The water also gave both empires access to trading with each other but the Persians had the Royal Road, a 1700 mile long trade route across the empire. The geographical location of both these empires eventually led them to their downfall as the Greeks were in the mountains and the Persians at the east of them. Although the Greeks were in a worse geographical location than the Persians, both of them were able to prosper. The differences of the political systems of these two empires are astonishing. The Greeks were a collection of around 1,500 city states as the Persians were under the rule of one king.
Persian Imperialism was the most significant cause of the First Persian war; origins of the Persian Empire were dated back to 584BC, With Cyrus the ruler of a small area Persis. Cyrus the Great, after taking power of Persis had begun to create a series of military reforms. The ruler of Media, Astyages, a region close by feared this new threat and equipped to battle which ended in defeat of his rule and the reign of Media diverting into Cyrus’ hands. “The Persian empire was created within the space of a single generation of conquests that followed one another...” as the quote states Cyrus’ Persian Empire rapidly expanded over India, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, Egypt and more importantly the Ionian coast, which was the most significant key resulting in the First Persian War. After the Death of Cyrus, his son Cambyses took power and was later succeeded by Darius the Great who was the first to step into European land, the kings of Persia all had a role in conquering more than there predecessor and that’s exactly what Darius had in mind.
The film is based on the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and part of ancient India. Shown are some of the key moments of Alexander's youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father Philip II of Macedonia, his strained feeling towards his mother Olympias, the unification of the Greek city-states and the two Greek Kingdoms (Macedonia and Epirus) under the Hellenic League, and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the then known world. The story begins 40 years after 323 BC, around 283 BC, with Ptolemy I Soter, who narrates throughout the film.
The consequential rise of the Athenian Empire, however, was simultaneous with the development of its increasingly autocratic and aggressive attitude. The aftermath of this conflict therefore involved the Athenian worldview coming to resemble that which it had initially sought to repress. The Persian Wars are demonstrative of how external threats can promote unity and cohesion from within. The ease and aggression with which the Persians conquered the region of the Asia Minor during the sixth century BCE established them as the pre-eminent power in the ancient world, and therefore a threat to Greek autonomy. After King Cyrus of Persia overthrew the Median rulers in 550 BCE, the Persians successfully extended their realm in conquering Lydia (546 BCE), eventually pushing their boarders further eastward by crossing to the boarders of Macedonia in 513 BCE (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2012).
Greek and Persian Cultures in the Sixth Century BC In the sixth century BC, two massive cultures lay on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea(Herodotus li). The Greeks, known as the Hellenes, were spread through much of lower Europe(Herodotus 210), while the Persian empire occupied modern day Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and the surrounding areas(Herodotus 225, The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, 41). Although these great peoples dwelt on the shore of the same sea, they differed in everything from government, military, religion, and education, to morality and social structures. These two cultures have made it in to the history books, novels, television programs, and movies as some of the greatest cultures of all time. The Greeks and the Persians both possessed amazing societies.
Hellenic Athens and Sparta The barbaric stereotypes people think of when referring to the Spartan society makes the Athenian civilization seem to correspond to our modern society. However, the savage imagery we conceive of the Spartans prevents the exploration of their civility. Even though they did have an extremely militaristic state of mind, they also had an incredibly well organized government system. Politically, socially, and culturally, the two Hellenic city-states of Greece had many differences, but simultaneously were very similar. In the eighth century B.C.E., Hellenic Athens was an oligarchic government.
Originally Zoroastians worshiped only one god, unlike neighbouring cities that worshiped many. The Persians developed a government, to keep track of their fairly large empire. The Persians also created a road network across their large empire. This influenced trading with neighbouring cities. The Persians respected other
It shows the Spartans as chariot warriors, and infantry who fought for glory. Later the army was issued with aspis shields which made their new phalanx formation possible. In 550BC the entire state dedicated itself to aiding the Spartan warriors, and using helots to farm the land owned by spartiates, and perioeci as sailors, tradesmen and light infantry. By the end of the Corinthian War, however, the city of Thebes revolted and in a short campaign led by Epiminondas won the Theban War, extended Sparta to the assembly of Thebes. When the Theban-Athenian alliance was defeated by Macedon at the Battle of Chaeronea, Sparta was taken over.
However they also share a number of differences because they developed in different regions with different natural influences. Egypt and Mesopotamia were both governed by god-kings. The idea of a god-king was common in early complex societies. A king established his rule by a divine right bestowed upon him by the gods of his people. Mesopotamia was broken into thirty-five separate city-states and “The ruler of each city-state claimed to rule with the support of the local guardian deity…” (Hansen and Curtis 36).
INFLUENCE OF GREEK AND EGYPIAN CULTURES: ART, ARCHITECTURE, RELIGION * Pompeii and Herculaneum were both Greek settlements * Herculaneum – the name itself is influenced by Greek’s Hercules * Greek influences can therefore be seen in their art, architecture and especially religion * Influences from Egypt came through trade * One of the greatest influences was through religion Art * Themes found in wall paintings include Greek mythology and gods * Paintings were often Greek originals * Statues copied Greek designs * Floor mosaics showed Egyptian influences e.g. the House of Faun has a mosaic of flora and fauna along the Nile River Architecture * Early buildings in Pompeii and Herculaneum were designed with Greek constructions * Features e.g. Greek peristyle garden were taken from a Greek design * Greek columns – Doric, Ionic, Corinthian were used in temples & other buildings * The Triangular Forum with its Doric Temple was of pure Greek origin * The theatres owe their designs to Greek originals * Remains of furniture appear to be based on Greek prototypes * Herculaeum has good examples of cupboards with a Greek design * The palaestra of Pompeii and Herculaneum are in the Hellenistic architectural tradition * A style of Greek architecture popular after the time of Alexander the Great Religion * The Greek gods and goddesses – Apollo, Hercules, Minerva, Dionysus, Hermes, Demeter were all worshiped at Pompeii and Herculaneum * Temples were built for this purpose * Dionysian themes were popular artistic decoration * The Egyptian goddess, Isis, was worshipped at Pompeii and Herculaneum by merchants, women, children, slaves, freedmen and soldiers along with officials * Some houses had garden shrines to Isis and statuettes of pharaohs and other Egyptian deities