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Seda: Voices of Iran

BCE 559-481

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559 BCE  Cyrus II (the Great) assumes throne of Ashan (western Persia) and begins sunjugation of all Persia.


550 BCE Cyrus defeats the Median King Astyages at the battle of Pasargadai and becomes the king of both kingdoms.

547 BCE Persians clash with the Lydians at the Battle of Pteria.


546 BCE Croesus of Lydia retires to Sardis but the Persians unexpectedly followup. Croesus hastily reassembles a even larger allied army and meets Cyrus on the Plain of Thymbra.

The Lydian army is routed and the city falls after a short seige. Persia now rules Ionia. The tyrant Peisistratus seizes power at Athens.

545 BCE  Cyrus now expands eastward. He reconquers most of Parthia, Sogdiana, Bactria and Arachosia which were attempting to establish their independence.

540 BC  Cyrus defeats Bedouin sheikhs around Teima.

Polycrates the tyrant of Samos, allies with Egypt, defies Persia and builds a fleet of 100 ships.


539 BCE Cyrus II of Persia invades and conquers Babylon and Phoenicia.

538 BCE  Cyrus occupies Jerusalem & allows the Jews of Babylon to return home if they wish.


533 BCE  Cyrus crosses the Hindu Kush and receives tribute from the Indian cities of the Indus valley and establishes the twentith satrapy of Gandhara.

530 BCE  Cyrus is killed in a campaign against the Massagatae of central Asia and so his son Cambyses is crowned king of Persia.

529 BCE  Cyrus' tomb is erected at Pasargadae the capital city of Persia.


525 BCE  Cambyses defeats the Egyptian king Psamtik III at Pelusium.

Darius I 

521 BCE Cambyses dies or is murdered, and is succeeded by his brother Smerdis. Smerdis is then overthrown, Darius I takes the throne.

520 BCE Darius begins a campaign against the Scythians. Darius commissions the completetion of the canal joining the Nile to the Red Sea began by Necho II 610 BC.

519 BCE Darius has the great rock-face of Behistan constructed, on the Ecbatana-Babylon Road, to give an account of his early successes. The cuneiform inscritions in 3 langauages lead Sir Henry Rawlinson to decipher cuneiform writing.

Darius puts down a second revolt in Babylon.


518 BCE  Darius sends Scylax, a Carian, on a voyage of discovery into the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.

517 BCE  Darius visits Egypt, which he lists as a rebel country, and puts its satrap, Aryandes to death. He sets priests and wisemen the task of codification of Egyptian laws. The task takes 15 years.


515 BCE  Darius completes the canal from the Nile to the Red Sea began by the Egyptian King Necho II in 610 BC. Darius sends Scylax, a Carian, on a voyage of discovery into the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. He established a sea route between India and Persia.

513 BCE  Darius leads a campaign into southeast Europe, by building a bridge of boats across the Bosporus river.

510 BCE  The tyranny at Athens comes to an end.

509 BCE  A democratic constitution is proposed by Kleisthenes, and is adopted at Athens.


501 BCE  Megabates with a Persian naval fleet of 200 tiremes attack Naxos with the support of the Ionians under Aristagoras.


500 BCE Darius I completes or expands the Royal Road of Persians.

499 BCE The Ionian revolt. The Greek cities of the Ionian coast under the leadership of Aristagoras, ruler of Miletus, plus the island of Cyprus, led by Onesilus--revolt against the Persians.

498 BCE Sparta does not respond, but Athens and Eretria support the Ionians by sending troops & ships to attack Sardis.

The city captured without opposition and burnt, but the Persians still hold the central stronghold.

496 BCE  Darius soon recaptures Cyprus with the help of the Phoenician navy.

494 BCE  A Persian fleet destroys the Greek fleet at the Battle of Lade.


Miletos ruins

493 BCE  Ionian revolt ends when Miletos is sacked by Persians.

492 BCE  Mardonius leads a naval expedition against Greece. Thrace and Macedon are subjugated but Mardonius is injured in a night attack by the Thracians. The Persian fleet is destroyed by a storm while trying to round Mount Athos.


490 BCE  Persians under the command of Artaphernes and Datis sack Eretria. Persians are defeated at the Battle of Marathon by an Athenian army led by Miltiades.


486 BCE  Egypt revolts from Persian rule. The death of Darius I,  (the Great), he is succeeded by his son Xerxes.


484 BCE  Xerxes subdues the revolt in Egypt.

483 BC E  Xerxes resumes preparations for the invasion of Greece. He orders a canal to be cut through the promontory at Mt Athos. Begins the construction of two floating pontoon bridges across the Hellespont.             

482 BCE  Xerxes reconquers Babylon after the city revolts. Its walls & temples are razed and the statue of its patron god Marduk is melted down.

481 BCE  Athens and Sparta found the Hellenic League against the Persians.


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