(634-562 BCE, ancient Babylon) Considered the greatest king of ancient Babylon. Under his reign, Babylon became the most powerful city-state in the region and he was considered the greatest warrior-king and ruler in the known world.
Bible: However, he was portrayed in an unflattering light in the Bible, particularly, in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Jeremiah (where he is seen as an 'enemy of God' and one whom the deity of Israelites intends to make an example of or, conversely, the agent of God used as a scourge against the faithless followers of Yahweh.)
However, he was responsible for the so-called Babylonian Exile of the Jews and, so, for the formation of modern-day Judaism (in that the temple destroyed, the Priestly class of the Levites of the Jews had to re-create their religion "in a foreign land" as recounted in Pslam 137 from the Bible).
(c. 600-530 BCE) The founder of the Achaemenid Empire. He build his empire by conquering the first Median Empire, then the Lydian empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Inclusive: He respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. The role of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects.
Human rights/Lasting influence: This is debated but, by some the Cyrus Cylinder has the oldest known declaration of human rights transcribed on it. Regardless, he is well recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations.
Bible: The Edict of Restoration, described in the bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion, where, because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the Jewish Bible as Messiah (Isaiah 44:24; 26-45:3; 13), and is the only non-Jew to be called so.
(Iron Age; 930s-720s BCE; located in ancient Levant) The kingdom emerged as an important local power by the 9th c. BCE before falling to the Neo-Assyrian or just Assyrian? Empire in 722 BCE. Israel's southern neighbor is the Kingdom of Judah. Samaria was a major city in this region. Has been referred to as "house of Judah." Also, referenced as Ephraim, the tribe whose territory housed the capital cities and the royal families. not finished..
United Monarchy: Is the name given to the Israelite kingdom of Israel and Judah, during the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, known primarily from the Hebrew Bible. On the succession of Solomon's son, Rehoboam, in c. 930 BCE, the biblical account reports that the country split into two kingdoms; the Kingdom of Israel (including the cities of Shechem and Samaria) in the north and the Kingdom of Judah (containing Jersusalem) in the south.
End of the United Monarchy: Following Solomon's death, in c. 926 BCE, tensions between the northern part of Israel containing the ten northern tribes, and the southern section dominated by Jerusalem and the southern tribes reached boiling point. When Solomon's successor Rehoboam dealt tactlessly with economic complaints of the northern tribes, the united kingdom of Israel and Judah split into two kingdoms: the northern Kingdom of Israel (which included cities of Shechem and Samaria) and the southern Kingdom of Judah, which contained Jerusalem; with most of the non-Israelite provinces achieving independence. The Kingdom of Israel )or Northern Kingdom or Samaria) existed as an independent state until 722 BCE when it was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, while the Kingdom of Judah (or Southern Kingdom) existed as an indepedent state until 586 BCE when it was conquered by the Babylonian Empire.
(Iron Age; located in ancient Levant) The kingdom emerged in the 8th century and enjoyed a period of prosperity as a client-state of first Assyria and then Babylon before a revolt against the Neo-Babylonian Empire led to its destruction in 586 BCE. It was a state established in the Southern Levant as a result of the break-up of the United Kingdom of Israel (1020-930 BCE) after the northern tribes refused to accept Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, as their king. At first, only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David, but soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah. The two kingdoms, Judah in the south and Israel in the north, co-existed uneasily after the split, until the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians in c. 722/721 left Judah as the sole remaining kingdom.
Bible: The major theme of the Hebrew Bible's narrative is the loyalty of Judah, and especially its kings, to Yahweh, which it states is the God of Israel. Accordingly, all the kings of Israel and almost all the kings of Judah were "bad," which in terms of Biblical narrative means that they failed to enforce worship of Yahweh alone. Of the "good" kings, Hezekiah (727-698 BCE) is noted for his efforts at stamping out idolatry (in this case, the worship of Baal and Asherah, among other Near Eastern divinities).
However, his successors revived idolatry which angered Yahweh. King Josiah (640-609 BCE) returned to the worship of Yahweh alone, but his efforts were too late and Israel's unfaithfulness caused God to permit the kingdom's destruction by the Babylonians in c. 587/586 BCE.
(region of Anatolia) Expanded territories into an empire that rivaled, threatened, the established nation of Egypt. The kingdom reached its peak under the reign of King Suppiluliuma I and his son Mursilli II (c. 1321-1295) after which it declined and, after repeated attacks by the Sea Peoples and the Kaska tribe, fell to the Assyrians. At its height it encompassed an area that included most of Asia Minor as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia. After c. 1180 BCE, the empire came to an end during the Bronze Age collapse, splintering several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 18th c BCE. Military made use of chariots.
Bible: Repeatedly mentioned throughout the Hebrew Tanakh as the adversaries of the Israelites and their god. According to Genesis 10, they were the descendants of heth, son of Canaan, who was the son of Ham, born of Noah (Genesis: 10: 1-6).
Divided into 3 kingdoms
Old Hittite Kingdom (1700-1500 BCE): Founded by Hattusili I (heir Mursili I), who conquered the area south and north of Hattusa. (see: Hattusili I and Mursili I)
Middle Hittite Kingdom (last monarch reigned until 1500 BCE) Goes into obscurity, under constant attack. Early Hittite rulers conducted treaties and alliances with neighboring states; the Hittites were thus among the earliest known pioneers in the art of international politics and diplomacy. This is also during the time the Hittite religion adopted several gods and rituals from the Hurrians.
New Hittite Kingdom: Re-emerges out of obscurity. Hittite civilization entered the period of time called the "Hittite Empire period." During this time, kingship strengthened.
Battle of Kadesh: Hittite prosperity was mostly dependent on control of the trade routes and metal sources. Because of the importance of Northern Syria to vital routes linking the Cilician gates with Mesopotamia, defense of this area was crucial, and was soon put to the test by Egyptian expansion under Pharaoh Ramesses II. The outcome of the battle is uncertain, though it seems that the timely arrival of Egyptian reinforcements prevented total Hittite victory. The Egyptians forced the Hittites to take refuge in the fortress of Kadesh, but their own losses prevented them from sustaining a siege. This battle took place in the 5th year of Ramesses II.
Downfall of Kingdom: After the Battle of Kadesh?, power of Hittites and Egyptians declined because of the rising power of the Assyrians. I don't know how important this is, but there are quite a few terms on list associated with the downfall: Shalmaneser I, Mittani, Muwatalli, Mursili III, Hattusili III, Rammeses II, Treaty of Kadesh, and Nebachadnessar I.
(thrived from c. 8000 BCE to c. 525 BCE)
Divided into 3 kingdoms
Old Egyptian Kingdom: (c. 2686-c.2181 BCE; Dynasties 3-6) Egypt known as "kemet" which means "Black Land" so named for the rich, dark soil along the Nile River where the first settlements began. During this period, architecture developed at an increased rate and some of the most famous monuments in Egypt, such as the pyramids and the Great Sphinx at Giza, were constructure. The Pharaoh Djoser (r. 2691-2626 BCE, built the first Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
First intermediate period & the Hyksos: (2181-2040 BCE; Dynasties 7-11) A decline in power of the central government. Independent states with their own rulers developed throughout Egypt until two great centers emerged: Hierakonpolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These centers founded their own dynasties which ruled independetly and intermittently fought one another for supreme control. The Theban Pharaoh Mentuhotep II defeated forces of Hierakonopolis and united Egypt under the rule of Thebes. This stability allowed for the flourishing of the Middle Kingdom.
Middle Egyptian Kingdom: (2040-1782 BCE; Dynasties 12 and early 13) Considered the "Classical Age" when art and culture reached great heights and Thebes became the most important and wealthiest city in the country. Luxurious spending and building projects, combined with uncontrolled flooding of the Nile River which caused famine, weakened the government at Thebes to the point where it had no power to halt the increasing influence of the Hyksos people in the Nile Delta. The Hyksos grew in power until they were able to take control of Lower Egypt which rendered the Theban Dynasty of Upper Egypt as a vassal state and the pharaoh no more than a figurehead.
Second intermediate period: (1782-1570 BCE; Dynasties 14-17): Marks period when Egypt fell into disarray for a second time. Best known when the Hyksos made their appearance in Egypt and who reign comprised of the 15th dynasty.
New Egyptian Kingdom: (1550-1069 BCE): Ahmose I initiated the period of the New kingdom which again saw great prosperity in the land under a strong central government. Many of the Egyptians sovereigns best known today ruled during this period and the majority of the gerat structures of antiquity such as the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and Queens, were built during this period. Queen Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) greatly expanded trade with other nations, her 22 year reign was one of peace and prosperity for Egypt. The greatest ruler of the New Kingdom was Ramesses II/Ramesses the Great (1279-1213 BCE) who commenced the most elaborate building projects of any Egyptian ruler and who reigned so efficiently that he had means to do so. Although the famous Battle of Kadesh of 1274 (between Ramesses II of Egypt and Muwatilli II of the Hittites) is today regarded as a draw, Ramesses considered it a great Egyptian victory and himself as a champion for his people. Under his reign the first peace treaty in the world was signed (Treaty of Kadesh).
Sea Peoples: His successor Ramesses III, followed his policies but, by this time, Egypt's great wealth had attracted the attention of the Sea Peoples who began to make regular incursions along the coast. the Sea Peoples, like the Hyksos, are of unknown origins but are thought to have come from the southern Aegean area. Between 1276-1178 BCE the Sea Peoples were a threat to Egyptian security (Ramesses II had defeated them in a naval battle early in his reign). After his death, however, they increased their efforts, sacking Kadesh, which was under Egyptian control, and ravaged the coast. But Ramesses III eventually defeated them.
(dates?) An ancient Akkadian-speaking Semitic state and cultural region based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present day Iraq). Used cuneiform as their writing system. Often involved in rivalry with its fellow Akkadian state of Assyria in northern Mesopotamia. Babylonia became the major power in the region after Hammurabi (c. 1792-1752 BCE) created a short lived empire. The state retained the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, despite its Amorite founders.
City of Babylon appears in the Bible: Books- Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the Book of Revelation.
Sargon of Akkad founded the city of Babylon: Babylon was founded by Sargon the Great who ruled from 2334-2279 BCE. At this time it was a minor city or a large port town on the Euphrates River close to the Tigris River.
Hammurabi/establishment of the Babylonian Empire: Hammurabi (1782-1750 BCE) is the most famous king of the city of Babylon. He was an Amorite prince who quickly transformed the city into one of the most powerful and influential in all of Mesopotamia. Hammurabi's law codes are well known but are only one example of the policies he implemented to maintain peace and prosperity. He enlarged and heightened the walls of the city, engaged in great public works which included opulent temples and canals, and made diplomacy an integral part of his administration. So successful was he in both diplomacy and war that, in 1755 BCE, he had united all of Mesopotamia under the rule of Babylon which, at this time, was the largest city in the world, and named his realm Babylonia. However, following his death, his empire fell apart and Babylonia dwindled in size and scope until Babylon was easily sacked by the Hittites in 1595 BCE.
Kassites -> Sennacherib -> Esarhaddon -> Nebuchadnezzar II: The Kassites followed the Hittites, after them the Assyrians dominated the region, under the Assyrian ruler Sennacherib (r. 705-681 BCE). He sacked the city of Babylon, his extreme measures were considered impious and the court's assassinated his sons. Because of this, his successor, Esarhaddon, re-built Babylon and returned it to its former glory.
Neo-Babylonian Empire/Nebuchadnezzar II: After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, a Chaldean named Nebopolassar took the throne of Babylon and created the Neo-Babylonian Empire. His son, Nebuchadnezzar II (604-561 BCE) renovated the city and it was considered very impressive and beautiful. The Hanging Gardens were constructed during his reign. Also, during the building of this project, was the same time of the Babylonian exile of the Jews and the period in which the Babylonian Talmud was written.
Persian rule/Cyrus the Great: In 539 BCE the empire fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great at the Battle of Opis. Under Persian rule, Babylon flourished as a center of art and education. Cyrus and his successors held the city in great regard and made it the administrative capital of their empire.
Alexander the Great:
The Persian Empire was created by nomadic Persians. However despite its success and rapid expansion, the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as by 6th century BC another group of ancient Iranian peoples had already established Median Empire. The Medes had originally been the dominant Iranian group in the region, rising to power at the end of the 7th c. BCE and incorporating the persians into their empire. Initially, the Assyrian Empire (911-609 BCE) dominated the region, however the Medes and Persians (together with the Scythians and Babylonians) played a major role in the defeat of the Assyrians and establishment of the first Persian Empire. The delegation of power to local governments is thought to have eventually weakened the king's authority, causing resources to be expended in attempts to subdue local rebellions, leading to the disunity of the region.
Dynasties of the Persian Empire
Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BCE), also called the "First Persian Empire"
Cyrus the Great: It wasn't until Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II of Persia) that the Achaemenid Empire developed the prestige of an empire and set out to incorporate the existing empires of the ancient east, becoming the vast Persian Empire of ancient legend. At some point, in 550 BC, Cyrus the Great rose in rebellion against the Median Empire eventually conquering the Medes and creating the first Persian Empire. He was a great politician which was reflected in his management of his newly formed empire, as the Persian Empire became the first to attempt to govern many different ethnic groups. He didn't interfere in local customs, religions, and trade of its subject states, a quality that eventually won him the support of the Babylonians.
Alexander the Great: However, this ended up weakening the centralization of the empire because it required more resources and troops to manage. This led to resources being extended to subdue local rebellions, leading to the disunity of the region at the time of Alexander the Great's invasion in 334 BCE. Alexander who was an admirer of Cyrus, eventually caused the collapse of the empire.
Persepolis: During the rule of the Great Darius I, Persepolis was a symbol of the empire serving both a ceremonial center and a center of government. Tall, decorated columns welcomed visitors and emphasized the height of the structure.
Parthian Empire (247-224 BCE), also called the "Arsacid Empire"
Sasanian Empire (224-651 BCE), also called the "Neo-Persian Empire" and the "Second Persian Empire"
Name for the mountainous region of ancient Palestine, based on the borders of the biblical Northern Kingdom of Israel. Ancient city of Samaria was the capital of the Kingdom of Israel? Ancient Shechem (near modern Nablus) in the center of Samaria, served as the crossroads and political center of the region. According to the Hebrew Bible, the region was captured by the Israelites from the Canaanites and was assigned to the Tribe of Joseph. After the death of King Solomon (c. 931 BCE), the northern tribes, including those of Samaria, separated from the southern tribes and established the separate Kingdom of Israel. In 726-722 BCE, the new king of Assyria, Shalmaneser V, invaded Canaan and besieged the city of Samaria.
Contained the remaining ten tribes, but following Samaria's conquest by Assyria, these were allegedly dispersed and lost to history, and henceforth known as the Ten Lost Tribes.
: Name of the god of the ancient Hebrews comprised of four Hebrew consonants, YHWH, which the prophet Moses (as) is said to have revealed to his people. He was a desert god who, according to the biblical Book of Exodus, led his chosen people from captivity in Egypt to the 'promised land' of Canaan. Like all gods of antiquity, Yahweh was a specific deity of a place and people. It was commonly accepted in antiquity that every deity was only accessible in that region over which the deity presided.
Canaan: At the time of the arrival of the Hebrews (or, at least, by the time Hebrew Scriptures were written down), worshipped the many gods of their own pantheon, and the entirety of the scripture known as the Tanakh can be read as a struggle between the monotheistic belief of the scribes of Yahweh and the polytheistic religion of the indigenous people.
Nebuchadnezzar: Yahweh, as the actual name of the supreme being, seems to have remained in use until the Babylonian Exile in the 6th century BCE. At the time King Nebuchadnezzar attacked and defeated Judah (as the southern kingdom of what was once Canaan came to be called) and carried off the aristocratic and elite of Babylon. In this way the culture of the Hebrews, and the name of Yahweh was preserved throughout the Exile.
archives on clay tablets, mostly diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives during the New Kingdom. Mostly written in Akkadian cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, rather than of ancient Egypt. Includes correspondence from the preceding reign of Amenhotep III as well, contained hundreds of diplomatic letters.
Significance=International relationship: Tablets shed light on Egyptian relations with Babylonia, Assyria, the Mittani, the Hittites, Syria, Canaan, and Cyprus. Important for establishing chronology.
Larsa was an important city of ancient Sumer. The city became a political force during the Isin-Larsa period. After the third dynasty of Ur collapsed ca. 2000 BCE, Ishbi-Erra, an official of Ibbi-Sin, the last king of the Ur III Dynasty, relocated to Isin and set up a government which purported to be the successor of the Ur III dynasty. From there, Isbhi-Erra captured Ur as well as the cities of Uruk and Lagesh, which Larsa was sbuject to. Subsequent Isin rulers appointed governors to rule over Lagash; once sunch governore was an Amorite named Gungunum. He eventually broke with Isin and established an independent dynasty in Larsa. To legitimize his rule and deliver a blow to Isin, Gungunum captured the city of Ur. As the region of Larsa was the main center of trade via the Persian Gulf, Isin lost an enormously profitable trade route. Larsa grew powerful, but never accumulated a large territory. After the defeat of Rim-Sin I (reigned during Larsa's peak) by Hammurabi of Babylon, Larsa became a minor site, though it has been suggested that it was the home of the 1st Sealand Dynasty of Babylon. ← could someone double check this (2350-2150 BCE) Was an ancient Semitic empire centered in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region in ancient Mesopotamia which united all the indigenous Akkadian speaking Semites and the Sumerian speakers under one rule within a multilingual empire. The Akkadian Empire controlled Mesopotmia, the Levant, and parts of Iran. Akkadian eventually replaced Sumerian as the spoken langauge. After the fall of the Akkadian Empire, the Akkadian people of Mesopotamia eventually coalesced into two major Akkadian speaking nations: Assyria in the north, and, a few centuries later, Babylonia in the south. During the Akkadian period, the Akkadian language became the lingua franca of the Middle East, and was officially used for administration, although the Sumerian language remained as a spoken and literary language.
Sargon of Akkad: The Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BCE, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE). Sargon of Akkad means "legitimate king." He defeated Lugal-Zagesi in the Battle of uruk and conquered his empire.
Naram Sin: (2254-2218 BCE) due to vast military conquests, assumed the imperial title of the "king of the four qaurters" of the world. He faced revolts at the start of his reign, but quickly crushed them.
Curse of Akkad: Curse fell on Akkad because of Naram-Sin's attack on the city of Nippur. Naram-Sin sacked the E-kur temple supposedly protect by the god Enlil, head of the pantheon.
Decline: Possibly associated with rapidly increasing aridity, and failing rainfall in the region of the ANE = 4.2 BP event. After four centuries, this resulted in the collapse of the Akkadian empire based in southern Mesopotamia.
(c. 972 BCE) Empire was the Mesopotamia. Used to be an Akkadian kingdom. During this period, Assyria assumed a position as the most powerful state on Earth. The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the the first true empire in the world. The Assyrians had expanded their territory from the city of Ashur over the centuries into Mesopotamia, part of Anatolia, the Levant, and Egypt. They fielded the most effective fighting force in the world at that time, the first to be armed with iron weapons, whose tactics in battle made them invincible. Their political and military policies have also given them the longstanding reputation for cruelty and ruthlessness. The kings of the empire, such as Tiglath Pileser III, Shalmaneser V, Sargon II, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon, are mentioned a number of times throughout the Bible as the enemies of the Israelites, although the inscriptions of the Assyrians and the books of the Bible differ, sometimes dramatically, on how events unfolded between the two nations. **On final: This is most notable in Sennacherib's inscriptions regarding the conquest of Judah and the account given in the biblical Book of Isaiah 37, II Chronicles 32:21, and II Kings 18-19. (2500-605 BCE; spanned the early bronze age through to the late iron age; in Northern Mesopotamia, near Tigris River; original capital of Assur) Major Mesopotamian East Semitic kingdom and empire of the Ancient Near East, existing as an independent state. As a substantial part of the greater Mesopotamian "cradle of civilization" which included Sumer, Akkad, and much later Babylonia, Assyria was at the hieght of technological, scientific and cultural achievements for this time. It was originally one of a number of Akkadian city-states in Mesopotamia. In the 25th-24th c. BCE, Assyrian kings were pastoral leaders, and from teh 24th c. BCE became subject to Sargon of Akkad, who united all the Akkadian Semites and Sumerian-speaking peoples of Mesopotamia under the Akkadian Empire. However, towards the end of Sargon the Great's reign, Assyrian faction rebelled against him. The Akkadian Empire was destroyed by economic decline and internal civil war, followed by attacks from barbarian Gutian people in 2154 BCE). The rulers of Assyria during this period regained full independence, as the Gutians are only known to have administered Southern Mesopotamia. Most of Assyria briefly became part of the Ur III dynasty, founded in 2112 BCE.
History divided into three parts:
(1) Old Assyrian: Consisted of a number of city states and small Semitic kingdoms. In 1809 BCE, the throne of Assyria was usurped by Shamshi-Adad I in the expansion of Semitic Amorite tribes from the Khabur River delta in the north eastern Levant. It was shortly under Babylonian dominion after Hammurabi conquered major cities. The emergence of the Mittani Empire in the 16th c. BCE led to a short period of Mittani-Hurrian domination. The Assyrian monarchy did survive.
(2) Middle Assyrian: Began at the fall of the Old Assyrian kingdom of Shamshi-Adad I.
(see: Babylonian empire) (2000-1600 BCE) The early years saw a number of important states dominating the region: Isin, Larsa, Eshnunna and, from 1894 BCE, Babylon. Babylon was ruled by a dynasty of Amorite kings. The sixth ruler was Hammurapi, who defeated the other southern states and expanded his control into north Mesopotamia. On the death of Hammurapi the empire gradually shrank over about 150 years. Nonetheless, Babylon remained an important power until it was sacked by the Hittite kng, Mursili I, in about 1595 BCE. During the Old Babylonian period literary activity flourished with scribes composing and recording religious, poetic, and 'scientific' works in Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform. (550-486 BCE) The third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. Also called Darius the Great, he ruled the empire at its peak, when it included much of West Asia, the Caucasus, Central Asia as far as the Indus Valley, the eastern Balkans (Thrace and Macedonia), and portions of north and northeast Africa including Egypt, eastern Libya, and coastal Sudan. Darius organized the empire by dividing it into provinces and placing satraps to govern it. He organized a new uniform monetary system, along with making Aramaic the official language of the empire. Darius worked on construction projects throughout the empire, focusing on Susa, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon, and Egypt. He had the cliff-face Behistun Inscription carved to record his conquests, an important testimony of the Old Persian language.
Bible: Darius is mentioned in the Biblical books of Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra-Nehemiah, and Daniel.
Behistun inscription: (see behistun inscription) Is used as a primary source on Darius' life. The inscription brief autobiography with his ancestry and lineage. To aid the presentation of his ancestry, Darius wrote down the sequence of events which occurred after the death of Cyrus the Great.
Military campaigns: After securing his authority over the entire empire, Darius embarked on a campaign to Egypt where he defeated the armies of the pharaoh and secured the lands that Cambyses had conquered while incorporating a large portion of Egypt into the Achaemenid Empire. Darius led his armies to the Indus River, building fortresses and establishing Persian rule.
(576-530 BCE) The founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Under his rule the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and the Caucasus. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. His regal title included: The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. He built his empire by first conquering the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Governance: He respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. It is said that in universal history, the role of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subject. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps was Cyrus' idea.
Bible: Cyrus is the only non-Jew to be called Messiah in the Jewish Bible. He is given this title because his "Edict of Restoration" (divided into two edicts) left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion because of his policies in Babylon.
Edict of Restoration: The biblical book of Ezra includes two texts said to be decrees of Cyrus the Great, conqueror of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, allowing the deported Jews to return to their homeland after decades and ordering the Temple rebuilt. However, some scholars question its authenticity because of the differences in the Hebrew and Aramaic edicts, respectively.
Cyrus cylinder: Considered the oldest known declaration of human rights, however the professor disputes this.
A Semitic people of the Ancient Near East, who inhabited Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods (15th to 6th centuries BCE), and lived in the region in smaller numbers after the fall of the monarchy. The term "Israelites" in English is derived from the biblical term (Bnei Yisrael, which translates to "Children of Israel)) and refers to the descendants of the patriarch Jacob. Beginning in the 5th c. BCE, the two known remnants of the Israelite tribes came to be referred to as Jews and Samaritans, inhabiting the territories of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. Other terms sometimes used include the "Hebrews" and the "Twelve Tribes" (of Israel).
Merneptah stele: Some claim that the name Israel first appears c. 1209 BCE, at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the beginning of the period archaeologists and historians call Iron Age I, on the Merneptah Stele raised by the Egyptian Pharoah Merneptah.
Bible: The Hebrew Bible traces the Israelites to the patriarch Jacob, grandson of Abraham, who was renamed Israel after a mysterious incident in which he wrestles all night with God or an angel.
Famine: Jacob and his sons are forced by famine to go down into Egypt,. When they arrive they and their families are 70 in number, but within four generations they have increased to 600,000 men of fighting age, and the Pharaoh of Egypt was alarmed and first enslaved them and then ordered the death of all male Hebrew children.
Moses/Exodus?: A woman from the tribe of Levi hides her child in a woven basket and send him down the Nile River. He is named Moses (as) by the Egyptians who find him. At age 40 he had to run away because he murders an Egyptian. Later God of Israel calls to Moses and reveals to him his name Yahweh, and tells him he is being sent to the Pharaoh to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. Pharaoh refuges and as a result, Yahweh strikes the Egyptians with a series of plagues and catastrophes, after which he relents and banishes the Hebrews from Egypt.
Red Sea: Then the Pharaoh changes his mind and goes to the Red Sea to find them, however Yahweh causes the Red Sea to part and the Hebrews pass through on dry land into the Sinai, then the ocean closes on the Egyptian army.
Desert/Mount Sinai: In the desert, Yahweh feeds them with manna. The twelve tribes of Israel encamp around the mountain, and on the third day, Yahweh speaks the Ten Commandments. Moses fasts for 40 days and in his absence Aaron creates an image of a young golden bull and tells the Israelites to worship Yahweh, but Moses smashes the bull because it is idolatry.
Joshua/David: Forty years after the Exodus, following the death of the generation of Moses, a new generation led by Joshua, enters Canaan and takes possession of the land in accordance with the promise made to Abraham by Yahweh. David is eventually made king, and under him the Israelites establish the united monarchy, and under David's son, Solomon, they construct the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. On the death of Solomon and the reign of his son, Rehoboam, the kingdom is divided in two. Judah eventually falls into captivity in Babylon, the land left empty and desolate, and the Holy Temple itself destroyed.
Last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (r. 556-539). Depicted as a royal anomaly because he took an interest in Babylon's past, excavating ancient buildings and displaying his archaeological discoveries in a museum. He is most revered and is known as the first archaeologist. Not only did he lead the first excavations, but he also restored them to their former glory. He was the first to date an archaeological artificant in his attempt to date Naram-Sin's temple during his search for it. Even though his estimate was inaccurate by 1500 years, it was still good considering the lack of accurate dating technology. Also, he is supposed to have worshipped the moon god Sin beyond all other gods, and have neglected the Babylonian primary god, Marduk. Because of the tensions that these religious reforms generated, he had to leave the capital for the desert oasis of Tayma in Arabia early in his reign, from which he only returned many years.
Persian conquest of Babylonia: According to the Cyrus Cylinder, the people opened their gates for Cyrus and greeted him as their liberator. Isaiah 40-55 prophesied that the Persians would carry off Babylonian women and cultic statues. Herodotus said that Cyrus defeated the Babylonians outside their city, after which the siege began. Babylon and Nabonidus were captured. Like when Neo-Assyrian king Sargon II and later Alexander the Great, took the city, they allowed many Babylonian officials to remain and spent more time on negotiations with reps from the city.
According to the Book of Genesis , the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as a wife. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the Israelites from Canaan.
Tribe of Ephraim: According to the Hebrew Bible, this tribe was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh (Manasseh was Joseph's other son) together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph. The descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, whereas each of the other sons of Jacob was the founder of only one tribe. It was part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed , and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges (see Book of Judges). With the growth of the threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes decided to form a strong centralized monarchy to meet the challenge, and the Tribe of Ephraim joined the new kigndom with Saul as the first king. After the death of Saul's successor, the Tribe of Ephraim joined the other northern Israelite tribes in making David, who was then the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel.
Territory of/land of the Tribe of Ephraim: This territory contained the early centers of Israelite religion such as Shechem and Shiloh. These factors contributed to making Ephraim the most dominant of the tribes in the Kingdom of Israel, and led to Ephraim becoming a synonym for the entire kingdom. The border of Ephraim extended from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the West.
Ephraim was a member of the Northern Kingdom until the kingdom was conquered by Assyria in 723 BCE and the population deported. From that time, the Tribe of Ephraim has been counted as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel (which was prophesized in several books of the Bible). As part of the Kingdom of Israel, the territory of Ephraim was conquered by the Assyrians, and the tribe exiled.
A pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monotheistic or henotheistic.
Amarna Letters/International relations: Were a cache of diplomatic correspondence that provided important evidence about Akhenaten's reign and foreign policy. This correspondence comprises a priceless collection of incoming messages on clay tablets, sent to Akhenaten from various subject rulers through Egyptian military outposts, and from the foreign rulers (recognized as "Great Kings") of the kingdom of Mittani, of Babylon, of Assyria, and of Hatti. The governors and kings of Egypt's subject domains also wrote frequently to plead for gold from Pharaoh, and also complained that he snubbed and cheated them.
Rib-Hadda: Egypt wanted to maintain its international balance of power in the Ancient Middle East. However, a group Egypt's allies who attempted to rebel against the Hittites were captured and wrote letters begging Akhenaten for troops but he did not respond to most please. Most pointedly, he ignored the pleas of Rib-Hadda, who wrote 60 letters. However, he was not aided and was exiled from Byblos due to a coup.