The Babylonian empire controlled Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. In B. Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch, restoring temples and releasing political prisoners. Under Darius the empire was stabilized, with roads for communication and a system of governors satraps established.
He added northwestern India to the Achaemenid realm and initiated two major building projects: the construction of royal buildings at Susa and the creation of the new dynastic center of Persepolis , the buildings of which were decorated by Darius and his successors with stone reliefs and carvings. The impression is of a harmonious empire supported by its numerous peoples. However, in B. It took the Persians four years to crush the rebellion, although an attack against mainland Greece was repulsed at Marathon in B.
Xerxes led his sea and land forces against Greece in B. However, the Greeks won a victory against the Persian navy in the straits of Salamis in B. It is possible that at this point a serious revolt broke out in the strategically crucial province of Babylonia. Xerxes quickly left Greece and successfully crushed the Babylonian rebellion. However, the Persian army he left behind was defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Plataea in B. Much of our evidence for Persian history is dependent on contemporary Greek sources and later classical writers, whose main focus is the relations between Persia and the Greek states, as well as tales of Persian court intrigues, moral decadence, and unrestrained luxury.
From these we learn that Xerxes was assassinated and was succeeded by one of his sons, who took the name Artaxerxes I r.
During his reign, revolts in Egypt were crushed and garrisons established in the Levant. The empire remained largely intact under Darius II r. C , but Egypt claimed independence during the reign of Artaxerxes II r. Although Artaxerxes II had the longest reign of all the Persian kings, we know very little about him. Writing in the early second century A.
With his successor, Artaxerxes III r. C , Egypt was reconquered, but the king was assassinated and his son was crowned as Artaxerxes IV r. He, too, was murdered and replaced by Darius III r. However, the fact that Alexander had to fight every inch of the way, taking every province by force, demonstrates the extraordinary solidarity of the Persian empire and that, despite the repeated court intrigues, it was certainly not in a state of decay.
Military history: Who's who in an Achaemenid Persian army? | RPGnet Forums
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I understand the empire stretched as far as India -- would they have brought Indian soldiers as far as Greece? The empire encompassed Egypt -- what would an Egyptian military division of this era look like. I have a good idea what Pharaonic Egypt looked like, but not much notion what sort of arms, armor, tactics and organization an Egyptian of this era would have, nor an Assyrian, a Babylonian.
Would the Persian army equip Babylonians with Persian arms or let them use their own regional weapons, clothing, and armor? Would there be a separate battalion of Babylonians, led by a Babylonian commander? Would anybody in the Achmaenid army be what a modern American would call "black? And what would those guys be wielding, wearing, shooting, and riding? Thanks, military historians. Thus, Alexander was faced with Greek hoplites, elephants, and scythed chariots and etc.
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I have not looked closely at miniature manufacturers, but I suspect one could find a good range. There might also be some Greek hoplites or Greek infantry, from the Greek city states in Anatolia, as well as some Thracians, so those go in the books as Europeans. A browse through Wargames Foundry's ancient range might shed a little more light, but finding good pictures of how people are making up their Persian armies seems tricky.
They like to talk about the composition more than photograph them. Last edited: Mar 22, The Behistun Inscription recounts Darius' conquests and the revolts he suppressed. Persian army line-up: The Immortals -- The King of King's elite guard, spearmen with shields, javelins as backup. Use bows in the field Expected to volunteer for "mission impossible" type espionage. Like most Persian soldiers, they don't usually wear armor, just ankle-length robes to keep the night chill and the day's heat out.
The climate is just too hot; soldiers attempting to fight in Greek style armor would quickly die of heat prostration. Cavalry -- Fast, mobile horsemen, archery experts, swords and or daggers as backups, sometimes lassos and slings. Commanders occasionally wear a helmet and breatplate, but not necessarily. The cavalry is the core of the army, the bow is everything. Heavy cavalry -- Unlike other troops, these wear cone-shaped helmets with faceguards and scale mail.
Their horses are also armored. Equipped with long lances, swords or maces as backup. Devastating, but they can't stay in the field for long see heat prostration above.
Infantry -- Spearmen and archers, they carry huge wicker shields to stop enemy arrows. Backup weapons not standardized: swords, daggers, axes, whips, darts -- anything goes.
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They don't get a lot of respect and aren't as tightly organized as Greek infantry, but they need elbow room to use their bows.
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