Cyrus

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Who were the Persians? Iran – West Asian history

By | 2017-11-01T22:57:18+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia, Where|

Central Asian steppe Around 1200 BC, some Indo-European people from Central Asia moved south into West Asia. These people were the Persians and the Medes. The Persians and the Medes were distantly related to the Scythians, the Hittites, the Greeks and the Romans, and they spoke a related language. Like the Scythians, the Medes and the Persians were nomadic people. They travelled around Central Asia [...]

Who were the Lydians? West Asian history

By | 2017-09-14T15:27:39+00:00 September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A Lydian gold coin About 687 BC, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, King Gyges started the new country of Lydia (LID-ee-ah), in modern Turkey where the Hittites had ruled before the Dark Age. Now that the Assyrian Empire had collapsed, and the Neo-Babylonians were not very strong, it was pretty easy for new countries to get started along the edges [...]

Neo-Babylonians – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By | 2017-09-13T22:11:36+00:00 September 13th, 2017|History, West Asia|

The Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon, built during the Neo-Babylonian period (600s BC). Now in Berlin. As the Assyrians got weaker, pieces of their empire began to break off. People saw their chance to become independent and grabbed it. Egypt became independent again. So did Israel for a while. But then in the 600s BC a new empire started up. It [...]

Persia and the Jews – West Asian history

By | 2017-08-24T15:14:57+00:00 August 24th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

The remains of the Second Temple in Jerusalem In 536 BC, Cyrus the Great, the king of the Persians, conquered the Babylonian Empire. Cyrus believed that religious freedom was important to keeping his empire together. And he wanted each area (satrapy) of his empire to rule itself. So he let the Jews go home from Babylon [...]

Daniel in the lion’s den – Bible stories

By | 2017-08-23T22:27:51+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Daniel in the lion's den, from the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, 359 AD in Rome In the Bible story, Daniel was one of the Jews who was in captivity in Babylon during the reign of the Neo-Babylonian kings, in the 600s BC. Like the earlier Joseph (and many other characters in stories), Daniel was able to interpret people's dreams [...]

Vedic expansion – history of India

By | 2017-07-20T10:35:19+00:00 July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Ganges river - wider and slower than the Indus After the Vedic people moved into the Ganges valley about 800 BC, they were further from West Asia and Central Asia and had less contact with their relatives there. They mixed more with the Indian people. Indian gods mixed with the Indo-European gods and became Hinduism. The  Mahabharata, first told about this [...]

Who was Anaximander? Infinity and Greek science

By | 2017-07-18T07:32:45+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Theater of Miletus Anaximander was born about 610 BC in the Greek city of Miletus, in what is now Turkey. So he was able to have the great mathematician Thales of Miletus as his teacher. Thales was probably about 35 when Anaximander was twenty years old. The two mathematicians worked together for most of their lives. Anaximander [...]

Who was Xenophon? What’s the Anabasis?

By | 2017-07-11T03:35:53+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Greeks, History, Literature|

A later portrait of Xenophon (now in the Prado museum in Madrid) Xenophon, like Thucydides, was an Athenian from a rich family who lived during the Peloponnesian War, in the 400s BC. Xenophon (ZEN-oh-fahn) also had a lot of family connections to people from Sparta, and he thought the Spartans were doing a [...]