WHO WERE THE PERSIANS?
In developing civilizations, the movement of more and more nomads to an area always placed a strain on land and water. Neighboring communities and regions were often at war with one another in their attempt to feed and house their people. Larger, more powerful regions would engulf smaller, less protected areas.
The people of Pars followed the same pattern, and in a short period of time they built what was to become the largest known empire under a single ruler in ancient times. The Persian Empire dominated the Mesopotamian region and spread from Egypt and the Aegean Sea to India between 612 and 330 B.C.E. One ruling family, or dynasty, called Achaemenids led this growing nation and ruled it for more than 200 years.
The Persian Empire grew to include ancient Mesopotamia, present-day Iran, Syria, Egypt, and parts of Asia Minor and India. This rich, well-organized empire provided a model of government for many leaders to follow in later years. The Persian Empire successfully managed many people with diverse languages, cultures, and regions from far-reaching countries.
There were Ionians and Lydians from Asia Minor, Egyptians and Kushites from Africa, Scythians from the Russian Steppe beyond the Black Sea, Armenians from the north, and Bactrians and Indians from the eastern regions. The Persian kings provided peace, wealth, and justice for all by embracing and learning from the individual cultures within their domain.