Persian prosperity

Persians, the main ethnic group in Iran today, account for about 2/3 of the total population. “Iran” originally meant the Aryan empire, covering a wider area than “Persia” because the ancient Persians were only a group of “Aryan foreigners” in Iran at first.

Compared with the modern country name “Iran”, the place name “Persia”, which has been called for more than two thousand years, is more reminiscent of the first great empire in human history that spanned Asia, Africa and Europe: the ancient Persian Empire (Achaemenid German Dynasty). Later, there were the Parthian dynasty and Sassanid dynasty in the area, corresponding to China’s Western Han Dynasty to the early Tang Dynasty.

After Persia ruled West Asia for more than 1,000 years, Arab civilization used Islam to “recover” the Mesopotamia, subdued Persia, and swept North Africa. After the four Arab empires led the way for hundreds of years, West Asia was again borrowed by Turks, conquered by Mongolia, and harassed by the kingdom of Christ in Europe. The role of the Safavid dynasty as the third empire of Persia was in the middle and late Ming dynasties of China.

In February 100 years ago, Reza Khan, a Persian officer, carried out a coup almost without blood. Four years later, he established the Pahlavi dynasty, calling himself the emperor of the “Fourth Persian Empire”. In February 1979, the Pahlavi dynasty was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution. After that, left-wing intellectuals were marginalized, wars and killings continued, and Iranian social development fell into decline.

Empire is the root, culture is the vein, and prosperity is the leaf. Not only the complex Persian architecture in the simple, the Persian carpet inlaid with gold in the silk, the mysterious and unpredictable miniature paintings, the pale yellow of Persian monuments, but also the Chinese elements of the Mongolian Khanate period complement each other to compose a prosperous Persian song. Elegy of the times.

Speaking of the word “Persian”, people may think of legends such as “sacred lamp” and “flying carpet”, as well as the ancient civilization of cuneiform writing. In fact, “Persia” is the ancient name of Iran, a modern country.

The indigenous Iranians are culturally similar to the Mesopotamia. They use cuneiform writing, build tall temples, and worship the patron saint. They built their own famous cities on the east and west sides of the Zagros Mountains, such as Anshan and Susa, while the west also bumped into the flourishing Babylon.

Around 3000 BC, the Aryans entered the Iranian plateau from the southern Russian grasslands. In the 10th century BC, the Iranian-speaking Medes replaced the Elamites through wars and marriages, and occupied Ecbatana, which means “intersection of the four directions.”

The ruins of Okbatana are now a wilderness in the city of Hamadan, with earthen walls and ruins criss-crossed. The free-growing weeds and the red poppies dotted between them made this original military powerhouse and holy city a good place for local citizens to walk around after dinner.

Not far to the south of the Ruins Park, you can reach the city center on foot, where a Jewish beauty with a legendary life, Esther, rests forever. She married into the Achaemenid dynasty of Persians. The Hollywood blockbuster “A Night with the King” tells the story of her persuading King Xerxes to spare the Jewish nation.

Cyrus who “not many words are ruthless”
According to “History” written by Herodotus, the “Father of History”, the birth of the Achaemenid dynasty and its founder Cyrus the Great have a wonderful history.

“A Night with the King” stills

At the time, Astias, king of the Medes, was a strange-tempered, suspicious and fickle. One night, he dreamed that his daughter, Mandani, had flooded the country with a flood. After waking up, he quickly summoned the priest to explain his strange dream. After hearing it, he was very worried. In order to avoid the realization of the prophecy, he hurriedly arranged the marriage of his daughter and married her to a Persian whose birth was lower than the Medes.

One year after the marriage, Astias began to dream again. This time he dreamed that a thick vine grew from his daughter’s belly button. The branches and leaves of the vine grew all the time, enough to cover the whole of Asia. This time the priest explained the dream and said that it is too late, and your grandson will replace you as the lord of a country and rule the entire Asia.

Sure enough, Astias learned that the princess had given birth to a baby boy. He couldn’t tolerate a child with a foreign surname taking away his family property, so he confessed to his neighbor Harpagus to deal with the child. Harpagus was very embarrassed and ran out into the wild, threw the hot potato to an ordinary shepherd, and asked him to kill the infant prince.

This little boy named “Cyrus” should never be killed. It happened that the shepherd’s wife had a miscarriage and gave birth to a dead baby, and her heart was sad. When the shepherd and his wife saw the cuteness wrapped in silk and satin, they had the idea of ​​”Covering the civet cat for the prince”, and used the dead baby to make a job, leaving Cyrus as a son to raise.

A few years later, this little Cyrus became the king of children, and he played role-playing with his friends. It was Cyrus’s turn to play the king. No matter who your father was, he directly beat up a silly son of a landlord who played a soldier. . The shepherd’s son dare to beat the nobles? In what manner, the Zhuangzi was directly accused to Astias.

King Medes also did it himself, and he really summoned the incognito little Cyrus to the court. Little Cyrus had his own aura of course. Astias felt that the situation was serious at first sight. He summoned Halpagus, who was not doing well, to question him, but it was done, and the king could only admit his grandson.

The “Prisoner of Babylon” was able to return home under Cyrus’ enlightened policy and rebuild the temple.

However, he spread the grievances on the veteran, executed Harpagus’ son, and ordered people to cook the corpse into a meal and serve it to Harpagus—this laid the roots of the downfall of the Medes. .

Years later, Cyrus, who had undergone rigorous military training and a comprehensive royal education, grew up. He was full of ambitions and the veteran of murder and hatred Harpagus hit it off. Persia went north, and drove Astias from the throne. This was the beginning of the Achaemenid dynasty in 550 BC.

Cyrus the Great succeeded in the uprising, unifying Medes and Persia, then opened up the frontiers to expand the territory, and expedition to Lydia and New Babylon to the west, bringing Asia Minor into the territory. He also liberated the Jews who were oppressed and looted by the Babylonians. The “Prisoner of Babylon” was able to return to their homeland under Cyrus’ enlightened policy and rebuild the temple.

The ruins of the city of Hamadan, Iran

But on the Eastern Front, Cyrus met his opponent-the Cypriot Queen Tomiris. The latter’s son committed suicide because he couldn’t bear the humiliation of being captured, and Tommyris couldn’t bear it, and he went to the battlefield to fight Cyrus to the death. As a result, in front of the strong woman on the grassland, Cyrus spent all his luck, and his head was stuffed into a pocket full of blood by the queen.

The tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae stands alone like a huge treasure chest on an open wasteland in Fars Province, Iran. According to the description of ancient travelers, there was once tree-lined, exquisite temples and palaces, surrounded by pools and gardens. Nowadays, Cyrus’ coffin and corpse are not known for a long time, but the marble tomb, a few residual pillars and a relief stone carving that suspects him are standing under the moon and in the wind.

Darius of “Huanghuang Weiye”
If Cyrus is not ruthless, it is the Persian emperor who has been heavily recorded by Greek historians such as Herodotus and Xenophon, then Darius is another one who has brilliant achievements, but directly stands on the stone. Be a famous prince who speaks for yourself. The archaeological discovery of the same significance as the Rosetta Stone, the Bethestown inscription, is proof of Darius’ boasting.

In fact, his superiority and seizure of power are not glorious. As a collateral nobleman, he assassinated the prince Baldia together with other nobles, married Cyrus’ daughter, and was also the wife of Atosha of the old queen. He established himself as king in 521 BC, called “the king of all nations, the king of kings.” .

Xerxes I led an army to invade Greece

The ambitious Darius dragged the Persian Empire into the quagmire of the protracted Hippo War.

Military, he took over the unfinished business of Cyrus. In addition to suppressing the rebellion of the old clan forces, he also successfully put down the rebellion in Egypt and countered the provocations of the Cypriots. The ambitious Darius also dragged the Persian Empire into the protracted Hippo War.

The Persian cavalry, who were good at fighting on land, arrived in the Mediterranean and returned home in front of the combined fleet led by Athens to defend the country. Darius was defeated in the first battle of the Marathon-modern long-distance running is named after the victory of Greece, the messenger rushed all the way from the marathon to Athens to report victory, and died suddenly from overwork.

Xerxes, the son of Darius and Atosha, unrelentingly continued to see Greece. The Spartans, a highly disciplined war machine, stood out in the battle against the Persians at this time.

It must be pointed out that in the American blockbuster “300 Warriors of Sparta”, the presentation of Xerxes and his Achaemenid court is simply ugly and distorted. At that time, the Persian nobles were all well-dressed and majestic, and they were very particular about the colors and accessories of their clothes. In the remains of the giant palace in Persepolis, the royal city of Darius, the towering carved stone pillars have survived thousands of years, and are no less inferior to the Pantheon in Athens; the walls depict the dynasties of all nations, the extravagant royal celebrations, and Hollywood movies. The image of the bare-chested killer matt barbarian is very different.

After Darius came to the throne, in addition to militant warriors, he also demonstrated outstanding political talent in reforms. He delineated provinces, appointed governors, and strengthened centralization; recruited the King’s Guards, especially the “Ten Thousand Undead Corps”; economically, unified currency and weights and measures, formed a post system and overhauled the royal road similar to the national highway, just like the Persian version Emperor Qin Shihuang.

At that time, Persia not only stood on the opposite side of the entire “West” as the “East” and became one of the bipolar world, it was also the world’s first giant empire across Europe, Asia and Africa. This legend lasted for 220 years, until another military genius from Macedonia, Alexander, who had Aristotle as a personal trainer, fought to the east, inherited the heritage of Persia and created another legend of the Eurasian Empire.

In 330 BC, the Achaemenid dynasty fell, and the magnificent Persepolis was destroyed under the torch of revenge by the Greeks. Persia, which has inherited the achievements of the civilization of the two rivers, has entered the next chapter of history—the Hellenistic era of the great integration and exchange of material and culture between the East and the West.