Terms in this set (40)
A group of states and people united and ruled by a monarch (emperor) or an oligarchy which is a small elite ruling group. Cyrus the Great was the first ruler who united the Persian Empire.
An emperor ruled over an empire. Ashurbanipal was an emperor of the Assyrian Empire.
A king ruled over a kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar II was a king who ruled over Babylon.
Iron age (1200-1000 BC)
The period following the Bronze Age in which people used tools and weapons out of iron. Because of the Iron Age, it made the rise of the empires possible.
A power vacuum is formed after an empire falls and there is no major power in charge. The Hittites left a power vacuum for the Assyrian Empire.
Assyrian military society
The first people to recognize the power of iron over bronze for military weapons. The Assyrians were known for their military machine and were feared by other nations.
Polytheism is believing in many gods. The Egyptians were polytheists because they believed that many gods were in control of their world.
This was the largest empire established after the end of the Neo-Babylonian rule. The Persian Empire was first unified by Cryus the Great who was the part of the Achaemenid dynasty.
This was the integration of language, art, law, and religion of one culture with another culture. The Hittites assimilated Mesopotamian culture into their own.
The Kings' Eye
Officials selected by King Darius to keep him informed about local government activities in each satrap. The Kings' Eye was one way Darius used to manage the large Persian empire and maintain control.
A force of 10,000 Persian soldiers loyal to the Persian king to control the empire. The immortals were another way for the Persian king to maintain control of his empire.
It is a way to exert imperial control in distant conquered regions.
In order for an empire to be successful, effective bureaucracy is needed to ensure communication, collect taxes, oversee treasury, and enforce laws.
The tribute system
This is where the countries within an empire would pay tributes (forced gifts) to the ruler of the empire. The tribute system was another way for King Darius to maintain control of his empire.
The division of an empire into provinces ruled by a governor or a satrap. King Darius separated his empire into 20 Satrapies which were each ruled by a satrap who had to be Persian.
Great Powers Club
A collection of empires between 1650-1360 including Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, and Mittanians.
The Royal Road was built by Darius that has a 1,700 mile stretch from Susa to Sardis. The Royal Road was important because it served as an efficient way of communication and travel for government officials and military in the Persian Empire.
This was a military strategy of the Assyrian military society. The siege machine consisted of a tall middle tower with four wheels, a turret at the top, and one or two battering rams at the bottom.
These were people who spoke semitic languages like Hebrew, Assyrian, Arab, and Babylonian people. The Assyrians and Babylonians were key empires in the ancient Middle East.
First Indo-Europeans who made use of iron in military weapons, and fought against the Egyptians until a peace treaty was signed. They like to assimilate other cultures into their own, including language, literature, art, law and religion.
A prominent king of Assyria famous for introducing advanced civil, military and political systems into the Assyrian Empire
Assyrian king famous for his Black Obelisk, a black limestone relief sculpture showing the king receiving tribute from various conquered peoples, including a tribute from Jehu, king of Israel.
Hurrian kingdom in northern Mesopotamia which was destroyed by the Hittites
Asurbanipal killing lions
Best known Assyrian art showing ceremonial scenes of the king and his warriors hunting. The reliefs support the Assyrian military society where discipline, brute force, and toughness are valued.
This work architecture featured blue glazed bricks depicting Marduk's dragon and Adad's bull, led the way to the temple of Marduk. The gate demonstrated the power of Nebuchadnezzar II in making Babylon one of the greatest cities of the ancient world.
Lamassu from the citadel of Sargon II
Large human-headed winged bulls offering protection considered guardians at gates or doorways of the city and the palace
Shows sitting king, Darius, and his successor, Xerxes, receiving tributes at the King's palace in Persepolis 491-486 BC
This is a more refined scene compared with with Ashurbanipal's relief which shows a hunting scene
Sacking of Susa
The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal destroyed Susa completely between 645-640 BC to avenge the perceived wrongs the people of Mesopotamia had suffered at the hands of the Elamites.
2600-year old clay object, inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform
Symbol of tolerance, diversity, and human rights as reflected by the policies of Cyrus the Great
How are empires sustained?
1.Payment of tributes to main ruler
2. Military presence (outposts or mercenaries) throughout the empire
3. Emperor has his representatives who govern according to his will
What makes empires fall?
1. Hoarding of wealth and overtaxation of subjects (Persian empire)
2. Civil war and resentment of rulers (Assyrian empire)
How did Assyria rise?
1. Power vacuum left behind after the fall of Hittites
2. The Iron Age (1200-1000 BC) resulted in use of iron ore for powerful military weapons
3. Powerful Assyrian military machine
How did Assyria fall?
1. Civil war between Assyrian nobles
2. Resentment and rebellion against brutality of Assyrians
What does Hanging Garden of Babylon (or art) show about a civilization?
It is one of the characteristics of a well-run empire. Art flourishes when there is peace in a society and the country is not constantly at war or going to war.
How is geography important to an empire?
1. Good transportation system (roads, canals, ports) to allow for trade, movement of military troops and equipment, and communication for government officials
2. Rivers grow cities because of strong agriculture which provides food for the population, products for trade, and communication system for trading
3. Geographical location helps to increase trade between neighboring regions. For e.g. Assyrians were intermediaries because of their location
Compare and contrast: management of vassal states (Assyrians)
Example is Tiglath-Pileser III
1. Successful centralized government - efficient military, financial, administrative system
2. Army was heart of government rule
3. Bureaucracy to control distant conquered regions
4. System of communication was posting stages to carry messages throughout empire
5. Assimilation of conquered people's cultures to create a mixed culture
Compare and contrast: management of vassal states (Persians)
Example is Darius, the Great King
1. Empire divided into 20 satrapies
2. "King's eye" to inform the king about local government activities in each satrap
3. The Royal Road to allow for communication and travel for government officials and military in the Persian Empire
4. Fair tribute system
5. Strong military
Compare and contrast: Assyrian military strategies
Large, disciplined, well organized army equipped with iron weapons.
Use of different military tactics (guerilla and seige warfare) and terror tactics (looting, burning, torture)
Compare and contrast: Persian military strategies
1. Professional soldiers composed of men from different regions of empire.
2. The Immortals - A force of 10,000 Persian soldiers loyal to the Persian king to control the empire.
3. Persian navy included ships from subject states.
Compare and contrast: religious tolerance
Cyrus Cylinder - allowed people to rebuild their temples (e.g. Jews to return to Jerusalem) and freedom to worship their own religions
Amorite ruler of Babylon who established the First Dynasty of Babylon. He conquered many city-states in southern and northern Mesopotamia and is best known for a code of laws, inscribed on a black stone pillar, illustrating the principles to be used in legal cases.