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Monday, January 23, 2017

030 - Herodotus and the Rise of Persia

In this episode, we discuss the life, influences, drawbacks, and positives of the “Father of History”, Herodotus; and the political events of the Near East in the 7th and early 6th centuries BC, including the rise of the Medians and Neo-Babylonians and their destruction of the Assyrian Empire, and culminating with a young vassal king from Anshan, named Cyrus, who overthrew the Medes and elevated the Achaemenid Persians among the other chief powers of the time (the Lydians, the Neo-Babylonians, and the Egyptians)

ca. 1000 BC - The Scythians, Cimmerians, Parthians, Medes, and Persians (as part of the Indo-European migrations) arrive on the Iranian Plateau
ca. 725 BC - Sargon II of Assyria receives tribute from the tribes of the Zagros Mountains (included on the list are the Medes)
708-686 BC - The reign of first Median king, Deiokes
705-675 BC - The reign of first Persian king, Achaemenes
686-633 BC - The reign of Median king, Phraortes; the Parthians and Persians fall under Median control and become their "vassals"
675-640 BC - The reign of Persian king, Tespis
646 BC - Assyrian king Ashurbanipal destroys the Elamites
640-580 BC - The reign of the Persian king, Cyrus I
633 BC - Median king Phrarotes dies in battle; the Scythians begin to dominate Media
627 BC - The death of the Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal
626 BC - Nabopolassar and Babylon revolt from the Assyrian Empire and establish a new ruling dynasty (known as the Neo-Babylonians)
626-605 BC - The reign of Babylonian king, Nabopolassar
625 BC - Cyaxerxes overthrows Scythians, re-establishes Median control over the Zagros
625-585 BC - The reign of Median king, Cyaxerxes
614 BC - Medes and Babylonians sack Ashur; Median princess Amytis is married to the crowned prince of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, uniting the two kingdoms
612 BC - Ninevah falls, singaling the end of the Assyrian Empire
605 BC - Naboplassar dies, succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar II to Babylonian throne
605-562 BC - The reign of Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar II
600-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Urartians and Lydians
585 BC - Battle of Halys River; result was a tie due to an eclipse predicted by Thales; shortly after the battle, Cyaxerxes dies and is succeeded by his son, Astyages
585-550 - The reign of Median king, Astyages
580-559 BC - The reign of Persian king, Cambyses I
580 BC - Plagued by visions that his grandson would be his ruin, Astyages marries his daughter, Mandane, to a minor vassal---the Persian king, Cambyses I
576 BC - Mandane gives birth to Cyrus II; Astyages had another vision of his ruin and orders the child to be killed but his general Harpagus choses not to do it himself and delegates the job to a shepherd who instead raises the kid as his own
566 BC - The 10-year-old Cyrus is discovered and sent to live with his real parents
559 BC - Cambyses dies and the 17-year-old Cyrus becomes king of Persia
552 BC - Cyrus leads a revolt against his grandfather, Astyages; at the Battle of Hyrba, while leading the Persian cavalry, he trounces the Median cavalry
551 BC - An indecisive Battle of the Persian Border between forces of Astyages and Cyrus
550 BC - The Battle of Pasargadae saw Cyrus routing Astyages' army and becoming sole ruler of the Iranian Plateau; beginning of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

Primary Sources:

Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)

Video/Herodotus (Overly Sarcastic Productions)


File:Qyzqapan tomb relief Cyaxeres.jpg


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