Persian Empire

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During the 6th century B.C., Cyrus, who was the leader of the Persians, an ethnic group who were under the rule of the Medes, gained control over the kingdom of the Medes. After having conquered Asia Minor and Mesopotamia, he then founded the Persian Achaemenidian Empire.

Kambiz, son of Cyrus, started a campaign against Egypt and conquered it. After his death, Darius I came to the power. During his reign Persia was transformed into one of the most advanced and organised political structures that the world had ever seen. Its borders stretched from Armenia to the river Indus in India.

In the famous cuneiform script of Darius I, son to Hystaspes (Vishtaseb), dated 512 B.C. and found at Bisutun in present-day Iran, it is written: “… and I conquered Pontos and Armenia…”. Thus, in 512 B.C. Armenia is presented to us for the first time in modern history.

The 7th century B.C. is known as the era when mankind left its childhood and began its youth. It was during this century that the republic of Rome started to take shape and the Greeks laid the cornerstones of their philosophy. Contemporaneously the great prophets of Israel emerged while Buddha spread his knowledge in India and Confucius his in China. Among the scripts there are many inscriptions that bear witness of several bloody battles, e.g. Zura, Tigra (Tigris) and Uyama, between Persia and Armenia, during the rule of Darius I. The sites of these battles testify to the Armenians’ skill in warfare for instead of merely defending their own land, they had started to wage war on enemy territory.

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