Xerxes by Margot

Ancient Persia

Ancient Persia spanned from Egypt in the west to Turkey in the north, through Mesopotamia to the Indus river in the east. Ancient Persia was in the 5 century in B.C.E, it was the largest empire the world had ever seen.

Rich resources of water, fertile farmland, and gold was found in Persia.

Persian rulers were know as "The Kings of Kings" and demanded total obedience from the subjects. Rulers would appoint Satraps to govern different parts of the land, to collect taxes and tributes, and enforce law and order into the land. They worked with the army commanders to defend the empire's frontiers from attack.

Persia famous army consisted of 150,000 warriors which included the Immortals, the most renowned ancient Persian worriers, feared for their mass scale of attack and that if you were to kill one another one would appear from right behind giving the effect of being immortal. They were the kings personal division.

The Persian empire conquered Babylon, Near East, Egypt, parts of India, and Greek city states to expand Persia.

The official Religion of Ancient Persia was Zoroastrianism. The religion am from a Persian prophet, who began preaching about a religion that only consisted around one god name Ahura Mazda. Zoroastrianism was based around good and evil. It was believed that in the after life Humans had to choose between good and evil as a final judgement. This judgement was watched over by Ahura Mazda who was embodiment of goodness and wisdom. If they chose evil they would go to Angra Mainya who is the originator of death and all evil things, and lives in the depths of hell. When a person dies they either go to heaven or hell.

In Ancient Persia, many subject areas had known long-lived traditions of indigenous kingship. Many of these traditions were abolished or adapted to fit the new king of Persia. When becoming king they need an understanding of previous systems and the resulting legacy among subsequent systems.

Xerxes Background Information

Xerxes was son to Atossa who was the daughter to Cyrus the Great who founded the Achaemenid Empire, and son to Darius the Great who died before he could finish making the persian Empire the greatest. Having both a grandfather and father who were great leaders Xerxes was accepted easily as leader, and when his father died in 484 B.C.E, Xerxes was 35 years old and had already governed babylonia for dozens of years. Xerxes was chosen in preference to lead Persia by his father over his older brother and was the oldest son to Darius and Atossa.

Career

While Xerxes was king of the Persian Empire he Immediately suppressed the revolts in Egypt and Babylon that had broken out the year before and then appointed his brother Achaemanes as governor or satrap over Egypt. He also started revolts in Babylong from confiscating and melting down the golden statue of Bel .

Xerxes saw himself as the King of Kings. He refused to take his father's title and instead took 'King of Persia and Media'. he treated every as subjects.

His religious beliefs was Zoroastrian like most Persians.

Xerxes contributed a lot to Persepolis, which is the Greek name for ancient city of Persia. Though the building of the city began under Darius, the glory of the building was due mainly to Xerxes and Artaxerxes II. Xerxes Built the great palace which consisted of a grand hall, which was 82 ft in length, with 4 large columns. This was where the nations subjected to the empire gave their tributes. The Empire was overlooked by Susan, babylon, Ecbatana and the Greeks to. They only knew of the city only after Alexander the Great looted the city.

a drawing of Xerxes
A representation of Xerxes as king in the movie 300

When the Persians invaded Greece again, XErxes wanted to take over all of Greece,and spent several years to plan the invasion, getting together an enormous army and navy. Xerxes watched the battles from near, by vantage point. when in the battle Xerxes ordered a frontal assault. He was going to force over 2 million men and 4 thousand ships over to Greece. This didn't go as planned for Xerxes, but he dismissed all the bad signs and proceeded towards his goal, which in the battle of Artemisium and Thermopylae provided victory.

In an invasion to Athens to ransack the city ending in a disaster, Xerxes retreated to his palace in Persepolis. He left his army behind, who were defeated by the greeks. 15 years later Xerxes was stabbed to death, which then put his son Artaxerxes in charge of the Persian empire.

Evaluation

Xerxes was I believe a very controversial leader. There were things that he did well at and created a better Persia, but then he was also 'power hungry'. As leader he wanted one thing and that was to make Persia the greatest, which as stated before he did in some ways but he also failed as well and was consumed by his hunger for power.

A carving of Xerxes in the remains of the city of Persia
Another modern representation of Xerxes in the movie 300
Statue of Xerxes

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