Achaemenids sentence example
- Here Arsaces and his brother Tiridates are derived from the royal house of the Achaemenids, probably from Artaxerxes II.; the young Tiridates is insulted by the prefect Agathocles or Pherecles; in revenge the brothers with five companions (corresponding to the seven Persians of Darius) slay him, and Arsaces becomes king.
- But this historical aspect of the myth is of late origin: it is nothing but a reflex of the great Iranian empire founded by the Achaemenids and restored by the Sassanids.
- On the contrary, it is historically evident that before the Achaemenids there were in Bactria only small local principalities of which Vishtaspas was one:
- Their institutions, court ceremonial and dress were all adopted by the Achaemenids.
- There existed, in fact, under the Achaemenids a strong colonizing movement, diffused through the whole empire; traces of this policy occur more especially in Armenia, Cappadocia and, Lycia, but also in the rest of Asia Minor, and not rarely in Syria and Egypt.Advertisement
- In northern Media alone, which lay outside the main scene of operations and had only been partially subject to the later Achaemenids, the Persian satrap Atropates, appointed by Alexander, maintained his independence and bequeathed his province to his successors.
- It may appear surprising that the Arsacids made no attempt to incorporate the minor states in the empire and create a great and united dominion, such as existed under the Achaemenids and was afterwards restored by the Sassanids.
- Although the Arsacids are strangers to any deep religious interest (in contrast to the Achaemenids and Sassanids), they acknowledge the Persian gods and the leading tenets of Zoroastrianism.
- The Parthians proved incapable of creating a firm, united organization, such as the Achaemenids before them, and the Sassanids after them gave to their empire.
- Therefore the native tradition carries the Sassanid line back to the Achaemenids and, still further, to the kings of the legendary period.Advertisement
- This state of affairs had also prevailed under the later Achaemenids, and had materially contributed to the disintegration of the empire and the numerous insurrections of the satraps.
- But the older Achaemenids held an entirely different pQsition; and hardly a single Sassanid enjoyed even that degree of power which was still retained by the later Achaemenids.
- Therefore the duty of the believer is to combat and destroy the unbeliever and the heretic. In short, the tolerance of the Achaemenids and the indifference of the Arsacids are now replaced by intolerance and religious persecution.
- Ardashir, who was a zealous worshipper of Ahuramazda and in intimate connexion with the magian priests, established the orthodox Zoroastrian creed as the official religion of his new kingdom, persecuted the infidels, and tried to restore the old Persian empire, which under the Achaemenids had extended over the whole of Asia from the Aegean Sea to the Indus.
- On the other hand the genealogy of Ardashir has of course been connected with the Achaemenids, on whose behalf he exacts vengeance from the Parthians, and with the legendary kings of old Iran.Advertisement
- This mode of writing was obviOusly alone employed in the state-services since Darius I.; and so may be explained the fact that, under, the Achaemenids, the Persian language rapidly declined, and, in the inscriptions of Artaxerxes III., only appears in an extremely neglected guise (see CUNEIFORM INscRIPTIONs, ALPHABET).