Achaemenid Empire

series of historical empires existing until year 1979 approximately at the place of the state Iran

The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire, also known as the First Persian Empire or 'The Kingdom', was the ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid dynasty in 550 BC. Based in modern-day Iran, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen at its time, spanning a total of 5.5 million square kilometres (2.1 million square miles). The empire spanned from the Balkans and Egypt in the west, West Asia as the base, the majority of Central Asia to the northeast, and parts of South Asia (the Indus Valley in northern India) to the southeast.

Ruins of Persepolis

Quotes edit

  • [The milieu of the Persian court was one in which intellectual and artistic intercourse between representatives of the various satrapies flourished. The Persians themselves] “clearly … were not a people that we should call intellectual. They do not themselves seem to have had an inclination towards literature, medicine, or philosophical and scientific speculation.” Still, they provided a setting in which such speculation could be freely pursued... “what resulted from the ‘Pax Persica,’” says Cook, “was syncretism and cultural assimilation on a scale that had not previously been thinkable.”
    • Cook, J. M. The Greeks in Ionia and the East. New York: Praeger Books, 1963. p. 204, 230. quoted from The Shape of Ancient Thought_ Comparative - Thomas McEvilley
  • The fifth century BCE historian Herodotus claimed not only that the Persians were very fond of wine, but that they routinely made important decisions while drunk on it. According to Herodotus, the day after such a drunken deliberation, the Persians would reconsider their decision and if they still approved, adopt it. This is, to put it mildly, a highly unlikely image of a group of people who were able to carve out one of the largest empires in antiquity and sustain it for two centuries. Are we to think that they just got lucky over and over again when they were drunk out of their minds? This is certainly the view that the Greeks promoted and Iranian irrationality remains a topos in Western culture... But if one looks at the internal Iranian evidence, for example Zoroastrian texts, a new image of the importance of wine in classical Iran emerges. The most interesting of these texts is one called The Spirit of Wisdom from the sixth century CE. One chapter discusses how wine can bring one's good and bad dispositions, and argues that those who drink it in moderation benefit in enhanced awareness and intellectual facility: "this that is forgotten will be remembered and goodness will take place in thought and it will increase the sight of the eye and hearing of the ear and the speech of the tongue, and doing work and managing will proceed faster." Relative temperance, however, is emphasized. "But anyone who drinks wine must be conscious to drink in moderation, since through moderate drinking of wine this much goodness will come to him, because food will be digested and kindle fire [of the body], and increase intelligence and the mind and seed and blood, and reject torment."

Related entries: edit

Other projects: edit

Wikidata has open data related to:
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for: