|Publication Date||November 29, 2010|
THE IRANIAN RELIGIONS—CYRUS IN LYDIA AND AT BABYLON; CAMBYSES IN EGYPT—DARIUS AND THE ORGANISATION OF THE EMPIRE.
The constitution of the Median empire borrowed from the ancient peoples of the Euphrates: its religion only is peculiar to itself—Legends concerning Zoroaster, his laws; the Avesta and its history—Elements contained in it of primitive religion—The supreme god Ahura-mazâ and his Amêsha-spentas: the Yazatas, the Fravashis—Angrô-mainyus and his agents, the Daîvas, the Pairîkas, their struggle with Ahura-mazdâ—The duties of man here below, funerals, his fate after death—-Worship and temples: fire-altars, sacrifices, the Magi.
Cyrus and the legends concerning his origin: his revolt against Astyages and the fall of the Median empire—The early years of the reign of Nabonidus: revolutions in Tyre, the taking of Harrân—The end of the reign of Alyattes, Lydian art and its earliest coinage—Croesus, his relations with continental Greece, his conquests, his alliances with Babylon and Egypt—The war between Lydia and Persia: the defeat of the Lydians, the taking of Sardes, the death of Croesus and subsequent legends relating to it—The submission of the cities of the Asiatic littoral.
Cyrus in Bactriana and in the eastern regions of the Iranian table-land —The impression produced on the Chaldæan by his victories; the Jewish exiles, Ezekiel and his dreams of restoration, the new temple, the prophecies against Babylon; general discontent with Nabonidus—The attach of Cyrus and the battle of Zalzallat, the taking of Babylon and the fall of Nabonidus: the end of the Chaldæan empire and the deliverance of the Jews.
Egypt under Amasis: building works, support given to the Greeks; Naukratis, its temples, its constitution, and its prosperity—Preparations for defence and the unpopularity of Amasis with the native Egyptians—The death of Cyrus and legends relating to it: his palace at Pasargadæ and his tomb—Cambyses and Smerdis—The legendary causes of the war with Egypt—Psammetichus III., the battle of Pelusium; Egypt reduced to a Persian province.
Cambyses' plans for conquest; the abortive expeditions to the oceans of Amnion and Carthage—The kingdom of Ethiopia, its kings, its customs: the Persians fail to reach Napata, the madness of Cambyses—The fraud of Gaumâta, the death of Cambyses and the reign of the pseudo-Smerdis, the accession of Darius—The revolution in Susiana, Chaldæa, and Media: Nebuchadrezzar III. and the fall of Babylon, the death of Orætes, the defeat of Khshatrita, restoration of peace throughout Asia, Egyptian affairs and the re-establishment of the royal power.
The organisation of the country and its division into satrapies: the satrap, the military commander, the royal secretary; couriers, main roads, the Eyes and Ears of the king—The financial system and the provincial taxes: the daric—Advantages and drawbacks of the system of division into satrapies; the royal guard and the military organisation of the empire—The conquest of the Hapta-Hindu and the prospect of war with Greece.