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Achaemenid Empire Aramic Language

Achaemenid Empire

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Achaemenid Empire

550 BC–330 BC
Flag of Persia
Standard of Cyrus the Great[a]
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent, under the rule of Darius I (522 BC to 486 BC).[2][3][4][5]
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent,
under the rule of Darius I (522 BC to 486 BC).[2][3][4][5]
CapitalBabylon[6] (main capital), PasargadaeEcbatanaSusaPersepolis
Common languages
ZoroastrianismMithraism,[10]:21 Babylonian religion[11]
King or
King of Kings[c]
• 559–529 BC
Cyrus the Great
• 336–330 BC
Darius III
Historical eraClassical antiquity
550 BC
547 BC
539 BC
525 BC
499–449 BC
395–387 BC
343 BC
330 BC
500 BC[12][13]5,500,000 km2 (2,100,000 sq mi)
• 500 BC[14]
17 million to 35 million
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Median Empire
Neo-Babylonian Empire
Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt
Empire of Alexander the Great
Twenty-eighth Dynasty of Egypt

The Achaemenid Empire (/əˈkmənɪd/), Xšāça  (Old Persian); translation: The Empire also called the First Persian Empire,[16] was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers (2.1 million square miles).[12][13] Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.[17]

By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland.[18] From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the MedesLydia, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire. Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great,[19] conquered most of the empire by 330 BC.[20] Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory fell under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time. The Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire.[18]

The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon. The historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social, technological and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange,[21] some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings. The impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, and the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China. The empire also set the tone for the politics, heritage and history of Iran (also known as Persia).[22]


The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes" (Old Persian𐏃𐎧𐎠𐎶𐎴𐎡𐏁 Haxāmaniš;[23] a bahuvrihi compound translating to "having a friend's mind").[24] Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, and a vassal of Assyria.[25][dead link]

The Persian term Xšāça (𐎧𐏁𐏂), meaning "The Empire", was used by the Achaemenids to refer to their multinational state.[26]





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Phoenician alphabet

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Phoenician alphabet
Phoenician alphabet.svg
Time period
c. 1050–150 BC[1]
Parent systems
Child systems
Sister systems
ISO 15924Phnx, 115
Unicode alias

The Phoenician alphabet is an alphabet (more specifically, an abjad)[3] consisting of 22 consonant letters only, leaving vowel sounds implicit, although certain late varieties use matres lectionis for some vowels.

The Phoenician alphabet is also called the Early Linear script (in a Semitic context, not connected to Minoan writing systems), because it is an early development of the pictographic Proto- or Old Canaanite script, into a linearalphabetic script, also marking the transfer from a multi-directional writing system, where a variety of writing directions occurred, to a regulated horizontal, right-to-left script.[4] Its immediate predecessor, the Proto-Canaanite, Old Canaanite or early West Semitic alphabet,[5][4] used in the final stages of the Late Bronze Age in the Syro-Hittite kingdoms, is the oldest fully matured alphabet, ultimately derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs.[6]

In the Early Iron Age, the Phoenician alphabet was used to write Northwest Semitic languages, more specifically early PhoenicianMoabiteAmmoniteEdomiteHebrew and Old Aramaic.

Its use in Phoenicia (coastal Levant) led to its wide dissemination outside of the Canaanite sphere, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world, where it was adopted and modified by many other cultures. It became one of the most widely used writing systems.

The Phoenician alphabet proper remained in use in Ancient Carthage until the 2nd century BC, while elsewhere it diversified into numerous national alphabets, including the Aramaic and Samaritan, several Anatolian scripts, and the early Greek alphabets.

In the Near East, the Aramaic alphabet became especially successful, giving rise to the Hebrew and Arabic scripts, among others.

The Greek alphabet in turn gave rise to numerous derived scripts, including LatinCyrillicRunic, and Coptic.

As the letters were originally incised with a stylus, they are mostly angular and straight, although cursive versions steadily gained popularity, culminating in the Neo-Punic alphabet of Roman-era North Africa. Phoenician was usually written right to left, though some texts alternate directions (boustrophedon).



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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Coordinates34°07′25″N 35°39′04″E

𐤐𐤕 / Pūt  (Phoenician)
Phoiníkē  (Greek)
2500 BC[1]–539 BC
Map of Phoenicia and its Mediterranean trade routes
Map of Phoenicia and its Mediterranean trade routes
CapitalNone;[2] dominant cities were Byblos (2500–1000 BC) and Tyre (900–550 BC)[3]
Common languagesPhoenicianPunic
Canaanite religion
GovernmentCity-states ruled by kings, with varying degrees of oligarchic or plutocratic elements; oligarchic republic in Carthage after c. 480 BC[4]
Well-known kings of Phoenician cities 
• c. 1000 BC
• 969 – 936 BC
Hiram I
• 820 – 774 BC
Pygmalion of Tyre
Historical eraClassical antiquity
• Established
2500 BC[1]
• Tyre becomes dominant city-state under the reign of Hiram I
969 BC
• Carthage founded (in Roman accounts by Dido)
814 BC
• Cyrus the Great conquers Phoenicia
539 BC
1000 BC20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Hittite Empire
Egyptian Empire
Achaemenid Phoenicia
Ancient Carthage

Phoenicia (/fəˈnɪʃə/;[5] from Ancient GreekΦοινίκηPhoiníkē) was an ancient Semitic-speaking thalassocratic civilization that originated in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, specifically modern Lebanon.[6][7] It was concentrated along the coast of Lebanon and included some coastal areas of Syria and northern Israel, reaching as far north as Arwad and as far south as Acre and possibly Gaza.[8][9][10] At its height between 1500 and 300 BC, Phoenician civilization spread across the Mediterranean, from Cyprus to the Iberian Peninsula.

The term Phoenicia is an exonym originating from ancient Greek that most likely described Tyrian purple, a major export of Canaanite port towns; it did not correspond precisely to Phoenician culture or society as it would have been understood natively.[11] Scholars thus debate whether the Phoenicians were actually a distinct civilization from the Canaanites and other residents of the Levant.[12][13]

The Phoenicians came to prominence following the collapse of most major cultures during the Late Bronze Age. They were renowned in antiquity as adept merchants, expert seafarers, and intrepid explorers. They developed an expansive maritime trade network that lasted over a millennium, becoming the dominant commercial power for much of classical antiquity. Phoenician trade also helped facilitate the exchange of cultures, ideas, and knowledge between major cradles of civilization such as Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. After its zenith in the ninth century BC, Phoenician civilization in the eastern Mediterranean slowly declined in the face of foreign influence and conquest, though its presence would remain in the central and western Mediterranean until the second century BC.

Phoenician civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of ancient Greece, of which the most notable were TyreSidon, Arwad, BerytusByblos, and Carthage.[14][15] Each city-state was politically independent, and there is no evidence the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality.[16] The Carthaginians, who descended from a Phoenician settlement in northwest Africa, emerged as major civilization in their own right in the seventh century BC. Their multi-ethnic empire, which maintained a strong Phoenician identity, spanned the western Mediterranean and challenged the Roman Republic. The destruction of Carthage by Rome at the conclusion of the Third Punic War in 146 BC marked the end of the last major, independent Phoenician state.

Long considered a lost civilization due to the lack of indigenous written records, academic and archaeological developments since the mid-20th century have revealed the Phoenicians to be a complex and influential civilization.[17] Their best known legacy is the world's oldest verified alphabet, which they transmitted across the Mediterranean world.[18][19] The Phoenician alphabet formed the basis of the Greek alphabet, which in turn was adopted for the Latin script, the world's dominant writing system. The Phoenicians are also credited with innovations in shipbuilding, navigation, industry, agriculture, and government. Their international trade network is believed to have fostered the economic, political, and cultural foundations of Western civilization.[20]

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