Ancient Persian Warfare
The ancient Persian military evolved from the earlier armed forces of the Medes which, in turn, developed from the warrior class of the indigenous people of the Iranian Plateau, the Aryan migrants (including the Persians) who later settled...
Achaemenid Kings List & Commentary
The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) was the first great Persian political entity in Western and Central Asia which stretched, at its peak, from Asia Minor to the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia through Egypt. It was founded by Cyrus II (the...
The Battle of Gaugamela, 331 BCE
After securing the eastern Mediterranean seaboard and Egypt, Alexander the Great pushed east into Mesopotamia with the intention of bringing Darius to battle. After crossing the Euphrates River unopposed, he marched his army eastward along...
Bureaucracy in the Achaemenid Empire: Learning from the Past
In the early days of the Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE), the kings came to realise that, if they were to be able to administer the vast mass of land and the multicultural people who inhabited it, they had to create an organizational...
Capital of a column from the audience hall of the palace of Darius I, Susa, c. 510 B.C.E.
Capital of a column from the audience hall of the palace of Darius I, Susa, c. 510 B.C.E., Achaemenid, Tell of the Apadana, Susa, Iran (Louvre) Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris
Headless Statue of Darius the Great
Headless, 2.5-meter tall granite statue of Darius I originally made to be set up in Egypt and found in 1972 in Susa on the west side of the Gate of Darius. Darius the Great is dressed in the Persian robe but in an Egyptian posture. The statue...
Darius I Inscribed Stone Weight
The cuneiform inscription on this polished diorite weight states "I [am] Darius, the great king, the son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian". This is an abbreviated version of a standard inscription on a series of stone weights of Darius, which...
Relief of Darius I from Persepolis
Relief of Darius I from Persepolis, 522-486 BCE
Court of Darius the Great
A modern recreation of the court of Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BCE), by Zvonimir Grbasic. Courtesy of Ancient History Magazine / Karwansaray Publishers.
Tomb of Darius I, Naqsh-e Rustam
Tomb of Darius I, Naqsh-e Rustam, near Persepolis, Iran, c. 522–486 BCE