Achaemenid Period (c. 559-330 B.C.E.)

The Achaemenid or Persian Empire was named after its legendary founder, Achaemenes. Cyrus II was the first king, who obtained control over most of Iran by conquering the Median king Astyages. He conquered Babylon in 539, which included most of the Neo-Babylonian territory. His son was Cambyses II (reigned 530-522 B.C.E.), who conquered Egypt. Darius I, the successor of Cambyses, conquered much of northern India and famously attempted to annex much of Greece. Darius’ son, Xerxes I, invaded Greece and engaged in the major battles of Thermopylae, Slamis, and Plataea. Xerxes was ultimately defeated, signalling the end of the Achaemenid Dynasty.


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The Rare Book Department is in the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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