How did Archaemenid Persia manage to conquer such a massive empire in such a short period of time?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,756
Republika Srpska
Yahweh used Persia to chastise Babylon
and used Cyrus to return the Hebrews to Israel

Isa 45:1-3 "Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel."

Cyrus conceded divine assistance
2 Chron 36:23 "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? The LORD his God be with him, and let him go up."
The Persians conquered more than Babylon though.
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,648
Ontario, Canada
The world civilizations were in decline. The Persians being a semi-nomadic people which had started to develop their area in Fars were decent candidates. Ultimately what completely gave the Persians the advantage was Cyrus having become king of the Medes simultaneously. Being in control of the tribal and militant Medes, as well as the Iranian plateau, he was able to focus on westward expansion using those Median hordes. It is also fair to say that Cyrus' own abilities were a major factor. For instance he was accepted as ruler of the Medes over his father Astyages, if that isn't surprising then he was also chosen by the people in the city of Babylon as their king, over Nabonidus.
 
Jun 2019
14
London
The world civilizations were in decline. The Persians being a semi-nomadic people which had started to develop their area in Fars were decent candidates. Ultimately what completely gave the Persians the advantage was Cyrus having become king of the Medes simultaneously. Being in control of the tribal and militant Medes, as well as the Iranian plateau, he was able to focus on westward expansion using those Median hordes. It is also fair to say that Cyrus' own abilities were a major factor. For instance he was accepted as ruler of the Medes over his father Astyages, if that isn't surprising then he was also chosen by the people in the city of Babylon as their king, over Nabonidus.
What the hell happened with Cyrus and Astaryages? I believe our sources are conflicted. It seems like Cyrus rebelled against him and got his general to switch sides and then things get muddles after that
 

Lord Oda Nobunaga

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
5,648
Ontario, Canada
What the hell happened with Cyrus and Astaryages? I believe our sources are conflicted. It seems like Cyrus rebelled against him and got his general to switch sides and then things get muddles after that
Could be that Astyages tried to exert more power on his vassal tribes. The Persians rebelled as a result and Astyages invaded them. Somehow Cyrus was able to hold off the Medes until their army mutinied and Harpagus came over to Cyrus. Not sure if the Medes turned over Astyages or if they withdrew back to Ecbatana with Astyages. Either way Cyrus had to go north the next year and somehow took Ecbatana and became king.

The sources are not clear as to the specifics. Also the sources we do have tend to contradict on some of the more minor points.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,650
Australia
In any event, the answer is basically "they didn't". It was a civil uprising, which saw one local ruler with an entrenched power base gather other local allies with their own territories within this existing Empire, and then they banded together to overthrow the existing order and take over. It's totally distinct from someone like Alexander coming in from the outside and taking over the Empire.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,349
Sydney
The third thing Persian taught their children was telling the truth
even if there were deviations , it created a more harmonious society
also as a rising power there were less inequality between member of Persia army ,
the Achemenid was above all a war leader of the tribe
it create a bond and a sense of fellowship that mere mercenaries under some petty dynasty could hope for
urban civilization tend to erode the martial spirit
 
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Dreamhunter

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
7,503
Malaysia
I’ve been wondering about this question and decided to make this topic my first thread on this forum. I do a lot of reading on ancient near eastern empires, specially Assyriain the new Assyrian period. When compared the Achaemenid empire was much larger than that of the Assyrian empire at its peak, and it had taken the Assyrians well over 200 years to get that size. The Archamenids largest extent was under Darius I whose reign ended in 486 BC. So in what 64 years? the Archaemenids were able to rule over an empire larger than what had taken the Assyrians well over 200 years to build and much larger than all the other near eastern dynasties (Babylon, Egypt etc). How were they able to expand so fast?
It was the Assyrians who started the first vast empire. In doing that, they learned & incorporated ideas from the Hittites, Egypt & Mitanni. And they had not one but two periods of empire building to eventually leave their legacy.

Their Medean former vassals learned from them & eventually defeated them & basically took over their empire, then expanded some more.

History repeats itself. The Persian former vassals of the Medeans learned from them & basically took over the Medean empire, then expanded further.

There you go.
 
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