Ways in Which Empires are Created
- Strong leader (military leader king etc.)
- Military conquest
- Political incorporation (by direct or indirect rule)
- Establish authority (make people believe you are the leader
- Restore tradition (make yourself a better king than the last)
Ways to Govern an Empire
- Governing large areas are one of the biggest issues.
- Bad communication if empire is too large (it may take months to transfer info)
- If the empire was too big, it was hard to maintain central authority
- Had to cope between linguistic, ethnic, religious differences if empire is large
- Care for infrastructure (roads, canals)
- Cope with economic issues (coinage, currency)
- Cope with ethnic minorities, slaves
- Economic development (make people like you)
- Conduct foreign relations
- Train and give education to bureaucrats
- Get a class of bureaucrats
The Persian Empire
- Persian King Darius would present his messages by three languages due to his vast diversity of
his kingdom: his own, Old Persian. Babylonian, language of Mesopotamia. Elamite, language of
- Darius knew that it was political and military power that held his empire together.
- The Persians respected local cultures and identities, and this was key to their success.
- The Persian Empire was founded by Cyrus the Achaemenid and he and his son, Cambyses,
took over area of the western India, to the Mediterranean coast and from Egypt to the Black sea
and fringes on the Central Asia.
- There were four Persian dynasties: Achaemenids, Seleucids, Parthians, and Sasanids.
- Darius organized his empire into 20 provinces or satrapies. Each satrapy was forced to give
- The Persian empire fell apart when Darius and his son, Xerxes, tried to conquer Greece
between 490-479 BCE. Alexander the Great defeated Darius in three battles. - Darius organized annually a celebratory delivery of tribute. He would receive gold and silver
while the Bactrians gave him camels, Armenians, gold vessels, Nubians and ivory tusks.
Darius established roads for communication purposes. Trade caravans and messengers
transported information. The most famous road is called the Royal Road.
- Darius instituted new script to write Old Persian on papyrus
- People from the country of Lydia invented coinage made from gold and silver called electrum
that the Persians used.
- Persian Kings promoted Zoroastrianism and taught in songs or gathas. Zoroastrianism is a
The Assyrian Empire
- Assyrian Kings commissioned engineering projects, built new cities and sponsored the arts.
- This empire eventually declined due to structural weaknesses.
- By 650 BCE, their control reached from western Iran to the Mediterranean Sea and from
central Anatolia to Egypt.
- The Assyrian empire were driven by desire to seize wealth and resources from the Babylonians
- The king was the supreme commander of the army who made all the crucial political, military
and administrative decisions.
- women had a limited role in this empire. Royal women could shape political affairs
- communication was an issue with this empire because it didn’t have the infrastructure nor the
- this empire was more interested in acquiring wealth rather than expanding.
- Part of the Assyrian empire, they ruled the Phoenicians, they were famous for craftwork and
were good merchants.
- The Phoenicians established settlements overseas. First in Cyprus, North Africa, Malta, Spain,
Sicily. The western most Phoenician colony was Cadiz
- Phoenicia established Carthage in the 8 century BCE.
- The Assyrian Empire brought people from a wide territory in the same political structure. These
people spoke a variety of languages, different religions. - The Assyrians willingly accepted cultural influences from the conquered territories.
- The Assyrians attitude toward foreign cultures mirrored their attitude toward foreign wealth
and resources: they were interested in taking anything, and everything that seemed valuable.
- The collapse in the empire was precipitated by attacks launched by previously subjected
people, but its causes lay in the structure of the system itself.
- Babylonia, Chaldean and Medes combined forces and took down the Assyrian Capital. The
multiculturalism is so diverse that the people they ruled joined forces and took down its own
- when Assyrians military power faltered, the sources of wealth dried up which lead to the
collapse of imperial system.
- The Neo-Babylonian empire arose, not very long, and was ruled by King Nabuchadnezzar and
used resources of conquered territories to build a empire.
The Indian Empires – Mauryan and Gupta
- one of the religions was based on the teachings of Vahamana Mahavira and he inspired
- Jainism believed in that all creatures have souls and none should ever be killed, even
- another powerful religion that originated in India was Buddhism. Buddhism is based on the
teachings of Buddha. Buddha was Prince Siddhartha from Nepal.
- The Buddha established four Nobel truths:
1. Existence is suffering
2. The cause of suffering is negative deeds of the body inspired by desire.
3. Desire can be eliminated.
4. The eightfold path
- Buddhism appeal relied on three elements:
1. The teacher – Buddha
2. Buddha’s teachings
3. The community – sangha
- Buddhists strive to achieve nirvana (state without hatred, desire, and ignorance) with the he