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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 that culminated with Cyrus overthrowing the Medes and elevating the Achaemenid Persians among the other chief powers of their time (the Lydians, Neo-Babylonians, and Egyptians)

ca. 1000 BC - the Scythians, Cimmerians, Parthians, Medes, and Persians arrive on the Iranian Plateau
ca. 725 BC - Sargon II of Assyria receives tribute from the tribes of the Zagros, the Medes included
708-686 BC - reign of first Median king, Deiokes
705-675 BC - reign of first Persian king, Achaemenes
686-633 BC - reign of Median king, Phraortes;the Parthians and Persians fall under Median control and become "vassals"
675-640 BC - reign of Persian king, Tespis
646 BC - Ashurbanipal of Assyria destroys Elam
640-580 BC - the Persian king Cyrus I rules Anshan
633 BC - Phrarotes dies in battle, Scythian domination over Media
627 BC - Death of Ashurbanipal
626 BC - Revolt of Babylon by Nabopolassar, new ruling dynasty (Neo-Babylonians)
625 BC - Cyaxerxes overthrows Scythians, re-establishes Median control over the Zagros
614 BC - Medes and Neo-Babylonians sack Ashur; Median princess Amytis is married to the crowned prince of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar II, uniting the two kingdoms
612 BC - Ninevah falls, end of Assyrian Empire
605 BC - Naboplassar dies, succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar II
600-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against Urartians
590-585 BC - Cyaxerxes wages war against 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.
580-559 BC - the Persian king Cambyses I rules Anshan
580 BC - plagued by visions that his grandson would be his ruin, Astyages marries his daughter, Mandane, to a minor Persian vassal---Cambyses I
576 BC - Mandane gives birth to Cyrus II; Astyages had another vision of his ruin and orders the child to be killed; his general Harpagus 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 Anshan
552 BC - Cyrus leads a revolt against his grandfather, Astyages, in revenge for trying to have him killed as an infant; at the battle of Hyrba leading the Persian cavalry he trounces the Median cavalry
551 BC - indecisive battle of the Persian Border between armies of Astyages and Cyrus
550 BC - battle of Pasargadae saw Cyrus routing Astyages' army and becoming sole ruler of the Iranian Plateau; beginning of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)

Video/Herodotus The Father of History: How to Read him Properly

Video/History of Battle - The Siege of Lachish (701 BCE)
Video/History of Battle - The Battle of the Diyala River (c. 693 BCE)

Video/History of Battle - The Fall of Nineveh (612 BCE)

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