of Kings Arsaces the Renowned/Manifest Benefactor Philhellene"
A close-up view of the breastplate on the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta, showing a Parthian man returning to Augustus the legionary standards lost by Marcus Licinius Crassus at Carrhae
A denarius struck in 19 BC during the reign of Augustus, with the goddess Feronia depicted on the obverse, and on the reverse a Parthian man kneeling in submission while offering the Roman military standards taken at the Battle of Carrhae
Map of the troop movements during the first two years of the Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 AD over the Kingdom of Armenia, detailing the Roman offensive into Armenia and capture of the country by Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
Parthian king making an offering to god Herakles-Verethragna. Masdjid-e Suleiman, Iran. 2nd–3rd century AD. Louvre Museum Sb 7302.
Rock relief of Parthian king at Behistun, most likely Vologases III (r. c. 110–147 AD)
A Parthian (right) wearing a Phrygian cap, depicted as a prisoner of war in chains held by a Roman (left); Arch of Septimius Severus, Rome, 203 AD
A Sarmatian-Parthian gold necklace and amulet, 2nd century AD. Located in Tamoikin Art Fund
Parthian golden necklace, 2nd century AD, Iran, Reza Abbasi Museum
A Parthian ceramic oil lamp, Khūzestān Province, Iran, National Museum of Iran
Coin of Kamnaskires III, king of Elymais (modern Khūzestān Province), and his wife Queen Anzaze, 1st century BC
A statue of a young Palmyran in fine Parthian trousers, from a funerary stele at Palmyra, early 3rd century AD
Coin of Mithridates II of Parthia. The clothing is Parthian, while the style is Hellenistic (sitting on an omphalos). The Greek inscription reads "King Arsaces, the philhellene"
A ceramic Parthian water spout in the shape of a man's head, dated 1st or 2nd century AD
Parthian votive relief from Khūzestān Province, Iran, 2nd century AD
A barrel vaulted iwan at the entrance at the ancient site of Hatra, modern-day Iraq, built c. 50 AD
The Parthian Temple of Charyios in Uruk.
A wall mural depicting a scene from the Book of Esther at the Dura-Europos synagogue, dated 245 AD, which Curtis and Schlumberger describe as a fine example of 'Parthian frontality'
A sculpted head (broken off from a larger statue) of a Parthian soldier wearing a Hellenistic-style helmet, from the Parthian royal residence and necropolis of Nisa, Turkmenistan, 2nd century BC
Parthian long-necked lute, c. 3 BC – 3 AD
Royal Parthian objects at the Persia exhibition, Getty Museum

The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, Arsaces I, who led the Parni tribe in conquering the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire.

The Arsacid rulers were titled the "King of Kings", as a claim to be the heirs to the Achaemenid Empire; indeed, they accepted many local kings as vassals where the Achaemenids would have had centrally appointed, albeit largely autonomous, satraps.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae

Cyrus the Great

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Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus II of Persia (c.

Cyrus the Great with a Hemhem crown, or four-winged Cherub tutelary divinity, from a relief in the residence of Cyrus in Pasagardae
The four-winged guardian figure representing Cyrus the Great or a four-winged Cherub tutelary deity. Bas-relief found on a doorway pillar at Pasargadae on top of which was once inscribed in three languages the sentence "I am Cyrus the king, an Achaemenian." Scholars who doubt that the relief depicts Cyrus note that the same inscription is written on other palaces in the complex.
"I am Cyrus the King, an Achaemenian" in Old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian languages. It is known as the "CMa inscription", carved in a column of Palace P in Pasargadae. These inscriptions on behalf of Cyrus were probably made later by Darius I in order to affirm his lineage, using the Old Persian script he had designed.
Painting of king Astyages sending Harpagus to kill young Cyrus
Detail of Cyrus Hunting Wild Boar by Claude Audran the Younger, Palace of Versailles
Victory of Cyrus over Lydia's Croesus at the Battle of Thymbra, 546 BC
Croesus on the pyre. Attic red-figure amphora, 500–490 BC, Louvre (G 197)
Ancient Near East circa 540 BC, prior to the invasion of Babylon by Cyrus the Great
Achaemenid soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians, 5th century BC. Cylinder seal impression (drawing).
Queen Tomyris of the Massagetae receiving the head of Cyrus
Tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae, Iran, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2015)
Cyrus the Great is said in the Bible to have liberated the Jews from the Babylonian captivity to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
Cyrus the Great (center) with his General Harpagus behind him, as he receives the submission of Astyages (18th century tapestry)
The Cyrus Street, Jerusalem
Painting of Daniel and Cyrus before the Idol Bel
Statue of Cyrus the great at Olympic Park in Sydney
17th-century bust of Cyrus the Great in Hamburg, Germany
The Cyrus cylinder, a contemporary cuneiform script proclaiming Cyrus as legitimate king of Babylon

600–530 BC; Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire.

He was important in developing the system of a central administration at Pasargadae governing satraps in the empire's border regions, which worked very effectively and profitably for both rulers and subjects.

Relief of Artaxerxes II on his tomb at Persepolis, Iran

Artaxerxes II

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Relief of Artaxerxes II on his tomb at Persepolis, Iran
Retreat of the Ten Thousand, at the Battle of Cunaxa, Jean Adrien Guignet
Armoured cavalry of Achaemenid Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi at the time of Artaxerxes II and his Satrap Pharnabazus II, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early fourth century BC
The King's Peace, promulgated by Artaxerxes II in 387 BC, put an end to the Corinthian War under the guarantee of the Achaemenid Empire.
Achaemenid campaign of Pharnabazus II against Egypt in 373 BC.
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Ethnicities of the soldiers of the Empire, on the tomb of Artaxerxes II. On the lintel over each figure appears a trilingual inscription describing each ethnicity. These are known collectively as "Inscription A2Pa".
Tomb of Artaxerxes II in Persepolis.
Upper Relief of the tomb of Artaxerxes II.
Soldiers of many ethnicities on the upper relief

Arses ( 445 – 359/8 BC), known by his regnal name Artaxerxes II ( Artaxšaçāʰ; ), was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 405/4 BC to 358 BC. He was the son and successor of Darius II ((r.

He sent Philiscus of Abydos, a hyparch (vice-regent) and military commander of the Achaemenid satrap Ariobarzanes, to Delphi in order to help the Greek negotiate peace.

Bust of Seleucus I Nicator ("Victor"; c. undefined 358 – 281 BCE), the last of the original Diadochi.

Diadochi

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The Diadochi (singular: Diadochus; from Diadochoi, "successors") were the rival generals, families, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BCE.

The Diadochi (singular: Diadochus; from Diadochoi, "successors") were the rival generals, families, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BCE.

Bust of Seleucus I Nicator ("Victor"; c. undefined 358 – 281 BCE), the last of the original Diadochi.
Alexander the Great and Craterus in a lion hunt, mosaic from Pella, Greece, late 4th century BC
The distribution of satrapies in the Macedonian Empire after the Settlement in Babylon (323 BCE).
Paintings of ancient Macedonian soldiers, arms, and armaments, from the tomb of Agios Athanasios, Thessaloniki in Greece, 4th century BCE
Hellenistic kingdoms as they existed in 240 BC, eight decades after the death of Alexander the Great
The Diadochi fought over and carved up Alexander's empire into several kingdoms after his death, a legacy which reigned on and continued the influence of ancient Greek culture abroad for over 300 more years. This map depicts the kingdoms of the Diadochi c. 301 BC, after the Battle of Ipsus. The five kingdoms of the Diadochi were:
Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter
Kingdom of Cassander
Kingdom of Lysimachus
Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator
Epirus
Other
Carthage
Roman Republic
Greek States

When Alexander was a teen-ager, Philip was planning a military solution to the contention with the Persian Empire.

Satraps (Old Persian: xšaθrapāwn) were the governors of the provinces in the Hellenistic empires.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran

Medes

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Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

Ancient Iranian people who spoke the Median language and who inhabited an area known as Media between western and northern Iran.

The Apadana Palace, 5th century BC Achaemenid bas-relief shows a Mede soldier behind a Persian soldier, in Persepolis, Iran
Excavation from ancient Ecbatana, Hamadan, Iran
Timeline of Pre-Achaemenid era.
Rhyton in the shape of a ram's head, gold – western Iran – Median, late 7th–early 6th century BC
The neighboring Neo-Babylonian Empire at its greatest extent after the destruction of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Protoma in the form of a bull's head, 8th century BC, gold and filigree, National Museum, Warsaw
The Ganj Nameh ("treasure epistle") in Ecbatana. The inscriptions are by Darius I and his son Xerxes I.
Apadana Hall, 5th century BC Achaemenid-era carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots), in Persepolis, Iran

In any case, it appears that after the fall of the last Median king against Cyrus the Great of the Persian Empire, Media became an important province and prized by the empires which successively dominated it (Achaemenids, Seleucids, Parthians and Sasanids).

In the new empire they retained a prominent position; in honour and war, they stood next to the Persians; their court ceremony was adopted by the new sovereigns, who in the summer months resided in Ecbatana; and many noble Medes were employed as officials, satraps and generals.

Rock relief of Artaxerxes in Persepolis

Artaxerxes III

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Rock relief of Artaxerxes in Persepolis
Coin of Artabazus II
Achaemenid coinage of Idrieus of Caria during the reign of Artaxerxes III, showing the Achaemenid king on the obverse, and his satrap Idrieus on the reverse. Circa 350-341 BC.
Coinage of Tennes, the king of Sidon who revolted against the Achaemenid Empire. Dated 351/0 BC.
Artaxerxes III as Pharaoh of Egypt, satrapal coinage of Mazaeus in Cilicia.
Tomb of Artaxerxes III at Persepolis.
Soldiers of various ethnicities of the Achaemenid Empire, tomb of Atarxerxes III.
Historically, kings of the Achaemenid Empire were followers of Zoroaster or heavily influenced by Zoroastrian ideology.
The Unfinished Gate at Persepolis gave archaeologists an insight into the construction of Persepolis.

Ochus ( Ochos), known by his dynastic name Artaxerxes III ( Artaxšaçāʰ; ), was King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire from 359/58 to 338 BC. He was the son and successor of Artaxerxes II and his mother was Stateira.

Before ascending the throne Artaxerxes was a satrap and commander of his father's army.

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription

Darius the Great

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The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription
Lineage of Darius the Great according to the Behistun Inscription.
Darius the Great, by Eugène Flandin (1840)
Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire
Ethnicities of the Achaemenid Army, on the tomb of Darius I. The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are also depicted on the upper registers of all the tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam, starting with the tomb of Darius I. The ethnicities on the tomb of Darius further have trilingual labels on the lintel directly over them for identification, collectively known as the DNe inscription. One of the best preserved friezes, identical in content, is that of Xerxes I.
Map showing key sites during the Persian invasions of Greece
Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-e Rostam
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire.
Gold daric, minted at Sardis
Reconstruction drawing of the Palace of Darius in Susa
The ruins of Tachara palace in Persepolis
thumb|upright|Egyptian statue of Darius I, as Pharaoh of the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Razmjou |first1=Shahrokh |title=Ars orientalis; the arts of Islam and the East |date=1954 |publisher=Freer Gallery of Art |pages=81–101 |url=https://archive.org/details/arsorient323320022003univ/page/n95/mode/2up}}</ref> 522–486 BC; greywacke; height: 2.46 m;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Manley|first1=Bill|title=Egyptian Art|year=2017|publisher=Thames & Hudson|pages=280|isbn=978-0-500-20428-3}}</ref> National Museum of Iran (Teheran)
Darius as Pharaoh of Egypt at the Temple of Hibis
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis

Darius I ( ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a Persian ruler who served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE.

Darius organized the empire by dividing it into administrative provinces that were governed by satraps.