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Major Countries of the Ancient Near East

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Ancient Persia
Relief sculpture from Tachara, Darius the Great's private palace at Persepolis.

Sumer | Babylonia | Assyria | Judah (Judaea) | Persia | Lebanon | Egypt | Syria | Anatolia | Fertile Crescent Map

Relief sculpture from Tachara, Darius the Great's private palace at Persepolis.
This relief from the palace of the Persian King Darius the Great (c. 550-486 B.C.), in Persepolis, shows a procession. It may be a procession of priests bearing objects for a sacrifice or servants bearing food.

The capital of Persia had not been Persepolis but Pasargadae then under Cyrus' son Cambyses II, the capital of the empire moved to Susa. Darius seems to have been creating a magnificent new capital at Persepolis, though. The palace's square audience hall, apadana, was situated on a large terrace by the treasury. The building projects continued with Darius' successor Xerxes.

Darius united all the Near Eastern kingdoms, including Egypt.

Alexander the Great defeated Darius III (c. 380-330 B.C.) at the Battle at Issus, in November 333 B.C., and added Persia to his empire. Lands that had been under Persian control were then ruled by the Seleucids, Alexander's regional successors (or the Diadochi), and later, in the late 3rd century, by the Parthians, and still later, by the Romans. For details, see below:

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  1. Sumer
  2. Babylonia
  3. Assyria
  4. Judah (Judaea)
  5. Persia (this page)
  6. Lebanon
  7. Egypt
  8. Syria
  9. Anatolia
  10. Fertile Crescent Map

Photo: CC Flickr User dynamosquito

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