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History - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Introduction Early Persians, who lived in what is southwestern Iran today, were nomads who herded cattle and warriors as well. For a time, other people dominated them. However, through the efforts of King Cyrus the Great as well as other Persian rulers, Persia grew into a powerful kingdom…
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Introduction Early Persians, who lived in what is southwestern Iran today, were nomads who herded cattle and warriors aswell. For a time, other people dominated them. However, through the efforts of King Cyrus the Great as well as other Persian rulers, Persia grew into a powerful kingdom. The Persian Empire unified an extensive area under a single government. This paper looks into the strategies that these Persia’s great rulers employed to unify vast areas and diverse populations. Under Cyrus the Great, Persian started building an empire that ended up being the largest of all empires that have ever existed in the world. In 539 B.C., armies of King Cyrus swept into Mesopotamia and managed to capture Babylon. They then took over northern Mesopotamia, Syria, Asia Minor, Canaan as well as the Phoenician cities. Of importance to note is the fact that Cyrus the Great showed all his new subjects great kindness; and his good treatment to them played a significant role in holding his empire together. Cyrus also had an army of professional soldiers trained – sometimes they conquered without bloodshed. In order to connect their holdings, which were obviously extensive, the Persians built roads, with the Royal Road stretching from Asia Minor to the Persian capital, Susa. The Persians also set up wayside stations to supply king’s messengers with fresh horses as well as food and shelter. What is more is that the leaders who followed Cyrus did not cease to add to the Persian territory – they conquered a region northeast of Greece called western India, Egypt, as well as Thrace (Spielvogel 132). Another thing worth noting is what the rulers did to the Persian Empire when it became bigger and therefore very challenging to manage. The government needed reorganization to make it manageable, which King Darius did following his coming to the throne in 521 B.C. King Darius divided the empire into twenty provinces known as satrapies and an official were selected in each satrapy to rule in it with the title of satrap, which meant protector of the kingdom. The satrap played the roles of a tax collector, chief of police, judge and chief recruiter for the Persian army. The Persian king, whose power depended upon his troops, ensured that all of the satraps were answerable to him. By the time of King Darius, Persian Empire had a vast army of professional soldiers. In fact, among them were ten thousand soldiers who were specially trained to guard the king. These soldiers were referred to as immortal since in case any died, he was replaced instantly. Moreover, unlike in the Greek city-states where in times of war citizens took up arms, the Persian government remunerated individuals to be full-time soldiers (Spielvogel 133). Conclusion The Persian Empire unified an extensive area under a single government, which was made possible by the wise strategies that the great rulers of Persia employed. They managed to establish a vast empire than any other that is known of in the world. Work Cited Spielvogel, Jackson J. Journey Across Time: Early Ages. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2004. Print. Read More
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