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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

033 - The "Great King" Darius

In this episode, we discuss the ascension of Darius to the Persian throne; his consolidation of the empire and eastern campaigns; Zoroastrianism and the role Ahura-Mazda played in his reign; and his reform program, with a special focus on his creation of a new script (Old Persian), his new capital of Persepolis, his bureaucratic satrapies, the Royal Road, his "sort of" Red Sea/Nile River canal, and the creation of and influence of the gold "Daric"

522 BC - Following death of Cambyses, Darius wins civil war and is crowned king of Persia

522-520 BC - Darius puts down revolts to his kingship throughout the empire; afterwards he reorganizes the empire, dividing it into 20+ satrapies; Lydians and Ionians assigned to a satrap in Sardis, Greeks in the Hellespont and Propontis subjected to the satrap in Daskylion; these Greek cities are ruled by tyrants favorable to Persia, and are free of satrapal interference so long as they meet requirements of tribute and military service

519 BC - Construction of the new royal capital at Persepolis begins

519-515 BC - Darius campaigns east into modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

515 BC - Construction of the Royal Road begins

Primary Sources:

Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)

Video/Zoroastrianism (Khan Academy)


Recommended Podcast Episodes:
***Ancient Heroes - The World's First Superpower
***Wonders of the World - The Staircases of Persepolis

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