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Current time:0:00Total duration:13:54

Video transcript

as we enter into the sixth century BCE the dominant power in the region that we now refer to as Iran it was a median Empire and the median Empire I'll draw the rough border right over here well something was something like that and you can see the dominant region of media right over here but by the middle of that century they're going to be overthrown and they're going to be overthrown by one of their subject kingdoms and that that is the Persians and so right over here on this map it's called Persis but that region is called pars or FAR's and even today in modern iran that region is called FAR's and the king of pars was Cyrus the Great and in 555 49 BCE he's able to overthrow the median Emperor who happens to be his grandfather and then he establishes what history views is the first real Persian Empire and the whole reason why we even call it a Persian Empire is because Cyrus the Great was from pars Persian is really referring to the idea that the the ruler the dynasty that gets established was coming from pars it turns out and I talk about in other videos the Persians did not review did not refer to themselves as Persians they viewed themselves more as the Aryan people in a lot of ways Iran or Iran or Ariana Vasia and these these types of words are more accurate for how the Persians viewed themselves but needless to say in 5:49 Cyrus the Great is able to conquer the median Empire and he keeps going and what he establishes this this Empire this dynasty is called the Achaemenid dynasty key mitad and you might wonder why is it called the committed dynasty instead of say the thyroid dynasty and that's because Cyrus claims descendent from akima knees he is part of that family akima knees is this semi legendary patriarch of it that lived 150 years before Cyrus the Great and so I will draw a dotted line for dotted line from akima knees to Cyrus and Cyrus then goes on so he conquers the median Empire then he goes on to conquer several of the major empires of that time in the mid 540 s BCE so we are right around there he conquers the Lydian Empire right over there which is on the western half of the Anatolian Peninsula and modern-day Turkey and then he sets his sight on the neo-babylonian empire and in 539 he's able to conquer the neo-babylonian empire and from a biblical perspective that's relevant because when he takes Babylon he frees the Jews from the Babylonian captivity captivity and Jiri settles them in Jerusalem and he works with them to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and especially Solomon's Temple which is now called the second temple on the Temple Mount and Cyrus the Great is viewed by history as one of the great rulers of all time often referred to as a model ruler someone who really takes the interest of his people at heart so Cyrus was able to conquer a lot of what you see here in green but not all of it and especially he was not able to get to Egypt that would be left to his son canvases so in 5:30 Cyrus dies and canvasses takes over and just so you read what would this how I made this timeline and I made this timeline really to help myself understand the various Shaw and Shaw's or King of Kings of Iran so Cyrus the Great was the Shah and Shah King of Kings and then canvases the second was the next one is that this timeline up here this shows who was in charge so you see from 555 49 all the way to 530 I have it yellow and that's because Cyrus the Great was in charge of what is called the committed Empire or this I guess you say this first great Persian Empire what I have down here is at the best information I could find on the lifespans of these people and when I have these dotted lines at the beginning that's what it's unclear when these people were born so there's different accounts that Cyrus the Great might have been born in 575 BCE he might have been born closer to 600 BCE and so that's why I have these dotted line similarly we don't know exactly when canvases ii was born but we knew and we do know that he took control in 530 BCE and so that's why you see canvasses you see this line right over here turn blue and actually canvases ends up dying in 522 so let me actually this should be like that there you go he ends up dying at 522 but before he dies in 522 he is able to conquer Egypt in 525 BCE so right around there and you could imagine that while he's conquering Egypt let me keep drawing this family tree so now we have canvasses a embassies a embassies the second he goes off makes his real goal to conquer Egypt that's a big deal remember this is ending thousands of years of the rule by the native pharaohs they start the these now foreign rulers start calling themselves the Pharaohs of Egypt as well but they get they get put in to Egypt becomes part of the Persian Empire because of canvasses but you can imagine with the Shah and Shah with the King of Kings often doing conquest in Egypt it leaves a little power vacuum back in the center of the Empire and this is when things get a little bit sketchy so the Cyrus does have another son the other son is called Bardia so let me write this down so there's another son called Bardia and then there's this other character known as Darius soon to be known as Darius the great and Darius is not a direct descendant of Cyrus the Great but he is part of his family he's a distant relative he is part of the Achaemenid dynasty a part of he claims descended from akima knees and he was the Lance bear for canvases the second so while kamba sees is out here in Egypt leaving that power vacuum someone who claims to be Bardia takes someone who claims to be Bardia takes control of the empires trying to take control of the empire now some accounts say that this is really Bardia this is really the other son of Cyrus the Great and so there would be some legitimate claim to the throne but there's other claims especially the ones that Darius was later able to spread that no this was not the real Bharti that this was a fake party that the real Bharti had actually been killed by Kemba seize the second before and that this person proposing to be Bharti it was this fake usurper this Zoroastrian priest named Gama de and once canvases on his way he's trying to come back in order to reclaim the throne or in order to get rid of this usurper whether it was the real Bharti or not but on the way he dies and once against under dubious circumstances Cyrus the Great how he died not clear Kemba seize the second also dies under dubious circumstances and then this Bardia is actually becomes the Shah and Shah for real he's obviously has claims to it while Cambyses is there but once cabinet sees dies he is the Jean Shah well Darius doesn't like this he has his own imperial ambitions he gets some other nobility together and says no no no this this body isn't the real Bardia he's a usurper let's go kill that guy and so they kill him and then it's an interesting story Herodotus has a fairly dubious account of how Darius was able to convince the other noble people why why he should be the Shan cha the Emperor but they are able to get rid of Bardia we still do not know whether it was the real Bardia or whether it was the fake party but then Darius takes power in 522 BCE and he's known as Darius the great because he continues to spread it continues to conquer more and more for the Persian Empire and this map right over here this is the Persian Empire and 500 BCE under Darius the Great and sneer that its maximum extent and it's a pretty incredible Empire it's worth noting and it's big by any stretch of the imagination but it's at this time the population is on the order of 50 million people and based on the accounts that I've seen that's almost half of the world population at that time no Empire in history as far as we can tell has ever had such a large fraction of the world's population under its control and so that gives you sense of I guess you could say how great or how large an empire this was now Darius the great he is also famous especially from a Greek perspective for going after the Greeks you had you had these Greek revolts in these in these towns on the west coast of of the Anatolian Peninsula they revolted against their Persian overlords I guess you could say and they did that with the help of the Athenians and so Darius didn't like this in the in the four 90s he starts going after the Athenians this is the beginning of the greco-persian Wars he is unsuccessful he dies in the four 80s and then his son this is actually a relief of Darius the great right over here from Persepolis and then his son tri continues to try to take over and the second / reco persian wars and he too is unsuccessful but it's worth noting a lot of this history that we get especially if Cyrus the Great and the early Persian Shan Shahs the history we get is from the Greeks so it's worth taking it with a grain of salt because as you can see they were rivals and to say rivals is a little bit unfair to the Persians because the Greeks were more of a third and the sahte thorn in the side of a large Empire the Greeks were this group of city-states they weren't even a unified Empire while you had here the Persian Empire controls almost half of the world's population so the Greeks were more of a third and thorn in the side but we we get our history from them or a lot of our history from them so we get their account of things now once is you have a czar seized then after Xerces you have artaxerxes right here over here and then you have a little bit of a squabble for the throne and then there is a second there's one thing that you see over the over 200 years of a committed rule is that most people after Darius the great are known are named either Xerces artaxerxes Darius the 2nd 3rd 4th are or dyrus the 2nd or 3rd at least not 4th our d'azyr sees artists or sees second artists issues start soaking a little confusing but the reason why I even did this for myself to see when all of these people lived and when they ruled is to have a good sense of what was going on and and how dire is the second how lived at a different time than for example Darius the first or Darius the great the other thing worth mentioning because you'll hear this in various history classes when you talk about the Persian Empire is the the great cities of the Persian Empire a cyrus the great he establishes the capital at posaga D right over here you have canvases establishes a capital at Susa Susa is one end of the great royal highway that goes from Sardis all the way to Susa right over there you have Darius the great establish a capital at Persepolis this and that's the Greek name for it really referring to Persian city and this is a relief from Persepolis right over here now the end of the committed dynasty comes when that famous thorn in the side Greece actually unifies under Philip of Macedon and here we're talking about the early mid to the mid to early to mid fourth century BCE and his son Alexander becomes this great Conqueror Alexander the Great and he's able to conquer the entire Persian Empire famously taking it away from Darius the third we talk about that in another video in or in several videos in some detail but Alexander the Great he has this vision of a of a one nation of these people kind of their cultures mixing together and there's a significant amount of cultural mix between the Greeks and the Persians but then Alexander dies and his empire split but the most of the Persian Empire goes to under the control of Celicas who is one of Alexander's generals and then you have the seleucid empire which is really foreign rule of Persia and that will continue for a while until eventually the Parthian 's which is once again another state or a region of the Persian Empire takes control to establish the Parthian Empire which is one of the rivals to Rome that's worth mentioning and I mentioned this in the video on ancient Persia that under Persian rule and Cyrus and the very Shan Shan's were famous for delegating their authority when you have such a large Empire you can't control all of it yourself so each of these regions had their own I guess you could say govern and those governors were called sat traps and the regions were called to trapeze anyway I will leave you there and the other thing that Cyrus the Great is really known for is the spread of the Zoroastrian faith we talk about the Zoroastrian faith in other videos and Zarathustra who is the kind of the prophet of the Zoroastrian faith he lives someplace between 1500 BCE and might have even lived with shortly right before almost near the time of science the great but was really sighs the great who helps spread this great ancient faith