All the insignia of Median royalty along with their treasures fell into the hands of the Persians. Egypt is known for the wealth of its crops; it is to be the granary of this empire (as later of Rome's) and is required to provide 120,000 measures of grain in addition to 700 talents of silver. Herodotus says that Cyrus subdued Bactria after a long drawn out war and this seems most probable. Desiring to leave for Persia, Cyrus petitioned Astyages requesting a leave of absence for five months reasoning that his father in Persia was ill. So assisted by the formidable Cypriot navy, Cambyses conquered Egypt. Carpets becomes one of the characteristic art forms of people living on the high plateau of west Asia, from Turkey through Iran, where winters can be extremely cold. In some places, he provoked the open enmity of the Magian priests. The Avesta, in its modern form, was written down between 78 and 300AD. The battle ended in a truce between the Medes and the Lydians. However, Scythians rarely interfered in the affairs of the inhabitants. With the Median highlands being people by the tough and powerful Medes, the Persians were obliged to settle in a comparatively quiet and less occupied province of Pars in Southern Iran.
The return of the exiles reinforced the Jewish population in their homeland, which had been waning since the start of the Babylonian rule. The north-west was another region which had successfully resisted attempts at conquest. Lydia was taken and absorbed into the Persian Empire. From Wikibooks, open books for an open world, Zoroaster and the Birth of Zoroastrianism, https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Iranian_History/The_Medes_and_the_Early_Achaemenids&oldid=3831513. The story of this escape is narrated in vivid detail by Rawlinson. This cylinder which composed of two broken pieces, now united in the British Museum, and comprises an account of Cyrus' capture of Babylon, a reference to the return of the captured statues of Mesopotamian gods, several topical remarks about the abolishment of unjust corvees, and a description of repairs to old buildings in Babylon. Assyrian Emperors Sennacherib and Esar-haddon boast of having reduced Media into total submission. Deioces was the son of one Phraates and was a renowned judge in his part of Media. At the centre of the system is the royal road from Susa to Sardis, a distance of some 2000 miles (3200 km). But Cyrus managed to escape to Persia. The Zarathusht-namah tells us that the angel Vohumanah entered the child's mind soon after his birth and the child laughed aloud immediately upon his birth which startled the people around. Nevertheless, this is one among a few biographies of Zoroaster in existence. His first wife bore him a son Isadvastra (whose son Ururvija was a prominent Zoroastrian missionary of later times) and three daughtersFreni, Thriti and Pouruschita. However, Cyrus detested Ecbatana and the company of the vain old monarch who spent more of his time in merriment and conducting lavish feasts. The battle lasted two days during which Cambyses I was killed and the Persians defeated. During this period, they waged highly successful wars against Egypt, the Levant and the Greeks and expanded their kingdom to distant parts of the globe. His reign is regarded as one of peace and few battles were fought. However, Cambyses intended to expand his empire further to the south and conquer the kingdom of Ammon in the North African desert. Ctesias says that they submitted peacefully when Darius married a Median princess. He says that the historian Kanosys of Carthion mentions the conquest of Babylon by Medes as far back as 2000BC. His second wife was, allegedly, a widow and she bore him two sonsHvarechitra and Urvatnara.His third wife was Hvovi, daughter of Frashaoshtra, an important official in the court of Iran. The regular army of the Persian empire contains an elite corps involving a brilliant element of propaganda. His family name was Spitama, a cognate of the Sanskreit Swetha meaning "whiteness". Media and Magism are closely related, so much so that the high priests of Magism, the Magi who give the religion its name were exclusively chosen from a Median tribe of the same name. However, soon, Cyrus gave up the charge allowing them to reach Lydia unmolested. Zoroaster's marriage was arranged at a very early age . This event is believed to have occurred during the reign of the third Achaemenid king Cyrus I and hence signifies a shift of power from the Assyrians to the Medes. He was succeeded by Teispes (Cispi), Cyrus I and Cambyses I. Today, it is regarded as the most holy book of Zoroastrianism and like the holy books of other religions is believed to have been revealed by Ahura Mazda Himself.They comprise the Vendidad which is made of 22 Fargards, the Yasna comprising 72 sections, the Visperad comprising 23 Kord (or sections), the Yashts, the Khorda Avesta (Small Avesta) and the Gathas. Darius extends the network of roads across the Persian empire, to enable both troops and information to move with startling speed. When he was acquainted of the fraud, Cambyses swore revenge. Herodotus, in Line No.102 of his Historiestells that Phraates was an extremely ambitious ruler and credits him with the subjugation of the Persians. However, no evidence exists regarding the existence of these monarchs and stories of them are regarded as purely fictitious and concocted. According to Greek accounts, he was always surrounded by eunuchs and women. Herodotus and Ctesias do not record much on the eastern campaigns of Cyrus the Great. He concluded a marriage alliance with Nabopolassar of Babylon by giving his daughter Amytis in marriage to Nabopolassar's son Nebuchadnezzar. He is known as Achaemenes to the Greek writers. Cyaxares surrendered and was compelled to pay a heavy tribute. He ruled the state with an iron hand until his death in 665 BC. The Persians, taking advantage of their high-ground, charged furiously at the Medes and slew sixty thousand of them. In modern times, Cyrus referred to as "Kurush-i-bozorg" has become a symbol of Persian revival and is regarded as a hero by monarchists and right-wing nationalists alike. Herodotus explains that to accomplish this feat, the Persians diverted the Euphrates river into a canal so that the water level dropped "to the height of the middle of a man's thigh," which allowed the invading forces to march directly through the river bed to enter at night. The religion which he founded, called Zoroastrianism originated from an older polytheistic faith called Magism. The forces of evil were led by Ahrimaan (the Old Persian Angra Mainyos) who was assisted by an army of demons (daevas). Ctesias while describing the battle narrates how the combined forces of the Persians, the Arabs, the Medes and the Babylonians numbering four hundred thousand individuals were defeated in two pitched battles by the Assyrians and how they rallied at the arrival of reinforcements from Bactira and surprising the Assyrian camp at night inflicted a crushing defeat upon them. However, on his return to Media, the Median troops were confronted by bands of Scythians under their leader Madyes who inflicted a crushing defeat on them. However, Amasis deceived Cambyses by sending a damsel named Nitesis instead of his own daughter. Cyrus was an excellent statesman and soldier and was the creator of the first world empire in history. Even the horses on which they rode had sometimes golden bits to their bridles. The courtiers wore long flowing robes of many different colors, amongst which red and purple predominated, and adorned their necks with chains or collars of gold, and their wrists with bracelets of the same precious metal. However, a hundred years later, the Assyrians launched another invasion of Media and annexed the country of the Medes. Furious, Astyages led a huge army into Persia. The Greek historian Herodotus marvels at these, Many different tongues are spoken in the Persian empire, from Egypt to India.
Legend has it that Pourashaspa had longed for a child for a long, long time and prayed to Haoma to this effect. Croesus was captured and imprisoned but was later pardoned and ruled Lydia as a vassal of Persia. Next, Cyrus turned his attention to the east and attempted the conquest of Bactria. India, clearly, is already fabled for its gold; the province is to supply gold dust equal in value to the very large amount of 4680 silver talents. During the long rule of Darius I, the conquests of Cyrus and Cambyses are consolidated and the Achaemenid empire reaches its greatest extent - from Macedonia in the west to northern India in the east. This attack on Pteria has been immortalized by the famous legend involving the Oracle at Delphi. He questioned the need of sacrifices and elaborate rituals. At differing times there are between 20 and 30 satrapies in the empire, and each is assessed according to its supposed productivity. were all regarded as impure as they acted as carriers of the druj Nasu.Purity and chastity of an extreme kind were recommended. But Cyrus formed an advance brigade made of camelmen and charged at the Lydians forcing them to flee. He defeats the Egyptians in battle, at Pelusium in 525, and enters their capital city at. This resulted in a shift of balance of power as the Medes emerged as overlords of the Middle East and most of the known world. The Vendidad or Vi-daevodatem which means anti-demonaic law prescribes ways or purification of the impure. However, he was suitably rewarded when his good thoughts, actions and conduct pleased Vohumanah who blessed him with a vision of the Great Lord Ahura Mazda Himself. People who did not adhere to these rules were either whipped in public or were asked to pay a huge sum as penalty. But their contributions, especially to Zoroastrian religion and philosophy and the modern Persian language have been immense.The Medes are closely related to the modern Kurds. This is the land, which some people believe to be the paradise, Airyanem Vaego. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. He then led a large army into Assyria and having defeated the Assyrians, pursued them to the gates of the Assyrian capital Nineveh. Even prominent historians like Sir Richard Frye have limited the use of the word "Aryan" while referring to Iran's ancient period. Tales also abound on how Porushaspa came under the influence of a wicked magician called Duasrobo and tried to kill the young child Zarathushtra on his insistence. Amasis had always hoped that the Greeks would come to their aid in the case of a Persian invasion but the Greek Cypriots preferred to join with Cambyses. By the time they caught up with Cyrus again, he had crossed into Persia and at the head of a Persian contingent now, he repulsed the soldiers who returned empty-handed to Ecbatana. Cyrus, at once took an aggressive posture and invaded Asia Minor taking Diabekr, Malatiyah and Gurun. This. Pactyas, a Lydian, who had been entrusted with the duty of conveying the treasures of Croesus and his more wealthy subjects to Ecbatana, revolted against Tabalus, the Persian commandant of the town, and being joined by the native population and numerous mercenaries, principally Greeks, whom he hired with the treasure that was in his hands, made himself master of Sardis, and besieged Tabalus in the citadel. He then assumed the titles of "king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four sides of the world.". Tradition says that he was remarkably handsome, cautious, and of an easy and generous temper. Below him lay the six Amesha Spentas about whom we had already seen. He rebels against the Medes in 553. However, Zoroaster had the last laugh when he travelled to the Iranian court and converted the Shah of Iran to his new religion. However, all the sources agree to the fact that Cyrus II was sent to the court of the Median ruler Astyages at Ecbatana at a very early age. However, the Iranologist George Rawlinson gives evidence to the contrary. He is credited with having built a palace in the capital city,Ecbatana. Some say that he committed suicide. The ambitious Cyrus had always willed to take his armies into Egypt but died before he could realize his dream. Similarly, a menstruating woman, corpse of a human being, etc. At intervals of a day's ride there are posting stations, where new men and fresh horses will be available at any moment to carry a document on through the next day's journey. The Nasks themselves haven't survived in their entirety, except for one, the Vendidad which has been translated into English and most European languages. Recent genetic researches have revealed that the Aryans were actually a Middle-Eastern tribe closely related to the other peoples of the fertile crescent and were the descendants of the people who migrated to the Iranian plateau around 10,000 years ago, forming civilizations like the Elamite one. Ecbatana surrendered and Media became a province of the fledgling Persian Empire. At this juncture, there appeared disturbing news from Persia. The Scythian hegemony lasted eight years during which they earned a reputation for avarice through their repeated exactions. "moving camels" or "driving camels," and related to Avestan zar- "to drag" (Bailey, 1953:40-42), "desiring camels" or "longing for camels" and related to Vedic har- "to like" and perhaps (though ambiguous) also to Avestan zara-. The priests declared him an incarnation of the sacred bull of Egyptian mythology Apis and the whole country rose into revolt in support of the disinherited king. During the 7th century BC, one Hakhamanisha rose to power and crowned himself the first King of Persia.
His original Persian name might have been Kambujiya, which is of pure Indo-European origin and is synonymous with Kamboja. These people, who had been commonly designated as Aryans, are believed to be the ancestors of the Iranians of today. Dhalla mentions two Magian priests Bendva and Grehma who were his sworn enemies.
Dhalla says that Zoroaster wanted to have a glimpse of the Great Lord Ahura Mazda but couldn't. Zoroaster is believed to have born between 1400 and 1000BC in Northern Iran close to the Caspian coast. This was the largest Empire till then to have ruled over the region. Ironically, for a man who spent a lifetime fighting superstition and rituals, the Avesta is filled with invocations to innumerable angels, black-magic, and prayers for the expiation of sins previously committed.These sins include introduction of any dead or impure matter into the holy fire, cremating or burying a corpse,etc. Finally, in 625BC, eager to throw off the Scythian yoke, Cyaxares invited the Scythian chiefs to a traditional banquet and had them treacherously murdered. Sensing an opportunity, Cambyses led an army of Persian soldiers and Arab mercenaries into Egypt. Pregnant women were regarded impure in Ancient Iran as they bore a grave in their wombs (in the form of a still-born child) and were to be confined to a corner of the house for nine-consecutive days and nights (known as Barashnum) far away from the holy fire. Like Hindus, the early Zoroastrians considered cows to be holy and a recipe made of cow's urine was considered to be an instant purifier which could absolve a man of any kind of sin. With this ended Cyrus' war in Asia Minor and when the last Greek city fell, he emerged as the undisputed master of West Asia stretching from Bactria to the Bosporus. Following the defeat of the Greeks, Hapages subdued the Carians, the Dorian Greeks, the Caunians, and the people of Lycia. This brought an end to the war. Cyrus was succeeded by son Khambujiya (Cambyses II). The end of the Median dynasty came with the conquest of Ecbatana by Cyrus in the year 549BC. In his inscriptions, he extensively uses his royal title "Vazraka" which means "the Great". Cyrus II was born in 590 or 576 BC as per different versions, the son of the Persian Emperor Cambyses I and the daughter of Astyages of Media, Princess Mandane. On October 10, the city of Sippar was seized without a battle. It was regarded as the Oldest Charter of Human Rights in the world by the government of Shah Mohamed Reza, a claim that has been subject to criticism from scholars, who point at the topical character of the document. We begin to get clear picture of the Medes only when they settle down in the country which is subsequently named after them and establish the Median Empire. The Persian system of taxation is tailored to each satrapy (the area ruled by a satrap, or provincial governor). The rebellious Lydians were disarmed. These were the laws as prescribed by the Avesta. According to the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great, Cyrus' dominions must have comprised the largest empire the world had ever seen. However, the Persians won the battle and Cyrus' body was found and carried to Persia where it was buried in the city of Pasargadae. Pactyas was pursued with unrelenting hostility, and demanded, in succession, of the Cymaeans, the Mytilenseans, and the Chians, of whom the last-mentioned surrendered him.
On October 12, Gubaru's troops entered Babylon, without facing any resistance from the Babylonians. However, with the passage of time, the Dastur was elevated to a position higher than that of the Magupat and the Magi themselves weren't picked ur from the Mede tribe. The actual Persian name of the Magi seems to have been Magupat which gradually changed into Mobed with the passage of time. Deioces was the unanimous choice to be the king of Media.
The first application was rejected. The Gathas, the sacred hymns of Zoroastrianism are believed to have been composed during this period.
Cambyses, the sources tell us, did not live long after the appearance of this new claimant to the throne. Do not therefore grudge me this little earth that covers my body.". The Medes were an ancient Indo-Aryan people. The capital was surrounded by a park where the king hunted wild animals. This was also the year when Cyrus conquered Media and made himself the master of Iran. But Cyaxares did not launch a siege of Nineveh. Apart from the Amesha Spentas, there were the Fravashis (angels) and the Yazatas (Adorable ones) who were worshipped. The teachings of the Avesta appear highly-conservative even as per Zoroaster's standards. Cyrus ascended the throne of Persia in His actual name in Old Persian happens to be Kurush. Many believe that the Quranic figure of Zulqarnain is none other than Cyrus the Great though it has been seriously challenged by some. However, the inhabitants of these cities were treated well and retained a fair degree of independence. Median overlordship lasted until 559BC when Astyages was overthrown by Cyrus II or Cyrus the Great with whose reign Persia enters historical times. At the end of Cyrus' rule, the Achaemenid Empire stretched from Asia Minor and Judah in the west to the Indus River in the east. However, later fire gained prominence and gradually displaced all others as the principle object of worship. He judged it enough to send a general with a strong body of troops to put down the revolt, and continued his own journey eastward. Cambyses II is represented as one of the most ambitious conquerors of the mould of Alexander and Khusro Parviz for like his Macedonian and Sassanian successors he aspired to expand his Empire into hitherto unexplored and unconquered parts of the globe. Now with the successful conquest of Mesapotamia and the Middle East, the gates were open for an invasion of Egypt. His descendants overthrew the Medes and established the Achaemenid Dynasty. Following this invasion, the Medes appear to have become tributaries of Assyria and paid them regular tribute. The news reached Cyrus while he was upon his march; but, estimating the degree of its importance aright, he did not suffer it to interfere with his plans. M.N.Dhalla says that Zoroaster was disillusioned with his religion at a very early age. The fleeing Median soldiers were pursued deep into their territory along with their king and commander Astyages. Persian emperors of the 6th century BC are among the first to make a display of lavish floor coverings. But in the second battle against the Massagatse, Cyrus was killed by Sparagapises' mother Queen Tornyris who dipped his head in blood and reportedly used his skull as a vessel to drink fine wine for a long time afterwards. He presents himself as liberator of Babylon, releasing the people from the yoke of an unpopular king, and he is received as such. A battle was fought in which Cambyses I was killed. But died in an extremely suspicious circumstances. However, it remains to be seen to which extent these laws were implemented. Astyages succeeded Cyaxares in 585BC. It is believed that Zoroaster lived up to the age of seventy-seven.  On October 29, Cyrus himself entered the city of Babylon and arrested Nabonidus. Never before has such a large area, including so many people of different cultures and traditions, been controlled under a single system. However, he waited for four years until the death of Amasis before launching an invasion of Egypt. Like the founder of each and every other religion, tales of Zoroaster's early life are often spiced and flavored with miracles. He sent an army fifty thousand strong which perished in the middle of the African desert. They are believed by some to be the people of Madai mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible. He then retaliated by stabbing the sacred calf regarded as an incarnation of the sacred bull Apis, killed its priests and prohibited the festivals dedicated to Apis. His prayers bore fruit with the birth of the Prophet. Apart from being a treasure in the eyes of a theologian, the Avestan books were also of immense historical interest. In 529BC, soon after Cambyses had established himself on the throne, he demanded of Amasis, the Pharaoh of Egypt to send his daughter to him as a secondary wife. On conclusion of the first, the Medes had to flee as their camp was taken over and their royal insignia fell into the hands of the Persians. The Iranians, prior to the birth of Zoroaster, worshipped natural forces. The Persian soldiers capitalized on this discovery and enjacted a breach. However, this period is especially remembered for the ascendancy of the Zoroastrian priestly class called the Magi. They exercised their power over much of modern-day Iran for a brief span of around 150 years. The name Zardosht is believed to have originated from either Zarat-ustra or Zarant-ustra.There are different theories with regard to the origin of his name: The Avesta is believed to have been compiled by the Prophet himself who dictated the 21 Nasks to his son-in-law Jamasp who inscribed the scripture in golden letters on cow hides. From cuneiform sources, it has now become clear that Cyrus' reign came to an end in the summer of 530. He also says that the Medes were known to the Greeks and were referred to under the eponyms Medea and Andromeda. The Zand or the Zainti is believed to be a commentary in the Avesta which was essential for the religious text to be understood. He stressed upon piety and goodness and was a sworn enemy of the Magian priests whom M.N.Dhalla calls Daivayasnians. In 539 BC, towards the end of September, Cyrus' armies, under the command of Gubaru, the governor of Gutium, attacked Opis on the Tigris river and defeated the Babylonians after a minor uprising.
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